Pushed around by a Roja enterprising, the France team has once again changed the scenario, Sunday night in Milan, to blow Spain (2-1) in the final of the League of Nations. Again with Mbappé and Benzema in the role of superheroes.
By Maxime Brigand, at the San Siro
Sunday 10 OctoberModified Sunday 10 October at 23:07
Spain 1-2 France
Buts : Oyarzabal (64e) for the Roja // Benzema (66e) and Mbappé (80e) for the Blues
On Saturday Luis Enrique had a dream: “Football is a wonderful sport that most of the time rewards the one who plays the best. I hope this will also be the case tomorrow. ” Sunday night, in San Siro, the Spanish coach was brutally brought back to the reality of a sport of details, which does not make any feelings and sometimes does not care about style matters. Spain was often superior to the Blues in the final of the second League of Nations in history, it even took control of the scenario shortly after the hour mark, but the France team remains the team from France: cold and clinical, the Blues have again returned an opponent with Benzema and Mbappé in the role of the superheroes of the case (1-2).
Young and Gavi
The thousands of supporters present at San Siro on Sunday evening probably did not give a foot in La Scala of the weekend, that will not have prevented them from having a ballet: the one offered by Karim Benzema during the warm-up, also precise facing the goal that an Emilien Jacquelin of the great days. Six minutes are enough for the Real striker, perfectly launched by Pogba between Garcia and Laporte, to find himself in a position to take out his rifle, but César Azpilicueta comes perfectly to cut the center of the sniper of Bron. The following ? A whole different story, because if the Blues first tried to impose the same high pressure as against the Belgians, they also quickly surrendered and let Spain chat alone (67% of ball possession, more of 330 passes exchanged).
A man then lit up the first period. Or rather a kid: Gavi, 17, a very small handful of copies made in the pros, who quickly forced Paul Pogba to exchange his place with Aurélien Tchouaméni in the middle facing the risk of quickly eating a rusk given the liveliness of the young dancer from Barça. Luis Enrique’s gang spent the first 45 minutes having fun in the interlines, playing with a Varane-Kimpembe duo almost always late in their outings on Ferran Torres and Mikel Oyarzabal, watching Hugo Lloris struggle with his game at the foot (19 balls lost during this final) and to muzzle without too much problem Kylian Mbappé. Small snag, anyway: Spain never really worried the captain of the Blues, Pablo Sarabia offering only a soft hit crushed on his only real situation to blow up the scoreboard (11e).
1 – France only attempted one shot in the 1st period (0 on target), their lowest total in the first 45 minutes of a match since Opta analyzed the Blues (June 2006). Timid. #ESPFRA pic.twitter.com/PUmTmVO8j3
– OptaJean (@OptaJean) October 10, 2021
History in a Mouse Hole
On his bench, Didier Deschamps, he took two events full ball: the exit of Raphaël Varane on injury before the break, replaced by Upamecano, and the enormous anger of Paul Pogba five minutes after the return of the locker room against his teammates. Eager to sound the revolt, the number 6 of the Blues continued to struggle in the middle of the red ropes stretched to the four corners of the lawn, grazed with the red on a few sequences, but especially saw Tchouaméni save the tricolor house in front of Gavi in the end of a wonderful opening by Marcos Alonso (56e). Minutes earlier, Sarabia had just messed up a golden cross for Torres after a ball loss from Koundé, but the France team finally bowed in the heart of a crazy minute, where Theo Hernández touched the bar of Unai Simon and where Oyarzabal perfectly converted a delicious overture from Busquets (1-0, 64e).
The beginning of the end ? No, the time chosen by Karim Benzema to take out his rifle a second time and this time whitewash the Spanish skylight with a brilliant inspiration (1-1, 66e) after a great initiative taken by Koundé at the exit of the ball. Jealous, Kylian Mbappé did not go far, in the wake, to afford an anthology lob on Simon (68e) and sent a second attempt into the niche of the Athletic goalkeeper (71e). Against the course of the game and in a more than limit position, the PSG striker finally took advantage of a flash from Theo Hernández to slip the advantage to the France team (1-2, 80e). A miracle, then two others, Lloris making a first stop on the ground in front of Oyarzabal (88e), then another in front of Pino (90e). History is sometimes written in a mouse hole. Spain (4-3-3): U. Simón – Azpilicueta, Laporte, E. García, M. Alonso – Gavi (Koke, 75e), Busquets, Rodri (Fornals, 84e) – F. Torres (Merino, 84e), Sarabia (Pino, 61e), Oyarzabal. Breeder: Luis Enrique.
France (3-4-1-2) : Lloris – Koundé, Varane (Upamecano, 41e), Kimpembe – Pavard (Dubois, 80e), Pogba, Tchouaméni, T. Hernández – Griezmann (Veretout, 90e) – Mbappé, Benzema. Breeder: Didier Deschamps.
By Maxime Brigand, at the San Siro