World champion France won the Nations League final with goals from Karim Benzema and Kilian Mbappe, which resulted in a 2-1 win over Spain at San Siro stadium on Sunday.
Didier Deschamps’ team struggled to gain a foothold in the game during the first half, which was dominated by Spain, but they came to life after a goal was scored by Mikel Oyarzabal. With Paul Pogba superb in midfield, Mbappé’s speed and movement stretching Spain, and Benzema a constant threat, the French were very valuable to their victory.
“We showed our character against a very strong team. We never gave up, “Benzema said.” It shows what great teams do – never panic, be patient and wait for the right time. ” Luis Enrique’s young Spanish team, which beat European champions Italy in the semi-finals, played their trademark football with patience and precision, but in the end could not make up for the absence of a real striker.
“It was a tough defeat,” said French-born Spaniard defender Emeric Laporte. “We proved to be an excellent team, despite our youth, we showed better football than them, but only the result is important”. a relatively calm match with Spain, which moved the ball well but without dangerous penetration, while France was interrupted by a defeat due to injury to central midfielder Rafael Varane. But both sides woke up after half-time when France defender Theo Hernandez hit the bottom of the post after a quick break.
Spain reacted clinically to the warning by going forward as Oyarzabal grabbed Sergio Busquets’ long pass, held back Dyot Upamecano and shot into the bottom corner. However, the French reaction was quick: Mbappe found Benzema, who crashed inside, and then made a brilliant shot into the far corner, making the score 1: 1. Then Mbappe grabbed the winner 10 minutes before the end, catching up with Hernandez and keeping his cool to get past Unai Simon …
Spain objected that Mbappe was offside when he received the ball, but a VAR check revealed a light touch from defender Eric Garcia, who played the French striker. The French had to thank goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for two late saves as Deschamps’ team held on to victory over strong Spanish pressure. In the 89th minute, Lloris played well to prevent Oyarzabal from hitting, and then in stoppage time he responded superbly and parried the blow of substitute Eremi Pino.
The League of Nations in its second edition will undoubtedly remain a minor UEFA competition for national teams, as Italian fans celebrating their Euro 2020 triumph were reminded, but that did not overshadow the celebrations in France. ” we were dominated and we waited for the first goal to react, “said Pogba, who played a decisive role in the French reaction.” We know we need to do better. But if this is the way to win, so be it. Getting a trophy is always good. We always yearn for this, ”he added.
Italy finished third in the Final Four earlier Sunday, beating Belgium 2-1 in Turin.