Victory against Spain – France wins Nations League title
Status: 3:49 a.m.
A good three years after winning the World Cup, France also wins the Nations League title. In the final against Spain, Kylian Mbappé scored the decisive goal to make it 2-1. “We have shown the team’s strength of character,” said Karim Benzema.
Mith the French flag around his shoulders, Kylian Mbappé proudly presented the gold medal and winked at the cameras. Thanks to its superstar from Paris Saint-Germain, the Equipe Tricolore was crowned champion in the Nations League for the first time a good three years after winning the World Cup. The ensemble of extra talent from coach Didier Deschamps prevailed in the final with 2: 1 (0: 0) against Germany conquerors Spain and thus follows the first winner Portugal.
Mbappé scored the winning goal in the 80th minute in the 80th minute in San Siro, Milan, which at least made it possible to forget a little about its weak European football championship. In the summer of the last sixteen against Switzerland, the dream of the title fell through. “We showed the team’s strength of character, never gave up,” said Karim Benzema, who had equalized. “We will enjoy it, prepare well for the World Cup and try to win it.”
The Spaniards, on the other hand, are still waiting for their first trophy since winning the European Championship in 2012. Mikel Oyarzabal (64th minute) put coach Luis Enrique’s team in the lead after winning a duel with substitute Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano, Benzema resembled just two minutes later with a fine fluff. In Mbappé’s winning goal, the Spaniards protested because of alleged offside position, but the English referee Anthony Taylor gave the goal after verification.
Instead of big offensive moments like in the high-class semifinals, the game had been tactically shaped for a long time. Again and again the urge to attack was stopped by fouls. After a pass from Paul Pogba, Benzema turned around the Spanish goalkeeper Simon in the sixth minute – but César Azpilicueta was able to save before Mbappé in the middle.
With the usual ball possession style with a high accuracy of pass, Spain dominated the game after the initial phase, but just as rarely came dangerously in front of the goal. With a weak shot from Pablo Sarabia, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had no problems (12th).
Both teams started the second half at a much faster pace
The defense of the world champion was secure, from the defensive trio of FC Bayern only Benjamin Pavard made it into the starting line-up. His Munich team-mate Lucas Hernández had to sit on the bench after beating Belgium 3-2 in the semifinals, and Upamecano also sat outside. The ex-Leipzig moved into the center shortly before the break when defense chief Raphael Varane left the field injured.
With the Spaniards, who were also plagued by abuses, Ferran Torres got fit in time. The offensive player from Manchester City had scored both goals in the 2-1 semi-finals over European champions Italy, but had to be substituted off. In the 6: 0 in the decisive preliminary round match of the Nations League against Germany, Torres had been successful three times – but remained against France without the very big accents.
Both teams started the second half at a much faster pace. At first the precision was missing, but then the hoped-for spectacular exchange of blows developed. First, France’s Theo Hernández hit only the lower edge of the crossbar from six meters, the ball jumped in front of the goal line.
In direct return, Oyarzabal went into a direct duel with Upamecano after Sergio Busquets’ steep pass and did not make the Bayern professional look good before the successful conclusion. But a little later Benzema flicked the ball from 15 meters over Unai Simon to equalize. After the 2: 1, Lloris saved the French victory shortly before the end with several parades.