Turin: Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema help France overcome a lone goal trail to win 2-1 against Spain in the UEFA Nations League final on October 10 at San Siro.
Kylian Mbappé made up for his Euro 2020 blunder after clinching the winning goal and orchestrating the other as the finals drama reached it’s zenith at San Siro.
Although the first half was not eventful with no goal mouth action or eye catching moments, the turning point came in the first half itself when to the dismay of France and Manchester United , Raphael Varane had to leave the field with an injury. Dayot Upamecano replaced him.
The second half was entirely different with both the teams showing reformed attitude . Mikel Oyarzabal broke the dead lock for Spain , slotting in a powerful long ranger by Sergio Busquets while holding off Upamecano at the same time in the 64th minute.
It only took two minutes for the World Champions to retaliate, as Mbappé set Benzema up for the equalizer who netted a a brilliant curling shot home.
10 minutes later, the wonder kid himself, raced a through ball from Theo Hernandez , and put it past Unai Simon making up for the Euro 2020 loss as France claimed another silver ware.
Talking of the win,
“We showed our character against a very strong team. We never gave up,” said Benzema. “It shows what great teams do — never panic, be patient and wait for the right time.
“We are going to enjoy this trophy and then go get the World Cup [next year].”
Coach Didier Deschamps said that Benzema’s contribution to the team extended beyond his goals.
“Karim is an essential player, he’s proved it over the last two games,” said Deschamps.
“He’s in line with what his been doing with his club. He’s extremely fit, way more than he was before, and he’s more mature. He’s got this rage to win that he communicates to the other players.” added the head boss who had recently even backed Benzema for Ballon d’Or.
Even with the loss, Spanish boss Luis Enrique’s, who handed Italian boss Roberto Mancini his first defeat in 37 games, seemed to be really optimistic about his squad.
He said: “I think we competed on the same level as the current world champions, who have a physical potential and quality behind all doubt. We were in the game. It was hard for us at first because they’re new situations for some players.
“When we scored in the second half and it looked like we could win, we conceded. They don’t even let you breathe. We’re happy and satisfied.”