Nations League | Spain 1-2 France: Comeback Kings strike again

by | Oct 10, 2021 21:40

France completed another comeback to beat Spain 2-1 and win the Nations League at San Siro, with Karim Benzema’s curler and a Theo Hernandez assist for Kylian Mbappé.

Italy had secured third place, beating Belgium 2-1 earlier this afternoon. Both sides made two changes from the semi-final, where Spain had seen off 10-man Italy 2-1, while France fought back from 2-0 down to eliminate Belgium 3-2.

Karim Benzema sprung the offside trap on an inspired Paul Pogba through ball, but took one too many touches trying to dribble around Unai Simon and narrowed the angle too much.

Spain began to take control of possession and had penalty appeals waved away, as Jules Koundé charged down a cross with a trailing arm, but it was considered congruous movement.

Raphael Varane limped off just before half-time, but Spain failed to make the most of a Koundé error when Mikel Oyarzabal over-hit the assist for Ferran Torres.

There were practically no real scoring opportunities until a sudden flurry of activity on the hour mark. First, Milan wing-back Theo Hernandez smashed his finish off the underside of the crossbar and it bounced off the ground to go back out.

Moments later, Spain took the lead, as Oyarzabal sprung the offside trap, held off Dayot Upamecano and kept his cool to place an angled drive across Hugo Lloris into the far bottom corner.

They had barely finished celebrating by the time France had equalised, as Karim Benzema cut inside Cesar Azpilicueta and unleashed an unstoppable right-foot curler into the far top corner that even Unai Simon getting his fingertips to couldn’t keep out.

Straight after the game restarted, Kylian Mbappé aimed a lob just over the bar, then scuffed his finish straight at the goalkeeper on Benzema’s pass.

After two wasted chances, Mbappé did strike when he very narrowly sprung the offside trap on an inspired Theo Hernandez assist and swept the finish under Unai Simon. In truth, he would’ve been offside had Eric Garcia not dived onto the through ball and got a touch to it, which automatically put him back in play.

Oyarzabal thought he’d equalised at the 89th on a Marcos Alonso assist, but his volley was beaten off the line by a one-handed Lloris save. The France goalkeeper made another desperate save deep into stoppages on Yeremi Pino, as Spain’s late siege proved fruitless.

Spain 1-2 France

Oyarzabal 64 (S), Benzema 66 (F), Mbappé 80 (F)

Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Alonso; Gavi (Koke 75), Busquets, Rodri (Pablo Fornals 84); Sarabia (Pino 61), Ferran Torres (Merino 84), Oyarzabal

France: Lloris; Koundé, Varane (Upamecano 43), Kimpembe; Pavard (Dubois 80), Pogba, Tchouameni, Theo Hernandez; Griezmann (Veretout 92); Mbappé, Benzema

Ref: Taylor (ENG)


  1. Maserati

    La Nazionale should have mentality like French, twice the coming from behind and winning this tournament

    Mr.Mancio should have heart to try another formation and used another players, If Calabria – Locatelli – Pellegrini where started against Spain, the outcome of Semis maybe will different.

    This UNL maybe not that important, but to see La Nazionale lift trophy again will be very beautiful, and would be rare achievement winning two official competition in a same year, which will never happen again like this in future (EURO and UNL Finals in a same year).

  2. joe del monte

    Hello Italy won the Euro’s, England was winning 1-0. Death to ticky tacky

  3. Jarod KNowles

    Italy did not lose that game (if you want to call losing 2-1 with 1 man down 50 some mins but then beating Belge who raked #1at FIFA for 3yrs+ losing) because of formation-as we clearly see in quasi every game Mancini makes full use of his 5 subs as he did with Belge, we did not win that Spain game because of Spain antics. Believe me if the ref did not go after Bonucci do you really believe he would not go after another player, he was rogue with cards galoris on both teams. Ref was card happy and Spain with their antics therein is the recipe for disaster. And what did Spain achieve by muscling to the final and now have wounded pride? Nothing. Now Spain is saying they got robbed even though the rule bk says it is not offside. Karm baby doll!

  4. Michael

    @Maserati “La Nazionale should have mentality like French, twice the coming from behind” – Preferable to not be behind in the first place, but we did come from behind and win the Euro final… Also the Spain game can’t be compared because we were down to 10 men.

  5. maserati

    @joe del monte and @Michael, I am agree with that, Gli Azzurri (GA) has won the 2nd Euro on their history, in tough final against the home team who lead the game 1-0 from 2nd minutes, very strong game by GA those time.

    @Jarod Knowles, cannot argue with that, you are correct.

    I want to give a perspective

    in a month there will be two important matches that will determine whether Italy will play in the world cup or not.

    Mr. Mancini must be brave to try new formations and new players and adapt to the opponents that will be faced.

    If Italy qualify for the world cup, France, Spain, Germany, England and the latino duo, Brazil and Argentina, are heavyweight opponents.

    Not to mention the surprises from other teams.

    I’m still confused as to why Calabria didn’t start, Pellegrini deserves to be a starter too.

    One thing about the failure to win UNL as hosts, France lost to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, of course it was very painful to lose in the final and as hosts, but they came back two years later and came out as champions of the 2018 World Cup.

    Italy have the same chance, they have to win the next two qualifiers so would qualify for the World Cup in Qatar and win it, and it would be great if they beat Argentina before that in the “Reborn” of Intercontinental Nation Cup match in June.


    France stole the game on a bootleg pass where Mbappe was clearly offiside before the thru ball off the defender. To call france a great team is crazy, they are arrogant as their country is. They had to let mbappe get this after his failed PK in Euros. Once again corporatism at its best to prop up a failed player.

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