Sunday 10 October 2021
Celebrate Mbappe’s hero
France wins the Nations League
Three good years after winning the World Cup, France won the Nations League for the first time. The stars of coach Didier Deschamps owe their victory over Spain above all to Kylian Mbappe. If his missed shot had brazenly knocked out the last 16 of the European Summer Championship, this time he scored the winning goal.
Kylian Mbappe led world champions France to the European title after three and a half months of embarrassment at the European Championship. With Bayern Munich pros Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Obikano, the French defeated Spain 2-1 (0-0) in the Nations League final thanks to Mbappe’s late winning goal. In the European Championship, coach Didier Deschamps’ side dramatically failed in the second round on penalties against Switzerland – due to a missed Mbappe shot.
The match between two world teams on Sunday evening was almost uneventful for a long time and a complete disappointment. But suddenly it started in Milan: Theo Hernandez hit the bottom edge of the crossbar for France (63rd), while Mikel Oyarzabal (64) hit the Spaniards ahead. Immediately after that, Karim Benzema equalized the score with a superb flick (66th place).
Mbappe (84/Paris Saint-Germain) finally took the curved silver trophy for France, which ex-world superstar Luis Figo carried to the little-occupied Giuseppe Meazza as a representative of the winning first Portugal.
Gavi is remarkably good
In an effort to score an early goal, Benzema overtook Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon after a sweet pass from Paul Pogba – but the next cross pass did not arrive (sixth). Lucas Hernandez of Bayern Munich, unlike his brother Theo, who scored in the semi-final against Belgium (3-2), was not in the starting lineup this time. His Munich teammate Benjamin Pavard was the only Bundesliga player on the right defensive side when the siren went off.
Spain, still in turmoil, held it against it once again with super talented teenage good Gavi (17/FC Barcelona) in midfield. Coach Luis Enrique promised: “We will cause France trouble.” The ball ran mostly safely through the Spanish ranks, but there was a long shot.
After the 42nd minute, Upamecano took over the center of the defense from the injured Raphael Varane. Both defensive lines didn’t have much to do anyway, until Hernandez’s shot off the crossbar rebounded from the goal line. Oyarzabal then shook before the Spanish opener Upamecano.
In the afternoon, European champions Italy secured third place against Belgium in Turin with a 2-1 (0-0) win. Germany finished second behind Spain in Nations League Group D – after an unforgettable 6-0 win in Seville.