France defeat Spain to claim victory in UEFA Nations League final Football | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips
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France defeat Spain to claim victory in UEFA Nations League final

Superb comeback from Les Bleus sees them defeat La Roja

Kylian Mbappe scored the winner as France secured a 2-1 win over Spain in the UEFA Nations League final to help Les Bleus pick up the Nations League title at the expense of the Spaniards at the San Siro in Milan.

After overcoming Italy and Belgium in the semifinals, Spain coach Luis Enrique and France coach Didier Deschamps were looking to claim their first UEFA Nations League title and made two changes to their teams that started in the semifinals.

PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe and AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni were brought in for France in place of Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez and Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who had contracted COVID-19.

For Spain, 17-year-old Gavi retained his place in the starting lineup, with Barcelona’s Eric Garcia and Manchester City midfielder Rodri starting instead of Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Atletico Madrid’s Koke.

The first half delivered a quite flat showing from both sides as they each struggled to break down the other. France and Manchester United stalwart Raphael Varane picked up an injury right at the end of the first half and was replaced by Dayot Upamecano before halftime.

A superb move from the French just after the hour mark ended with left-back Theo Hernandez firing an effort that smacked the underside of the crossbar before bouncing out to safety. From the resulting attack, Spain took the lead.

A brilliant ball over the top from Spain captain Sergio Busquets caught Upamecano napping as he allowed Spanish forward Mikel Oyarzabal to nip ahead of him and drive home a low finish into the far corner in the 64th minute.

France wasted no time in levelling matters and soon found themselves level in the UEFA Nations League final after a stunning strike from Karim Benzema just two minutes later. The Real Madrid striker was fed by Mbappe after a fast break before he cut onto his right foot and bent an effort into the top corner beyond the reach of Unai Simon in the Spain goal.

After levelling the tie, France began to dominate as they pressed Spain high up the pitch. The eagerness of La Roja to get themselves back in front saw them create a number of openings which they were unable to take before another French counter caught them out and saw them go behind for the first time in the match.

With only 10 minutes left on the clock, Les Bleus took the lead. A through pass by Theo Hernandez found Mbappe in space, and the striker showed a cool head to sell a dummy to the keeper before tucking the ball under him and into the back of the net. The VAR awarded the goal after a protest by the Spaniards over its legality.

Spain tried to get themselves back on level terms, but found an inspired Hugo Lloris between the sticks. The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper kept out efforts by Oyarzabal and Yeremy Pino in the closing stages as the world champions held on to pick up a win in the UEFA Nations League final.

Victory for France in the UEFA Nations League final has seen them claim their first-ever Nations League trophy, adding the trophy to the World Cup they won in 2018.

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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