World champions France won the Nations League final 2-1 over Spain at the San Siro stadium on Sunday, with to goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe

During a first half dominated by Spain, Didier Deschamps’ team struggled to gain a footing in the game, but after scoring a goal to Mikel Oyarzabal, they came alive.

The French were good value for their victory, with Paul Pogba brilliant in midfield, Kylian Mbappe’s speed and movement stretching Spain, and Benzema a constant threat.

“We shown our spirit in the face of a formidable opponent. “We never gave up,” Benzema said.

“It shows what great teams do: that never panic, they are patient, and they wait for the perfect moment.”

Luis Enrique’s young Spain side, which had upset European champions Italy in the semi-finals, had played their signature possession game with patience and accuracy, but were unable to compensate for the lack of a real striker in the end.

“It was a tough loss,” Spain’s France-born defender Aymeric Laporte remarked.

“Despite our youth, we have proven to be a fantastic squad, and we have played better football than them, but the outcome is what matters.”

The first half was rather quiet, with Spain circulating the ball nicely but without threat penetration, while France was troubled by the loss of centre-back Raphael Varane to injury.

After a quick break, though, both sides were jolted awake as France full-back Theo Hernandez thundered a shot against the underside of the bar.

Spain quickly responded, taking the lead when Oyarzabal received a long pass from Sergio Busquets, held off Dayot Upamecano, and blasted into the bottom corner.

However, the French responded quickly, with Mbappe finding Benzema, who cut inside before unleashing a superb curling shot into the far corner to level the score at 1-1.

Hugo Lloris was credited with two late saves as Deschamps’ team held on for victory despite heavy Spanish pressure.

In the 89th minute, Lloris went down brilliantly to keep away a low effort from Oyarzabal, and in stoppage time, he responded well to deflect a strike from substitute Yeremi Pino.

The Nations League, now in its second season, is obviously UEFA’s secondary competition for national teams, as Italian supporters shouting about their team’s Euro 2020 victory reminded us, but that didn’t stop France from celebrating.

“We did not get off to a good start we were dominated and waited until the first goal to react,” said Pogba, who was crucial to France’s response.

“We know we have to do better. But if it’s the way we have to win, so be it.

Winning a trophy is always good. We’re always hungry for those,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Italy had claimed third-place in the Final Four tournament by beating Belgium 2-1 in Turin.

Also Read:- Spain’s Ferran Torres to play Nations League final despite injury against Italy


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