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France goes back to Spain and conquers the League of Nations

France goes back to Spain and conquers the League of Nations

A somewhat controversial Kylian Mbappé made France the champion of the second edition of the League of Nations, going back to an outstanding Spain that fell with honors in a duel of greatness, which confirmed that the distance to the titles is short thanks to the reconstruction led by Luis Enrique.

Once the European champion was overcome, the challenge for Spain became enormous against the last world champion. It showed that despite being in full reform, with losses in weight and numerous, rejuvenated to an unthinkable limit, it is to compete with anyone. It is a team, above selection, with all the merit of Luis Enrique to boost the image of his players under an impeccable tactical work. He only yielded to an offside goal after a great final.

Spain canceled the speed, creativity, inspiration of a collection of stars after their intimidating start. The high pressure with which Deschamps started the block was a mirage as soon as he lost the ball. He logged out. And it is very difficult for Luis Enrique’s team to discuss possession. He anesthetized the rival’s outbursts of rage from the ball and chewed the game until he found the opportunity to hit.

It was impossible in the first act, with a single shot on goal and a soft shot from Sarabia when he found space and Ferran’s pass. The striker of the selection forced to play, leaving the zone of 9 and looking for the imbalance with his speed glued to the right band of the attack. He lacked precision in the centers so that Oyarzabal’s fight with the centrals found the prize of the auction.

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The final exhibited tension. The slogans were clear. The great danger for Spain was after turnover due to speed in the French transition. Luis Enrique reinforced his midfield with the entry of Rodri and called a foul to cut off any action that would allow France to exploit the virtues of his trident. Probably the best in the world but one who managed to unplug for an hour, since the referee allowed Benzema to go head-to-head, clearly offside, in which the quick exit of Unai Simón was key.

Spain exhibited confidence as soon as it took possession of the ball, with studied movements that make the rival run, a France that had one less day of rest and that was chewing despair at the impossibility of showing its football.

Eric García in a major test under the spotlight, emerged victorious from the two races that Mbappé threw him. Gavi, that little 17-year-old ‘devil’ who plays football without any pressure, never tired of stealing in the defensive phase and opening spaces in attack. From a turn of his at the edge of the area, hope was born but Spain had to finish plays.

When he made the defense of three French centrals run, Varane’s injury came. Spain scratched and ended up receiving those hard innings of despair in front of the referee that conditioned Pogba and Koundé in the resumption, when the match woke up in an electric minute of release of ties. Sarabia forgave, with his long pass to Ferran a three for three, and amazed the start of Mbappé stopped at the last moment by Marcos Alonso Salvador.

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A new game was born in a less favorable scenario for Spain due to the lack of control and the appearance of a lethal verticality for which France is betting. At high revs Benzema and Mbappé connect, leaving Theo with the first shot on goal. Unai allied himself with the wood. The crossbar repelled the powerful shot and in the next action, Busquets’ deep pass found Upamecano’s lack of forcefulness and Oyarzabal’s sharp fang. With a left-foot cross he beat Lloris.

The joy lasted seconds. In the next action, just off center, a work of art by Benzema arrived. One more argument to aspire to the Ballon d’Or, inventing a goal to frame out of nowhere, stuck to the corner of the area with a right hand to the squad that lifted his team off the canvas. The thorn removed from a footballer who was kept away from winning the World Cup by an extra-sporting issue.

The meeting had come to a boil and Spain lacked a pause to put on the brakes again. In the exchange of blows, she had little chance of winning. And the punishment came when it cost him to match the speed, in actions always at the limit of Mbappé’s offside. He forgave the first by stinging the ball at Unai but he defined with quality ten minutes from the end, in a play that despaired of the Spaniards due to the clear offside.

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No time for lamentations Spain fell to its feet. He launched himself for the tie with personality and only Lloris prevented it. The weak point of the world champion lies in her defense. The goalkeeper took a left-footed shot from Oyarzabal and closed the final with a great save to Yeremy in added time, when the hopes of a group of players who deserved better luck faded, they clamored for a hand from Koundé in their unmarked area and a so much decisive that it remains for the gallery of eternal polemics of the great events.

. Data sheet:

1 – Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Eric García, Laporte, Marcos Alonso; Busquets, Rodri (Fornals, m.84), Gavi (Koke, m.75); Sarabia (Yeremy Pino, m.61), Ferran Torres (Mikel Merino, m.84) and Oyarzabal.

2 – France: Lloris; Pavard (Dubois, m.79), Kounde, Varane (Upamecano, m.43), Kimpembe, Theo Hernandez; Tchouameni, Pogba; Griezmann (Veretout, m.92), Mbappé and Benzema.

Goals: 1-0, m.64: Oyarzabal. 1-1, m.65: Benzema. 1-2, m.80: Mbappé.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (ING). He admonished Laporte (86) for Spain; and Pogba (46) and Koundé (55) for France.

Incidents: end of the second edition of the League of Nations, played in San Siro in the presence of 35,000 fans, the maximum allowed by Italian regulations for the coronavirus. 3,000 Spanish supporters in the stands. EFE (HN)

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