France came from behind to defeat Spain and become the second team to win the Nations League, thanks to a controversial winner from Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe was ruled to be onside after sliding the ball under Unai Simon following Karim Benzema’s stunning equalizer at Milan’s San Siro. Spain had taken the lead through Mikel Oyarzabal, who beat Hugo Lloris after shrugging off defender Dayot Upamecano. Lloris made two late saves to secure the world champions’ victory.
He first denied Oyarzabal before acrobatically denying Yeremi Pino’s effort in stoppage time as France became the competition’s second winner, following Portugal in 2019. However, Mbappe’s winner will be contested, with the goal standing despite the fact that the Paris St Germain striker was in an offside position when Theo Hernandez played the initial through ball.
The ball was touched by Spain defender Eric Garcia in an attempt to clear the danger before it reached Mbappe, and the rules state that “a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball… is not considered to have gained an advantage France, which advanced to the final after rallying from 2-0 down to defeat Belgium 3-2 on Thursday, had to fight back once more, and they did so in a game that came alive after an hour of technical but sedate action.
The resilience of Didier Deschamps’ side was on full display again as Benzema cut in on his right foot to curl the ball over Simon, less than two minutes after Oyarzabal’s opener for Spain.
And, despite having less possession (36 percent), France looked dangerous on the counter-attack as Mbappe delivered the decisive – and perhaps fortunate blow. Benzema, who returned to international duty in the summer ahead of Euro 2020, said: “I really wanted to win a trophy with France, and now it’s done.” “We demonstrated character strength because this team is very strong, never gives up, and we proved it today.”It is a sign of a great team that they do not panic, that they are patient and that they wait for the right opportunity.”