It was a tight first 45 minutes of football between the two sides. Spain had 64 per cent possession which contained three harmless shots on goal. France and Real Madrid striker Benzema had a chance early on despite suspicions of offside. But held the ball too long, allowing Cesar Azpilicueta to clear his deep cross.
After a cagey first hour of play between the two. The match changed from a scrappy affair to an end-to-end battle from the 63rd minute onwards. Theo Hernandez struck the woodwork from close range immediately before Spain broke at the other end and broke the deadlock thanks to Oyarzabal. But Karim Benzema immediately equalised with a stunning curler from the edge of the box into the top corner.
And with both sides pushing for their maiden Nations League title. France grabbed a controversial winner late on as Mbappe ran onto a Hernandez through ball, produced a cheeky step-over in front of Simon before then slotting the ball into the bottom corner. It went to VAR for a possible Mbappe offside. It was a very tight call, but the goal was allowed to stand.
Football pundit Jamie Redknapp said:
“It’s a really hard one to understand because, from Spain’s point of view, you’re trying to keep a good line. Mbappe has got incredible pace but he gets the timing of his run wrong. It’s the slightest of touches from Garcia. “What is Garcia supposed to do? It’s a really poor interpretation of the rule. I don’t like it and it feels unfair.”
France vs Spain: Player Ratings
France: Lloris (8), Pavard (6), Kounde (6), Varane (6), Kimpembe (5), T Hernandez (6), Tchouameni (5), Pogba (8), Griezmann (6), Benzema (8), Mbappe (7)
Subs: Dubois (7), Veretout (N/A)
Spain: Simon (6), Azpilicueta (5), Laporte (5), Garcia (5), Alonso (5), Gavi (6), Busquets (8), Rodri (6), Oyarzabal (7), Sarabia (6), Torres (7)
Subs: Pino (7), Koke (N/A), Merino (N/A), Fornals (N/A)
MAN OF THE MATCH – HUGO LLORIS
Kylian Mbappe may have got the winning goal. But the France goalkeeper pulled off two vital saves in the final moments of the match which ensured France retained their slender advantage, stepping up in the time of need.
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