France won the 2021 UEFA Nations League by defeating Spain 2-1 in a remarkable comeback. The World Champions are the second-ever winners of the trophy, after inaugural champions Portugal.
The first half remained goalless as both teams failed to create a significant amount of chances on target. The significant highlight of the first half was the injury to Raphael Varane that forced him off. Dayot Upamecano was brought on to replace the Manchester United defender in the back three.
France could have had the lead in the 64th minute itself, after Theo Hernandez shot the ball with power. But, the left-back’s shot hit the crossbar and did not cross the line. Only a few seconds afterwards, Spain went ahead despite the fact that they could have conceded a goal at the other end. Mikel Oyarzabal of Spain put them ahead in the second half after Sergio Busquets quickly released him into the France box.
The Real Sociedad winger made no mistake to beat Lloris at his far post and secure the lead for Luis Enrique. But, they would not stay ahead for long. Only two minutes later, Karim Benzema was played in on the break by Mbappe, who took advantage of Unai Simon being off his line, and scored a picture-perfect curling effort from well outside the box.
Mbappe got on to the scoresheet himself after a relatively poor match, and it was not without controversy. The PSG star was almost offside, but Eric Garcia touching the ball as part of the challenge played him on. Spain protested for offside, and despite VAR intervention, the goal was allowed to stand.
Spain got onto the attack in the final stages of the game, and had two successive corners with the goalkeeper joining them. However, despite a flurry of efforts on goal, they were unable to beat France’s captain, Hugo Lloris between the sticks for the second time.