Sun, 24 Oct 2021

Milan [Italy], October 11 (ANI): Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe starred for France as Les Bleus produced another stunning comeback to beat Spain 2-1 and win their first UEFA Nations League title at San Siro in Milan on Sunday.

These sides were both involved in semi-finals that thrilled from the off, but this occasion delivered a more cagey opening 45 minutes. Karim Benzema skipped around Unai Simon but failed to cut the ball back for a team-mate early on while Spain hoarded possession thereafter without threatening. Les Bleus did suffer a setback before the break, though, as Raphael Varane was forced off injured.

The pattern continued until the game exploded into life in the 64th minute when Benzema's cross was thumped against the underside of the bar by Theo Hernandez. Just 40 seconds later, however, France found themselves behind as Sergio Busquets' through ball was driven across Hugo Lloris by Mikel Oyarzabal. The touchpaper had been lit.

Indeed, La Roja's joy proved short-lived, because Benzema curled a sensational effort into the far corner from 25 metres within two minutes. The question now was whether Didier Deschamps' men could repeat the trick they had performed against Belgium in the last four when they had come from two behind to win.

The answer arrived on 80 minutes as the reigning world champions completed their second successive fightback. Kylian Mbappe timed his run on to Hernandez's pass to perfection and swept the winner underneath Unai Simon, though it required two fine late saves from Lloris to seal the silverware. (ANI)

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