11/10/2021; 2:02 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Is there any trophy left for France to win? On Sunday night, France became the first European country to have won the FIFA World Cup, The Euro Cup and the UEFA Nations League. Les Bleus won the second edition of the tournament following the 2018 Portugal victory. Bookmakers did have them as favourites to win and they have now gone all the way to deliver.
The semi-finals and final saw four of Europe's best lock horns to produce a very exciting final. The current European champions Italy, two-time World winners Spain and France and perennial challengers Belgium served four tasty ties that will last long in the memory.
Spanish fans will feel galled at the manner the final finished. La Rojas felt hard done with the winning goal with claims of it being unfair dogging the legitimacy of the French win.
Les Bleus won the Nations League coming from a goal down to defeat Spain in the final. An Oyarzabal goal in the second half was cancelled almost immediately by a brilliant Karim Benzema goal before Mbappe's controversial effort sealed the game.
It was a difficult night for Les Bleus as they took on a Spanish side famed for their ball possession. Spain had beaten European champions Italy in the semi-final 2-1. The young Spanish side was looking to become the second nation to win the UEFA Nations League after Portugal.
All focus was on Karim Benzema, who has been in fine form for club and country, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. For the bulk of the game, Les Bleus were on the back-foot requiring counterattacks to rattle Spain.
Oyarzabal put Spain in the lead after ghosting past Upamecano just after the hour to open scores for the evening. Benzema, however, showed why he was nominated for the Ballon d'Or with an exquisite finish against Unai Simon to tie the game two minutes later.
After several spurn chances, Kylian Mbappe came up with what proved to be the match-winner.
Was it a legitimate goal? The French victory over Spain was dogged with controversy, with Mbappe's goal described as offside. The 22-year-old striker scored what proved to be the match-winner in the 80th minute. Many believe he was offside when scoring with VAR ruling otherwise.
Interesting application of offside in the #UEFANationsFinal for Kylian Mbappe's winner.— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) October 10, 2021
It's a decision which is correct in law to allow the goal, but one which many will feel should be disallowed in the spirit of the game.
Mbappe is clearly offside when the pass is played. pic.twitter.com/OWC7lUK0OT
Several fans did not agree with the VAR decision, and some chose Twitter to be vocal about their disagreement.
Michael Cox of The Athletic explained why Mbappe was ruled onside. According to him, Eric Garcia got a deliberate touch on the ball, which played Mbappe onside. He, however, disagrees with the rule.
Presumably Mbappe onside as Spanish defender got a deliberate touch to it..? I don’t think this element of offside really makes sense.— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) October 10, 2021
A Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Redknapp, also agreed with Cox. Redknapp believes Mbappe got lucky not to be ruled offside.
Eric Garcia's last touch on the ball that diverted it into the path of Mbappe was all the luck that France needed.