Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe inspired France to come back from behind and beat Spain 2-1 in the 2021 Nations League final.
The reigning world champion, who made up a two-goal deficit against Belgium in the semi-finals on Thursday, fell behind shortly after Mikel Oyarzabal’s goal was scored by Theo Hernandez in the second half.
However, Luis Enrique’s side, who ended Italy’s record streak of 37 games without losing in the semi-finals on Wednesday, were pushed back two minutes later when Benzema rolled in great.
Mbappe then doubled the stroke when, after 80 minutes, he secured the second trophy for France in three attempts after winning the 2018 World Cup and disappointment at Euro 2020.
Marcos Alonso’s idiosyncratic speculative free-kick from distance was the only significant chance in the first half as Spain struggled to pay off their initial 66.7 percent possession in the first 45 minutes.
Raphael Varane was then sent off with a seemingly harmless injury before the break, and after the break things came to a head for Didier Deschamps’ side.
Mbappe’s skillful offloader almost set up the opening goal, but Hernandez hit the bar before Oyarzabal, who was replaced by Sergio Busquets, drilled into the lower right corner after 64 minutes.
Benzema and Mbappe immediately combined the equalizer, however, with the former drifting inward to deflect a right-footed shot into the top right corner before the latter gave France the lead.
The PSG striker appeared offside as he circled Unai Simon after Hernandez’s thru-ball, but a VAR check stuck with the original decision as Mbappe scored his fourth goal in the final – more than any other player.
Oyarzabal then caused a late shock when he hit a sweet left volley but was parried by Hugo Lloris before French goalkeeper Yeremi Pino’s first attempt to secure victory in the second edition of the competition parried.