Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Spain 2-1 France: What Were The Main Talking Points As La Roja Punch Their EURO 24 Final Ticket With Another Statement?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, European Championships 10 Jul 2024

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In what was always going to be a heavyweight showdown from Munich on Tuesday night, Spain booked their spot in the final of this summer’s European Championships as they collected a 2-1 victory against France.

A contest that many believed was too close to call, it was Les Bleus who opened the scoring after just eight minutes as Randal Kolo Muani headed home from close range following Kylian Mbappe’s delicious cross.

However, while France might have built their summer success on their defensive steel, La Roja didn’t have to wait long to get themselves back level as 16-year-old sensation Lamine Yamal produced a moment of brilliance midway through the first-half.

Just three minutes after Yamal’s Goal of the Tournament contender, as RB Leipzig ace Dani Olmo recorded his third strike in as many appearances thanks to a wonderful piece of individual class.

Spain will now head to Berlin on Sunday night when they meet either the Netherlands or England in the final of this summer’s tournament.

As for France, suffering what was a real collapse at the Allianz and missing the chance to get the major tournament response that they were dreaming of, Les Bleus and their wasteful attack will be bracing themselves for quite the backlash when they return home.

On a night when Spain moved within 90 minutes of getting their hands on a fourth European crown, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Munich.

Spain deserve their spot in Sunday’s final

While the likes of France might have stolen most of this summer’s pre-tournament headlines, Spain have only further cemented their spot as the standout squad over in Germany during the past few weeks.

Opening their EURO 24 adventure with a major statement of intent as they stormed their way to a 3-0 romp against World Cup bronze medalists Croatia, La Roja will undoubtably find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high heading into Sunday’s showpiece event.

Although Tuesday’s opponents might have flattered to deceive for large portions this summer, Spain have continued to gain a string of plaudits and their free-flowing approach has been noted by the rest of Europe’s elite.

Sending host nation Germany packing last week as they snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory in extra-time, de la Fuente’s high-flying squad have picked up some heavyweight scalps during this summer’s charge.

Crowned Nations League champions for a first time 12 months ago, La Roja are now just 90 minutes from claiming a first piece of European silverware since 2012.

More major tournament heartbreak for Les Bleus

Suffering infamous World Cup heartbreak out in the Middle East 18 months ago as they relinquished their crown to South American giants Argentina, France were always seeking an immediate major tournament response this summer.

With the FFA making the decision to stand by Didier Deschamps, Les Bleus open this summer’s European Championships pencilled in as the leading title candidate.

However, falling short on Tuesday night and missing out on the chance to get their hands on a first European title since way back in 2000, the former world champions have largely flattered to deceive over the past few weeks.

While France might have sent Portugal last week following a nail-biting penalties victory in Hamburg, Deschamps’ camp have largely struggled to find much fluidity in the final third and the likes of Mbappe failed to make any real statement.

With many now suspecting that Tuesday’s semi-final exit will draw a close to Deschamps’ tenure in charge, France’s consolation strike here was remarkably the only goal that they registered from open play this summer.

Yamal steals all of the headlines again

While Spain might have made another heavyweight statement on Tuesday night as they booked their first spot in a European final since their success back in 2012, it will certainly be their 16-year-old sensation who steals most of the plaudits in Munich.

Dragging La Roja level thanks to what will certainly be a Goal of the Tournament contender midway through the first-half, Barcelona’s academy graduate has continued to take Europe by storm this summer.

Once again at the heart of everything positive that Spain produced, it is hardly a surprise that many across the globe that billed Yamal as a future Ballon d’Or winner.

With the world at his feet and already with growing companions to a certain Lionel Messi, Yamal has continued to form a sensational partnership alongside reported Barcelona target Nico Williams.

The forward is not yet 17 but has already had a brilliant breakout season at Barcelona, during which he became both their youngest ever player and goalscorer.

Match Report

Spain: Simon, Navas, Nacho, Laporte, Cucurella, Rodri, Ruiz, Yamal, Olmo, Williams, Morata

Subs: Merino, Vivian, Oyarzabal

France: Maignan, Kounde, Upamecano, Saliba, Hernandez, Rabiot, Tchouameni, Kante, Dembele, Kolo Muani, Mbappe

Subs: Barcola, Griezmann, Camavinga, Giroud

Goals: Spain: Yamal (21’), Olmo (25’) – France: Kolo Muani (8’)

Yellow Cards: Spain: Navas – France: Tchouameni

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Slavko Vincic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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