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Spain 2 France 1: Lamine Yamal’s wondergoal sends France home and sets up potential Euro 2024 final with England

LAMINE YAMAL delivered a dose of footballing justice as his record-breaking stunner sent Spain to their first final in 12 years and France home.

The entertainers defied the pragmatists in Munich as Yamal became the youngest goalscorer in Euros history with an instant classic.


Lamine Yamal celebrated becoming the Euros youngest ever goalscorer[/caption]


The 16-year-old netted a stunning curler from range[/caption]


Quarter-final hero Dani Olmo then came up with the goods again by netting their second[/caption]


The two goals secured Spain’s spot in the final[/caption]


And sent Kylian Mbappe and co home[/caption]

Match Stats

Barcelona’s next big thing cancelled out Randal Kolo Muani’s opener, before Dani Olmo grabbed the winner four minutes later.

France did show they could attack here, with Kylian Mbappe dangerous again having decided to cast away his mask and expose his broken nose – but it could not get them over the line, too little too late.

The French star had knocked out his hero Cristiano Ronaldo to reach the last four, but was upstaged here by a winger who is probably young enough to have grown up idolising Mbappe.

At a tournament largely known for big teams failing to deliver to this point – this was an almighty clash.

Deschamps had fiddled with his forward line once more in a bid to finally get them firing at this tournament.

Antoine Griezmann was dropped to the bench – the first time he had not started a knockout game at a major tournament in ten years.

Having unmasked himself, Mbappe started looking his old self once more.

The Parisian was darting in behind after seven minutes, only stopped by a sliding Jesus Navas.



Randal Kolo Muani nodded France into an early lead[/caption]


It was France’s first open play goal of the tournament that wasn’t an own goal[/caption]

Two minutes later he set up the opener. Found in space by Dembele on the left, Mbappe lifted a lovely cross to the far post where Kolo Muani drifted off the back of Aymeric Laporte to head in.

It was a carbon copy of a chance Spain had crafted not long before, only Fabian Ruiz headed over from Yamal’s cross when he should have hit the target.

Mbappe’s resurrection caught Spain off-guard. They looked unsure on the ball and short of confidence.

The France captain drifted inside Navas from the left but saw his drive blocked by Nacho.

It looked like Les Bleus had turned up at just the wrong time for Spain.

But it only takes a moment to turn games of this magnitude, a flash of inspiration can change everything.

The thing is, those moments – in the pressure cooker of a semi-final – do not usually come from the boot of a 16-year-old. But this teenager is a bit different.

Spain managed to push forward but were stuck in front of France’s formidable defence, which had shipped just one goal before now – from the spot.

Records like that are merely challenges to some players.

Yamal twisted and turned, ignored the call of Nico Williams to clip the ball his way, cut inside Rabiot and bent an all-time great goal past Mike Maignan – clipping the far post on the way in for a final flourish.

It was a moment to make everyone watching feel inadequate, wondering where they were at 16.

Not here, not doing that.

In fact, no one has. Yamal is the youngest ever player to appear in a Euros or World Cup semi-final and he did that.

France were now the ones in a daze – and La Roja took advantage. After a blockbuster from Yamal, there was a show of class from Olmo.


Yamal watched on from the side as his team-mates saw out their 2-1 result[/caption]


France had no answer’s for Spain’s new generation[/caption]

William Saliba headed a Navas cross powerfully towards the midriff of the RB Leipzig man, who flicked it up and left to gain control, then right to skip past Aurelien Tchouameni with his second touch and fired to the far corner with his third.

Jules Kounde swung a leg towards the ball and watched it settle in the back of the net – a staggering turnaround in the space of four minutes.

France managed to slow the red wave until the break from there, but could have been two down within minutes of the restart.

Williams was set loose, racing down the left and was half a second from beating Maignan – who flew from his area – to the ball.

France improved after the scare. Tchouameni headed a Dembele corner into the hands of Unai Simon before Mbappe tested the keeper from an angle.

That opening was enough for De la Fuente to swap 38-year-old Navas for central defender Dani Vivian up against the France skipper.

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France defender Jules Kounde could not do enough to divert Olmo’s shot away from goal[/caption]

There was danger on the other flank, however, Simon’s reflexes just stopping a Dembele cross before it reached Mbappe for a tap-in before Dayot Upamecano headed wide at the far post from a corner.

This was as dangerous as France had looked all tournament. It turns out they can do the fun stuff after all.

Spain were in a fight, having to show the sort of solidity France had found so easy to this point.

They were stretched incredibly thin at times, Dembele particularly dangerous, while Theo Hernandez sent a golden chance over and into the French mass behind the goal.

Mbappe, on another brilliant break, did exactly the same with five minutes to go.

Spain held on and looked to take the sting out of the game by keeping the ball when they could – Rodri conducting. Yamal even showed he can do the dirty stuff as he bodied Hernandez in added time. Again, 16.

La Roja, finalists for the first time since they won Euro 2012, have shown they can do the lot.

Pray for whoever awaits them in Berlin.


But the goal was later awarded to the Spaniard[/caption]


And it resulted in Spain securing their spot in the final[/caption]

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