France are back among the trophies, after Kylian Mbappe’s controversial goal secured the Nations League trophy with a 2-1 win over Spain in the final.
The world champions had to come from behind in both of their matches - against Belgium in the semi-final as well - to win, so do the victories mask bigger problems for Didier Deschamps?
Mbappe’s winner, which was given by an offside rule loophole, secured the victory and got France back on track after their Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland in the last-16, and some underwhelming performances in World Cup qualifying.
UEFA Nations League - Finals
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We asked Vincent Bregevin, from Eurosport France, whether France are starting to look like they can successfully defend the World Cup in Qatar next year - but first, we had to ask him about Mbappe’s winner.
Spain are pretty angry that Mbappe’s goal stood - as a Frenchman, what are your thoughts?
I thought the goal would have been disallowed and was really surprised with the VAR decision. Mbappé was clearly offside but the point is that Eric Garcia touched the ball while trying to intercept the pass and referees considered that it had put Mbappé back onside.
It seems that this rule has changed as there was clearly no intention from Garcia to make a back pass. I was not aware of that change. And I was not the only one.
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Did Deschamps get his game plan right in the Nations League finals? Who has stood out over the past week?
France were running after the ball for much of the game, but that's basically the story of every Spain's games since the Euro and even before. The game plan was basically to wait for them and use space in the back with Benzema and Mbappé, and trying to put Griezmann on Busquets to block Spain's ball circulation.
It didn't work in the first half, but it was a bit better after the break when France made a harder pressing while Spain were getting more tired. France had to rely on Benzema's world class goal and that controversial refereeing decision to win the game, rather than their collective quality.
Eurosport's Vincent Bregevin believes France had to rely too much on Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema
Image credit: Getty Images
Are France back on track now, then?
We don't forget the Euro fiasco but that was the best reaction they could have. They showed quality and mental strength to overcome tough situations against tough opponents.
They've regained that winning mentality that drove them to the top of the world three years ago so that's a good sign one year before the World Cup.
It remains to be seen if Deschamps will keep the 3-4-1-2 as it worked better in this Nations League than at Euro 2020. It's still a work in progress but France has some positives with this system.
France are Nations League champions - are fans won over by the concept?
I personally still think this competition is useless, whoever wins it. But the overall level of the games was actually quite high so I found it much more interesting than I thought.
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