UEFA U-21 Euros: Spain dismantle France in clinical fashion to reach final


Spain sent out a bold statement to Germany after a clinical and ruthless display against France, emerging victorious in a 4-1 win.

In a potentially tight and tense affair, France settled the nerves early on after a penalty was awarded with the help of VAR. Jeff Reine-Adelaide burst into the box before being brought down by a tag-team effort from the Spanish defenders. Jean-Philippe Mateta cooly slotted the ball past Antonio Sivera to make it 1-0.

Spain equalised on the half hour mark when Marc Roca smashed the ball in from a corner at the second time of asking following an initial world class save from Paul Bernadoni.

Minutes before the interval, Ibrahima Konate naively came through the back of Mikel Oyarzabal to give Spain the chance to score from the 12-yard spot. The striker then dusted himself down to dispatch the spot-kick, slotting the ball down the middle.

A goal right on the stroke of half time had given the Spanish the initiative in what had been a tight and cagey affair.

Just two minutes after half-time, Spain put daylight between themselves and France when a free-flowing counter attack ripped through the French defence with Dani Olmo finishing the move off.

Moments after coming on Borja Mayoral then made it four with a sweet effort struck across the goal from a Pablo Fornals cross. The longer the game went on the stronger Spain were getting. They were in full rhythm, playing effortlessly with their intricate passing patterns. For Les Bleus, they started to look sorry for themselves, with their body language telling the story. An what was worse, they still had 20 minutes to go.

In the dying embers, Spain continued to pile on the pressure and almost added their fifth when Carlos Soler managed get away and dink the ball past Paul Bernadoni. Fortunately for the French, terrific defending from Fode Toure managed to clear the danger away.

The whistle blew and Spain put a clear message out to defending champions, Germany for the final. Their dismantling of France was as impressive as any performance from a country in this tournament. The all-round performance from the Spanish collective put a decent France side to the sword.

Spain will meet defending champions Germany in the final on Sunday, June 30.

Team Line-ups

Spain: Antonio Sivera; Martín Aguirregabiria, Jesús Vallejo, Unai Núnez, Héctor Adamés; Fabián Ruiz Peña (Mikel Merino, 85), Marc Roca; Dani Olmo, Dani Ceballos (Carlos Soler, 74), Pablo Fornals; Mikel Oyarzabal (Borja Moyoral 63′).

France: Paul Bernardoni; Colin Dagba (Kelvin Amian 23′), Ibrahima Konate, Dayot Upamecano, Fode Toure; Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Tousart (Moussa Dembele 60′), Houssem Aouar; Nanitamo Ikone, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Jean-Philippe Mateta (Marcus Thuram, 71).


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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