PLAYER RATINGS: Spain’s standout performance from Lamine Yamal steals the show, while France’s veteran player suffers a rare loss in form

PLAYER RATINGS: Spain’s standout performance from Lamine Yamal steals the show, while France’s veteran player suffers a rare loss in form

Spain have made a giant leap towards claiming a record fourth European Championship trophy after defeating France 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night. 

Luis de la Fuente’s side endured a breathless start to the semi-final clash after falling behind thanks to opening goal from Randal Kolo Muani within the first 10 minutes. 

But it took just 11 more for La Roja to find themselves on equal footing, courtesy of a superbly struck goal from 16-year-old prodigal Lamine Yamal. 

Four minutes later, Dani Olmo pulled his side ahead and France were left to chase the scoreline against a side with an 100 per cent win record in the competition thus far, and despite a stronger second-half showing littered with almost-chances, failed to overturn the deficit. 

Here, Mail Sport’s Aadam Patel assesses who soared – and who stuttered – in Munich.  

Lamine Yamal spurred on Spain to set up a possibly historic European Championship final 

Kylian Mbappe was unable to lead his country to victory after sneaking the early lead in the tie

Kylian Mbappe was unable to lead his country to victory after sneaking the early lead in the tie

SPAIN (4-2-3-1)

Unai Simon 6

Had no chance for Kolo Muani’s goal and France didn’t test him for the rest of the first half but did his job well and can look forward to playing in a European Championship final. 

Jesus Navas 6

In for the suspended Dani Carvajal and worked tirelessly against Kylian Mbappe. The 38-year-old was booked early on and had to be cautious after that. Replaced before the hour mark but this was a gutsy showing from Spain’s oldest-ever player at the Euros.

Nacho 7

In the side due to Robin Le Normand’s suspension and used all his experience alongside Aymeric Laporte to see Spain through. A colossal display.

Aymeric Laporte 7

Kolo Muani peeled away from him for the goal and he was disappointed with that but apart from that, a quality performance. More touches than any other player in the first-half and solid, as ever. Has got history with France due to his heritage so this would have felt sweet.

Marc Cucurella 7 

Booed all evening by the Germans inside the ground after the events of last week but he constantly offered an option. Has had a brilliant tournament and did not stop running.

Marc Cucurella put in the hard yards in Munich against Les Bleus after a fine tournament so far

Marc Cucurella put in the hard yards in Munich against Les Bleus after a fine tournament so far

Rodri (centre left) put in a commanding performance in the midfield for Spain on Tuesday

Rodri (centre left) put in a commanding performance in the midfield for Spain on Tuesday

Rodri 8

He is that good that quality performances like this have just become the norm. A joy to watc again and interestingly was tasked with getting across to Mbappe whenever he cut in, to nullify the threat.

Fabian Ruiz 7

Had a great chance early on to take the lead but headed over. Though was superb in midfield alongside Rodri. Another one who has had an exceptional tournament.

Lamine Yamal 9

A threat from minute one and then delivered one of the great football moments with a goal of the highest class bending the ball in from outside box into the top corner and becoming the youngest goalscorer ever in Euros history. 

Played his part in the second goal too but had a much quieter second half. Booked late on for pulling the shirt of Theo Hernandez, with all the experience of a wily old campaigner. What were you doing when you were 16?

Dani Olmo 8

Player of the Match against Germany and carried on his form with the second goal for Spain, His movement was superb and he had a terrific game, regularly offering an option in the final third and looked so comfortable in possession. No wonder Pep Guardiola is interested in him.

Williams was an uncontainable presence for Spain who repeatedly caused France problems

Williams was an uncontainable presence for Spain who repeatedly caused France problems

Alvaro Morata put on another impassioned performance for Spain with the captain's armband

Alvaro Morata put on another impassioned performance for Spain with the captain’s armband

Nico Williams 7

Like Yamal, offered such a threat down the wing. Such a dynamic footballer and will be key to Spain’s hopes of going all the way.

Alvaro Morata 7

Didn’t get a chance but led from the front. He got the assist for Yamal’s stunner and will head to Berlin, looking to become just the third Spanish captain to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup.

Substitutes 

Daniel Vivian 6

Came on for Jesus Navas in the 58th minute and though he is a centre-half by trade, he did what was asked of him at right-back. Perhaps lucky to get away with one when Mbappe cut inside him but blazed over.

Mikel Merino 5

The hero against Germany. Replaced Dani Olmo with 14 minutes to go.

Mikel Oyarzabal 5

On for Alvaro Morata in the 76th minute

Luis de la Fuente proved his mettle against the World Cup winners as his side maintained their 100 per cent win record at Euro 2024

Luis de la Fuente proved his mettle against the World Cup winners as his side maintained their 100 per cent win record at Euro 2024

MANAGER

Luis de la Fuente 8

What an incredible job he’s done. Spain were nowhere near the favorites before the tournament but they will head to Berlin as the best team of the tournament and the only team with a 100 per cent record.

 

FRANCE (4-3-3)

Mike Maignan 6

Had no chance for either of the two Spanish goals and had to be constantly alert off his line with the pace of Yamal and Williams.

Jules Kounde 6 

France’s player of the tournament but will be kicking himself for not stopping Dani Olmo’s strike going into the net. Involved in an enthralling battle with Williams down Spain’s left flank, which the Spanish winger just edged.

Dayot Upamecano 6

Part of a French back four that played every minute in the tournament but was shocked by Spain’s first-half blitz. Had a big chance to equalise but didn’t connect well with his header.

Jules Kounde has been one of France's standouts in Germany but will be fuming at his role in Olmo's goal

Jules Kounde has been one of France’s standouts in Germany but will be fuming at his role in Olmo’s goal

William Saliba was part of a rock-solid France defence before Spain ran riot in the first-half

William Saliba was part of a rock-solid France defence before Spain ran riot in the first-half

William Saliba 6

Usually solid but his header in the build-up to Spain’s second was not great. The French defence had only conceded one goal in the tournament before the game and though they could hardly be blamed for Yamal’s strike, they will be kicking themselves for Olmo’s goal that ultimately made the difference.

Theo Hernandez 6

Like Kounde, has had a solid tournament though he had no choice but to show respect against the relentless Yamal, who was a joy to watch and must be a pain to defend against with his ability to effortlessly cut in and go on the outside. Wasted a glorious chance when the ball fell to him in the box in the second half but he blazed over.

N’Golo Kante 6

Unbeaten in 20 games at major tournaments until this. Worked hard but with France chasing the game, he was replaced for Antoine Griezmann in the 62nd minute.

Aurelien Tchouameni 6

The only one of the three starting midfielders kept on as France searched for an equaliser. Battled well. Booked for a foul on Alvaro Morata.

Adrien Rabiot 6

Returned from suspension and put in an average display before he was replaced on the hour mark for Eduardo Camavinga. Rabiot said pre-match that Yamal needed to do more. Well, that one heavily backfired.

Adrien Rabiot was perhaps unaware of the threat Yamal posed - but the player knows now

Adrien Rabiot was perhaps unaware of the threat Yamal posed – but the player knows now

N'Golo Kante had a flashier group stage and was unable to dictate play during the semi-final

N’Golo Kante had a flashier group stage and was unable to dictate play during the semi-final

Ousmane Dembele 6 

Replaced Antoine Griezmann in the starting eleven and offered a threat but failed to deliver the spark that was needed in the final third and was taken off for Olivier Giroud late on.

Randal Kolo Muani 7

Did superbly to give France the lead, peeling away from his marker and heading in emphatically. But tired as the game went on and was taken off for Bradley Barcola in the 62nd minute.

Kylian Mbappe 7

Took off his mask and delivered a brilliant assist for Kolo Muani’s opener as France got their first goal in open play at the Euros. Moved into a more central position in the second half but blazed over when he cut inside Vivian and only had the keeper to beat

Substitutes  

Eduardo Camavinga 6

A strong cameo but ultimately it wasn’t enough.

Antoine Griezmann was dropped ahead of the clash and after his substitution wasn't able to prove the difference

Antoine Griezmann was dropped ahead of the clash and after his substitution wasn’t able to prove the difference

Randal Kolo Muani opened the scoring for France after just nine minutes - but Les Bleus could not hold onto their lead

Randal Kolo Muani opened the scoring for France after just nine minutes – but Les Bleus could not hold onto their lead

Antoine Griezmann 5

Left out by Didier Deschamps after a poor tournament thus far but was thrown on with half an hour to go as France searched for a leveller. A disappointing tournament

Bradley Barcola 6

Made an impact down the left wing when he came on with his pace and his direct approach. Perhaps should have started.

Olivier Giroud 5

France’s record goalscorer was thrown on by Deschamps but the chance never fell to him.

MANAGER

Didier Deschamps 6

Led France to the World Cup but this will ultimately go down as a disappointment and a poor tournament.

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