Manchester City fans can remain calm after another day of avoiding injuries during the international break. Kevin De Bruyne further showed his return to form, grabbing an assist in a cameo appearance for Belgium against Italy, while Aymeric Laporte, Ferran Torres and Rodri started in the Nations League final against France.
Italy 2-1 Belgium
De Bruyne replaced Youri Tielemans in the 59th minute with Belgium already trailing 1-0 after a fabulous goal from Nico Barella in the 46th minute. The Inter Milan midfielder broke the deadlock rifling a volley from the edge of the penalty area following a poor clearance. A few moments later Italy doubled their lead after Domenico Berardi converted a penalty after Timothy Castagne brought down Frederick Chisea near the byline in the 65th minute.
In the 86th minute, De Bruyne found Charles De Ketelaere at the edge of the six-yard box with a beautiful ball off a counter-attack, who calmly put the ball between Gianluigi Donnarumma’s legs. Belgium were unable to complete the comeback, however, as Italy went on to win the third-place game.
Spain 1-2 France
Despite losing control of the game early and falling behind midway in the second half, Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe’s individual moments of brilliance lifted France past Spain in the Nations League final.
Mikel Oyarzabal opened the scoring in the 64th minute with a skilful finish after Sergio Busquets split the French defence. The goal was a long time coming for the Spanish side that consistently threatened for much of the first half. However just two minutes after Oyarzabal‘s goal, Benzema curled in a ridiculous strike from the left corner of the 18-yard box. Following Benzema’s goal, France found themselves back into the game and in the 80th minute Mbappe, who looked to be in an offside position, found himself behind Eric Garcia and calmly rounded the keeper and scored the winner.
As for City’s Spanish trio, Torres was deployed out wide on the right and consistently found himself in attacking positions and linked well with Gavi for much of the first half. Laporte and Rodri had relatively pedestrian appearances. Rodri was played slightly out of position on the left of a midfield three, while Laporte played mistake-free until picking up a late yellow in the closing moments of the game.
Written by: @IVIeehan
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