EURO 2024 Talking Points: A star is born as Yamal fires Spain past France into final

Lamine Yamal become the youngest scorer in Euro history with a stunning strike in Munich
Lamine Yamal become the youngest scorer in Euro history with a stunning strike in MunichProfimedia
Spain and France went to head-to-head in the first semi-final at EURO 2024 on Tuesday with the Spanish prevailing 2-1 thanks largely to Lamine Yamal's moment of magic and the French failing to take their chances. Catch up on the game's key talking points below.

Yamal steps up to the biggest stage

Spain made a bright start in Tuesday's semi-final but a moment of world-class quality from Kylian Mbappe, who teed up Randal Kolo Muani, found them 1-0 down and with a mountain to climb early on. That was before teenage sensation Lamine Yamal stole the limelight.

After France's early opener and with Mbappe's looming threat, it might have been a long night ahead for Spain. However, Yamal had other ideas.

In a moment in which it felt like time stood still and as if we were watching greatness announcing itself to the world, the tricky winger became the youngest-ever goalscorer at a European Championship when he levelled the scores.

What's more, he did it in some style.

Yamal cut inside from the right as he likes to do at every opportunity and powered an effort which clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way past the dangling arm of Mike Maignan. It was a beautiful moment that any true football fan would have enjoyed. As he did in the quarter-final, Yamal had dragged his team back into it - he really has lit up this tournament time and time again.

From that moment, Spain had their tails up, inspired by what their magical star was doing at such a young age. Whilst Dani Olmo's impressive solo goal to make it 2-1 only minutes later made him the joint top scorer at EURO 2024, it is Yamal's goal that will be remembered, and for good reason.

Yamal is the present and future of Spain and if they are to win the EURO 2024 final on Sunday, expect him to play a key role again.

Dani Olmo's post-match comments
Dani Olmo's post-match commentsOpta by StatsPeform

France fail to take their chances

Going into their semi-final with Spain, France held a peculiar record - they hadn’t scored a goal at the tournament off their own boot in open play, relying on a penalty and an own goal to get all the way to the final four. It was a fact that left many wondering: Can they score goals?

Well, Kolo Muani didn’t take long to prove that they could, scoring in the ninth minute to settle French nerves and get Les Bleus off to a flyer. Unfortunately for Didier Deschamps’ men, they had surrendered the lead by the 25th minute - after conceding in open-play for the first (Yamal) and then second (Olmo) time in the tournament.

From that moment, they conceded possession to Spain overall - 59 to 41 - but dominated in terms of chances created, leading nine to six in shots on target and 1.09 to 0.62 in total Expected Goals (xG) for the match. All this is to say, one team took their chances while the other side didn’t.

The xG story of the match
The xG story of the matchFlashscore

Yet another semi-final appearance for Deschamps is no mean feat but with the talent at his disposal, many will think his side should have won this match, especially given their chances, and reached another final.

What’s more, many will look at Deschamps' haul of one major trophy from six appearances at the World Cup and Euros combined and wonder: Is that really a good enough return considering the depth of talent the French possess?

Of course, under Deschamps, France have reached three finals, which is impressive, but the thought remains: Have they really taken their chances? They certainly didn't on Tuesday, that's for sure.

Read a full match report here.


France gouvernement

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