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Spain 4 France 1: La Roja set up second successive Euro U21 final with Germany



Spain cruised to an emphatic 4-1 win over France to reach the European Under-21 Championship final where they will once again meet Germany.

Luis de la Fuente’s side looked to be in a spot of bother after going behind early on, but they showed admirable character and plenty of class to turn things around with minimal fuss and earn themselves the opportunity to avenge their 1-0 defeat to Germany in the 2017 final.

France opened the scoring from the spot through Jean-Philippe Mateta, but their lead lasted 12 minutes, Marc Roca blasting in before Mikel Oyarzabal put Spain in front with the second penalty of the match in first-half stoppage time.

Les Bleus offered precious little in attack after their early goal and Spain wrapped things up in the second half through Dani Olmo and Borja Mayoral, as La Roja sauntered into Sunday’s final.

Although Spain enjoyed the brighter start, they trailed after 16 minutes thanks to Mateta’s coolly taken spot-kick after Junior Firpo nudged Jeff Reine-Adelaide over.

Paul Bernardoni prevented relentless Spain levelling just before the half-hour mark, brilliantly denying Pablo Fornals from close range. Another impressive save thwarted Roca from the resulting corner, but the midfielder smashed home the rebound.

Oyarzabal completed the turnaround just before the break with a penalty of his own, though the apparent foul by Ibrahima Konate looked harsh.

There was no doubt about Spain’s third, however. Fabian Ruiz latched on to Oyarzabal’s throughball and cleverly squared a disguised pass inside for Olmo to emphatically finish.

Spain rounded out the scoring in style, substitute Mayoral slamming home after Fornals’ outrageous cross with the outside of his right boot went right between Bernardoni and his defence.

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