Belgium vs France XIs: Starting lineups, confirmed team news and injury updates for Nations League – Evening Standard

France teed up a heavyweight showdown with Spain in the 2021 Nations League final in Milan on Sunday night.

Didier Deschamps’ reigning world champions produced an epic fightback to down neighbours Belgium in a remakable last-four tie in Turin.

Theo Hernandez struck in stoppage time of a high-profile contest to complete France’s second-half comeback after Kylian Mbappe had hit an emphatic penalty following Karim Benzema’s initial effort.

Belgium had led 2-0 at the interval after a quick-fire double from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku, with the Chelsea striker also seeing a late effort ruled out for offside.

Spain ended European champions Italy’s record 37-match unbeaten streak last night to seal their final spot courtesy of a brace from Ferran Torres.

While La Roja and France will now lock horns in Sunday’s final, Belgium and Italy meet in the third-place play-off, having also squared off in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals in Munich over the summer.

Follow Belgium vs France reaction with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below!

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Didier Deschamps reaction

“We were unlucky in the first half. We sat back a little too much,” said France manager Didier Deschamps.

“They had a good period for 20 minutes but after that we were not in danger and had a lot of chances.

“The result shows the character of the team. We were here to play the final and here we are.”


Griezmann delight


What a day for Theo Hernandez


Belgium fall short again


FT: Belgium 2-3 France

Absolutely extraordinary.

What drama these Nations League semi-finals have provided.

France will face Spain in Sunday night’s final in Milan.

Just remarkable. Belgium will have to dust themselves down for a third-place play-off against Italy.


GOAL! France 3-2 Belgium | Theo Hernandez 91′

91 mins: Have I said what a great game this is?!

Into four minutes of added time and Theo Hernandez sets himself with a touch and rifles a shot in off the hand of Courtois after Pavard’s cross is not dealt with after he had bombed on beyond Griezmann.

Now is THAT the winning goal?!


90 mins: So, so close for France now!

It’s an absolutely superb free-kick from Pogba, who agonisingly hits the crossbar.

I’ve said this already, but WHAT A GAME THIS IS.


Goaa…. no!

87 mins: Carrasco gets beyond Pavard down that Belgium left much too easily and plays a fine low cross for Lukaku, who gets the right side of Lucas Hernandez and side-foots beyond Lloris.

Belgium celebrate what they think is likely the winning goal, but hang on a second!

The offside flag is up – it won’t count! Replays show Lukaku was just ahead of Hernandez when that ball came in.

France breathe a sigh of relief.


85 mins: Absolute quality from France, with the ever-lively Mbappe linking up beautifully with Pogba and then Benzema before curling a shot narrowly wide of Courtois’ right-hand post.


83 mins: Into the final 10 minutes in Turin.

France still on top but this is still anyone’s game.

Will we see another late twist in the tale or does extra time beckon?

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