Thursday, July 18, 2024

Spain v France player ratings: Dani Olmo overshadowed but outstanding

Must read

Spain reached the final of Euro 2024 with a 2-1 victory over France on Wednesday, setting up a meeting with Netherlands or England.

France, who were pursuing a second Euros final out of the last three, took an early lead when Randal Kolo Muani nodded home a header from close range.

But Spain equalised through 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who netted a wondergoal to become the youngest-ever goalscorer at a men’s Euros.

Dani Olmo then put Spain ahead with a powerful, deflected strike from close range, and Les Bleus were unable to fight back.

But how did each player perform? Here are The Independent’s player ratings:

Spain (4-3-3)

Unai Simon – 7: Could do nothing about France’s goal. Was then largely untroubled until the final 15 minutes or so, when he was calm and professional.

Jesus Navas – 5: Belied his 38 years with a great run to beat Mbappe to the ball in the first 10 minutes, denying the Frenchman a one-on-one. But could have done more to cut out the forward’s cross for the opening goal, and was booked for an ill-timed challenge on Rabiot soon thereafter. Substituted before the hour mark.

Nacho – 6: Received a yellow card when Kolo Muani turned him cleverly in the early phases of the game. Otherwise did a decent job.

Aymeric Laporte – 6: Lost Kolo Muani as the France striker headed in the opening goal, but improved as the game went on.

Marc Cucurella – 6: Might have also done more to prevent Kolo Muani from rising so freely for the opening goal, but otherwise continued his strong form here. Why was he booed, though?

Marc Cucurella (right) looking to get past Ousmane Dembele
Marc Cucurella (right) looking to get past Ousmane Dembele (Getty Images)

Rodri – 7: Nothing to fault in the Manchester City midfielder’s performance. Did a solid job defensively and distributed the ball nicely.

Fabian Ruiz – 6: Could have given Spain an early lead but headed over the bar from close range, while under no pressure. Was otherwise as solid in possession as he has been all tournament. His miss became a smaller moment as the game wore on.

Dani Olmo – 8: Gave Spain a come-from-behind lead with a powerful strike in the French box, which was originally (and unfairly) chalked up as a Kounde own goal. Did so after two exquisite touches, no less. Dangerous throughout.

Lamine Yamal – 8: Became the youngest-ever goalscorer at a men’s Euros by netting a world-class strike to put Spain ahead. The 16-year-old would have also had an assist, if Ruiz had put away the winger’s perfect, clipped cross in the first six minutes.

Lamine Yamal (left) and Dani Olmo (centre) scored crucial goals
Lamine Yamal (left) and Dani Olmo (centre) scored crucial goals (Getty Images)

Alvaro Morata – 6: Isn’t required to be the centre of attention when Spain attack, and he continued his quiet but capable form here.

Nico Williams – 7: Wasn’t as central to Spain’s best moments as he has been in recent games. But outsprinted Kounde in the opening seconds of the second half (and later nutmegged him) before being denied a run at goal when Maignan raced out to intercept him.

Substitutes:

Dani Vivian – 5; Mikel Merino – 5; Mikel Oyarzabal – 6; Ferran Torres – N/A.

France (4-3-3)

Mike Maignan – 7: Could do nothing about Yamal’s wondergoal or Olmo’s strike. Great goalkeeping to race out and beat Williams to the ball in the first minute of the second half, before controlling it and sending it up the pitch.

Jules Kounde – 6: Made a couple of impressive challenges with good reading, timing and strength. Was unlucky to initially be credited with an own goal while trying to intercept Olmo’s strike, before that was changed. Williams made life harder for him later in the game.

William Saliba – 6: Struggled to deal with Olmo at times but won his battles with Morata (unsurprisingly).

William Saliba is unable to block Olmo’s shot as Spain take the lead
William Saliba is unable to block Olmo’s shot as Spain take the lead (Getty Images)

Dayot Upamecano – 5: Like his centre-back partner, was tested well by Spain’s tricky front three.

Theo Hernandez – 5: Looked so dangerous against Portugal, but was not allowed to be anywhere near as threatening here. When he did get a sight of goal, he fired a shot well over the bar. Was tested well by Yamal.

N’Golo Kante – 5: Has been in throwback form at this tournament but was swarmed and neutralised by the Spaniards in this game.

Aurelien Tchouameni – 6: Nothing in particular to criticise or praise in the midfielder’s case, though he was booked for a sloppy foul on Morata.

Adrien Rabiot – 5: Did not know which way to go when Yamal feinted back and forth in front of him, before the young winger pinged a shot into the top corner.

Kylian Mbappe – 7: Stood up a good cross at the back post for Kolo Muani to score an easy header. Worked hard throughout. Still not at his best, however, and France needed him to be in the end.

Kylian Mbappe is grabbed by a pitch invader
Kylian Mbappe is grabbed by a pitch invader (Getty Images)

Ousmane Dembele – 6: Was a bright spark off the bench in the quarter-finals, but did not trouble Simon with his shots or deliveries here. Overall, though, he did get better over the course of the game – to his credit.

Randal Kolo Muani – 8: Nodded home comfortably to open the scoring inside 10 minutes. Nice turn early on to draw a foul from Nacho.

Substitutes:

Eduardo Camavinga – 5; Antoine Griezmann – 5; Bradley Barcola – 6; Olivier Giroud – 6.

Latest article