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Spain players furious after Kylian Mbappe's 'offside' winner in Nations League final

Tom Gott
Spain were unhappy with Mbappe's late winner
Spain were unhappy with Mbappe's late winner / John Berry/GettyImages

Spain were left feeling hard done by as they lost Sunday's Nations League final to a late strike from Kylian Mbappe, who appeared to be in an offside position.

Mikel Oyarzabal gave Spain the lead shortly after the hour mark, only for Karim Benzema to fire France level two minutes later with a glorious strike from range, and Les Bleus took the trophy thanks to Mbappe's late effort, although replays showed that the PSG man had strayed offside.

Spain were confident that the goal would be chalked off but it was eventually allowed to stand, with the referee deciding that Eric Garcia made contact with the pass as he lunged to intercept it and that commenced a new phase of play, in which Mbappe could not be offside.

"The referee told us that Eric Garcia wanted to play the ball and that kills the offside," Sergio Busquets said post-game.

"But he wanted to play the ball because the ball would have reached Mbappe who was offside! It doesn’t make sense!"

Garcia himself was equally as disappointed, adding: "Mbappe is offside. The referee tells me that I tried to play the ball. What should I do? Step aside and let him run? Apparently that’s the rule."

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta directed his disappointment towards the decision-making process, admitting he was frustrated not to see on-field referee Anthony Taylor view the incident himself on the pitchside monitor.

"The referee is there to make decisions," he told Sky Sports. "What I’m more disappointed is that the referee who makes the decision is not Mr Anthony Taylor who was here, it’s the one who is the VAR. I think the monitor is there to use it.

"Every time we have meetings with the referees we say the same and I don’t know why he didn’t go to the monitor and see for himself if it’s deliberate play or not. The offside is very clear and the referee watching the reviews in the office says that he can play the ball, which I don’t think so."