The Spanish press have slammed as an ‘injustice’ the decision to allow Kylian Mbappe’s winner for France to stand in the UEFA Nations League final.
Spain fell to a 2-1 defeat in the showpiece on Sunday night but the decisive goal came in controversial fashion.
Paris Saint-Germain star forward Mbappe slotted the ball home after clearly being in an offside position.
Footage of the incident showed that Mbappe was standing behind Spain’s last man when the ball was played.
However, the match officials – which included Premier League referee Anthony Taylor – felt that Spain defender Eric Garcia had deliberately touched the ball. Therefore, they treated everything after that moment as a new phase of play.
As it stands, the rules currently state that “a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage”.
Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets criticised VAR for allowing the 80th-minute winner to stand and the Spanish papers have also lamented the decision.
SPORT’s headline on Monday morning screamed: “Injustice.”
MARCA’s read: “They are changing football.”
Meanwhile AS remained positive about their national team’s display on Sunday night with the headline: “No title, but with a future.”
France newspaper L’Equipe ignored the controversial offside call on the front page of their edition on Monday.
Marca point this out on their website, with one sub-heading reading: ‘L’Equipe, no mention on offside.’
Speaking after the game Busquets said: “The referee told us that Eric Garcia wanted to play the ball and that kills the offside… But he wanted to play the ball because the ball would have reached Mbappe who was offside! It doesn’t make sense!”
Garcia added: “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.”
Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports: “The referee is there to make decisions. What I’m more disappointed (about) is that the referee who makes the decision is not Mr Anthony Taylor who was here, it’s the one who is in 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.”
Spain boss Luis Enrique was equally as annoyed but kept his cards close to his chest, saying: “Difficult. I would like to talk but I’m not going into that. I’ve nothing to say.”
Kai Havertz has revealed the importance of Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea despite having to adjust his role in the team with the arrival of the Belgian at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in the summer for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan and has since scored four goals in nine appearances in all competitions for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Havertz told the Blues’ website “We have a lot of offensive players and sometimes we also switch the system.
“Sometimes I play as a No.10, sometimes as a No.9.
“I like the position I’m playing in this system very much, I’m enjoying it. It’s my favourite position, somewhere up front, and it’s very nice also to play these positions with these good players here.
“Romelu’s now maybe the point every defender is looking to. Sometimes two or three defenders are just on him, so it gives us a lot more space around him. He’s now had a few games here, so also it’s getting better when you are used to playing with him.
“Of course, he’s a brilliant striker. I think in the last few matches he showed this very much.”