Yamal is a joke! Wonderkid weaves magic in Euros semi

The 16-year-old scored his first goal of the tournament in some style as Luis de la Fuente’s side came from behind to win 2-1 in Munich

Virtuoso goal-scoring displays from Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo secured Spain a come-from-behind 2-1 win over France to reach the final of Euro 2024.

In an electrifying first half where Spain started the brighter of the two, the favourites were stung by Randal Kolo Muani heading home Kylian Mbappe’s teasing cross in the ninth minute. They weren’t behind for long, however, as Yamal scored a goal of the tournament contender from nearly 25 yards out 12 minutes later.

Then, Olmo produced a moment of magic to knock the ball past Aurelien Tchouameni, before smacking the ball past Mike Maignan – via a Jules Kounde deflection – on the 25-minute mark.

Like in their quarter-final win over Germany, Spain began to drop deeper as the game ticked by, and not even Mbappe could spark a comeback for the 2018 World Cup winners. The Spaniards – who saw Yamal become the Euros’ youngest-ever scorer at 16 – now go marching on together to the final in Berlin on Sunday, where they will face either England or the Netherlands.

Goalkeeper & Defence
Unai Simon (7/10):

Pulled off a couple of neat stops but his distribution was somewhat questionable again. Largely, however, was untested.

Jesus Navas (5/10):

Showed Mbappe a bit too much respect by standing off him for France’s opener. Took one for the team with an early booking to stop a French attack and was taken off just before the hour mark due to an injury, in what was a testing night for the 38-year-old.

Nacho (6/10):

Looked comfortable in defence in place of the suspended Le Normand for the first hour or so, but when moved to right-back, he struggled with the fleet of foot Barcola.

Aymeric Laporte (7/10):

Was solid at the back and drove out from defence with apparent ease. The centre-back led his backline well.

Marc Cucurella (8/10):

Was up against the pacey Dembele and largely kept him quiet. The Chelsea man seems to be growing in confidence as the competition progresses.

Rodri (7/10):

Initially looked to be second-best in the midfield battle with Kante but he and his team-mates gained the upper hand in the centre of the park as the match wore on. The Manchester City star did not stamp his authority on this match as he has in previous ones, though.

Fabian Ruiz (7/10):

Missed a gilt-edged opportunity early on but brushed off that disappointment with a competent midfield performance.

Dani Olmo (9/10):

Has been a constant threat throughout the tournament and produced a sublime bit of skill to give Spain the lead. He made sure Pedri’s absence was not keenly felt, with the RB Leipzig ace now in pole position to claim the Golden Boot.

Lamine Yamal (9/10):

When his team was up against it, the wonderkid scored a world-class finish into the top corner to level proceedings. Just when you thought he couldn’t do much more, the teenager tracked back well and made some important defensive clearances.

Alvaro Morata (6/10):

Did a lot of defensive work for his team and dropped deep to try and kickstart attacks. However, he perhaps needs to offer more in attack.

Nico Williams (7/10):

His pace and elusiveness is always something to be mindful of but he didn’t get much change out of Kounde.

Subs & Manager
Dani Vivian (7/10):

Provided a little bit more stability at the back when introduced in the second half.

Mikel Merino (6/10):

Showed some neat touches when he came on.

Mikel Oyarzabal (7/10):

Linked up well with his team-mates in a bright display off the bench.

Martin Zubimendi (N/A):

On in the final 10 minutes.

Ferran Torres (N/A):

Replaced Yamal in the closing stages.

Luis de la Fuente (7/10):

His forced changes all impressed and his team responded superbly to falling behind, again. While his team did allow France back into the game, this time they had enough to get over the line without extra-time.

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