Football Matches That Left Their Mark in 2021

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Another crazy year is over in the world of football with many memories for the fans who have been spoiled by many spectacular and, above all, exciting matches. We have chosen for you the matches that have attracted the most attention both at national and international level.

Belgium-France (Nations League)

The whole of Belgium was waiting for this match. The cruel defeat suffered in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup was still in everyone’s memory and Belgian fans were dreaming of getting revenge on their French neighbors. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned. In a match with a crazy scenario, Yannick Carrasco (37th) and Romelu Lukaku (40th) scored two goals giving Belgium the advantage, but Karim Benzema (62nd), Kylian Mbappé (69th, from the penalty spot) and Theo Hernandez (90th) turned the tables in the second half. This is another difficult setback for the Red Devils to digest, which will hopefully bring a lot of lessons for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

France-Switzerland (Euro 2020)

Here again, we find the Blues but with a much less favorable outcome for Didier Deschamps’ men. At Euro 2020, France was undoubtedly the great favorite to win the final. Welcoming the return of its striker Karim Benzema, after many years of absence, everyone imagined the French to go all the way. And they also obviously, perhaps a little too much… After having exited the group of death where they faced Germany and Portugal, the teammates of Kylian Mbappé found the “modest” Switzerland in the round of 16. Caught cold by a first goal of the Helvetians, France then put the blue of heating to completely reverse the course of the match and quickly lead 3-1 in the second half. Celebrating the qualification on the field, the players of France will then see Switzerland coming back from the devil at the end of the game to get extra time. As a sign of destiny, France will finally lose in penalty kicks on a miss of… Mbappé.

Croatia-Spain (Euro 2020)

Spain did not really start with the favor of the prognosis at the time of the Euro 2020. Croatia, finalist of the last World Cup, either. However, the two teams have delivered a titanic battle in the round of 16 of the European championship with a final success of the Iberians in extra time on the score of 3 goals to 5. The team with the chequered flag gave everything to get the qualification. Trailing 1-3 until five minutes before the end of the match, Luka Modric’s teammates threw their last efforts into the fight to push La Roja into extra time with an equalizer from Mario Pašalic in the last seconds of the extra time. Spain, taking advantage of the physical fatigue of their opponents, finally owed their salvation to Álvaro Morata, who was criticized by the whole country until then.

City-Leipzig (Champions League)

Many teams dream of succeeding Chelsea in the Champions League in 2022. Manchester City, in particular, is one of them. The Skyblues proved on the first day of the group stage of this 2021-2022 edition that they have the weapons to do at least as well as last season when they reached the final. Thanks to an incredible strike force, the Mancunians started their campaign with a spectacular win against RB Leipzig: 6-3! If at half-time the scoreboard was already 3-1, the two teams gave each other blow for blow after the break. Christopher Nkunku, author of a hat-trick, kept the Germans in the game but Kevin De Bruyne’s teammates finally showed their superiority in numbers and in the way.

Atlético Madrid-Liverpool (Champions League)

A match of unprecedented intensity! In the framework of the third day of the Champions League group stage, group B offered us certainly the most beautiful match of this beginning of campaign. While Liverpool thought it was easy to get a third win in a row by leading 0-2 at Atletico, the Colchoneros came back in the first half thanks to a double from Antoine Griezmann. Throughout the first half, both teams were nothing but attack-defense and gave us an incredible show. The tension rose again just after the break when the French international was directly sent off for a gesture considered too dangerous. If Madrid gave everything to keep the score, the Reds finally emerged thanks to a goal from the inevitable Mohamed Salah on penalty.

Lazio-Udinese (Serie A)

Many matches have marked this year 2021 in the biggest European leagues. The Serie A duel between Lazio and Udinese is certainly among the most intense. Eight goals, 3 reds and… 100 minutes of play made this match completely crazy. At the end of the fifteenth day of the Italian championship, at the beginning of December, this opposition should not really have been the talk of the world. In the rain of the Stadio Olimpico, Udinese took the lead at first and led 1-3 at the break. Lazio, in a burst of pride, came back into the game and completely reversed the trend. At the same time, a player from each side was sent off for yellow card abuse. Just when the home team thought they had clinched the win with eleven minutes left on a header by Francesco Acerbi, the Friuli representatives equalized at the end of the extra time. The German Tolgay Arslan made the whole club euphoric by forcing a tie in the 99th minute. The exclusion of a visitor, Walace, in the last seconds only accentuated the extraordinary side of this confrontation.

Oostend-Union Saint-Gilloise (Jupiler Pro League)

In the Jupiler Pro League, too, some incredible matches. On the 15th day of the league, Union Saint-Gilloise, the big sensation of this season, impressed everyone again by beating KV Ostend on their home ground. The Unionists were already leading 1-4 at the break before they scored three more pearls at the end of the second half. Deniz Undav, revelation of this first part of the season and best player of the competition, was the big man of this game with a quadruple. If it was not the most beautiful game of this season in Belgium, because of the lack of adversity for the players of La Butte, Felice Mazzu’s men deserve to be congratulated because they have really marked the spirits so far!