New and improved video technology to aid the accuracy of officials’ decisions was out in force at the Stade de France and the latest trial of the new systems proved to be a big success.
Les Bleus star Antoine Griezmann headed in what appeared to be the opening goal in Paris shortly after half-time – and then wheeled away in celebration.
However, the striker’s celebrations were cut short when Layvin Kurzawa was shown to be in an offside position as he set up the Atletico Madrid striker.
The goal was subsequently disallowed.
Midfield maestro David Silva then converted from the penalty spot after a foul by Laurent Koscielny to put Spain one up, before the Spaniards again profited from technology as the referee reversed an offside decision that had initially ruled out Gerard’s Deulofeu 78th-minute effort.
The linesman’s flag was raised as Deulofeu tapped in Jordi Alba’s left-wing cross, but replays indicated the on-loan AC Milan winger was marginally behind Samuel Umtiti as the ball was played into the box.
WATCH BOTH OF THE KEY INCIDENTS BELOW:
🎥An example of how video assistant refs could be used going forward...— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 28, 2017
Griezmann scores but the video ref rules it out for offside: pic.twitter.com/r0IswV6EyI
Video tech at work in football:— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 28, 2017
Video assistant referee overruled the offside decision and allowed Gerard Deulofeu's goal against France 🎥 pic.twitter.com/SKiSpl3OuP
While there is still a long way to go before the football season finishes, but familiar faces are ruling the roost.
Among this list of the top three goalscorers so far for both club and country this term, Lionel Messi (44), Robert Lewandowski (41) and Cristiano Ronaldo (35) lead the way.
Messi has been really instrumental in keeping Barcelona’s Champions League and La Liga title bid alive this season, but has also led his Argentina side from the front.
Ronaldo might not have had the kind of goalscoring season with Real Madrid that he normally has, but he has been bang in form for Portugal.
And Lewandowski too has been really clinical for Bayern Munich as well as for Poland.
2016/17 goals for club & country— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) March 26, 2017
Messi: 44 goals in 44 games
Lewandowski: 41 goals in 42 games
Ronaldo: 35 goals in 48 games
The Real Madrid legend scored a brace as the European Champions stayed within three points of Group B leaders Switzerland.
Ronaldo was simply in stunning form and two goals increased his international tally to 70 from 137 appearances.
Indeed, since the beginning of 2016, the 32-year-old has been simply unstoppable in the international arena.
From goals to records, Ronaldo is showing no signs of slowing down.
If ever further evidence was needed, check out these stats here:
Cristiano Ronaldo is the 2nd European footballer in history to both score 70+ goals AND make 100+ appearances at international level. pic.twitter.com/1eLz4u9DLm— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 25, 2017
14 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 14 international games for 🇵🇹 since the start of 2016. Beast. pic.twitter.com/KMh5wgwQyb— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 25, 2017