Alex Salmond won at home last night.

And he won away too.

The First Minister was universally declared victor in his second and final debate with Better Together leader Alistair Darling by the international media.

Just three weeks earlier the same world outlets had called the first television duel for the former chancellor.

With Yes still lagging in the polls, some foreign journalists assigned to Scotland were beginning to worry they were witnessing a non-event. Last night they began to think they might have a big story on their hands after all.

Take Le Monde. France's most analytical morning paper reckons the SNP leader's "bulldozer tactics" won the day. "This is a turning point in the campaign the referendum: Alex Salmond dominated the final and lively television debate," it declared. The exact moment: when Salmond, "his elbow resting on the corner of his podium", asked Darling if he would accept the "sovereign will" of the people of Scotland on currency. "Pushed into a corner, the former Labour minister, who heads the No campaign for independence, can only agree," the newspaper's special correspondent Philippe Bernard concluded.

Germany's Die Welt, declaring "victory for the Yes camp in TV duel", also highlighted the "sovereign will" line, which played big in serious papers across the continent.

As with the last debate, overseas media do tend to take their cues from Scottish and UK titles - and snap opinion polls - to judge the winner of the debate.

But press across the world also riffed on the conclusions of the big wire agencies. Reuters, for example, declared Salmond the "easy winner" but added: "It wasn't clear if this would help him catch up in the polls." The giants of wire journalism reckoned Salmond was bruising, stressing that he talked over Darling but that his opponent, at times, had no "riposte" to constantly repeated questions.

Reuters last time round had called for Darling, not least after he challenged Salmond on a Plan B if his favoured option, a currency union with the rest of the UK, was refused. "This time," the agency said, "Salmond was more confident if equally vague."

Bloomberg, like many other outlets, was keener to know what the debate would mean for the rest of the campaign and the future of the UK. Salmond, it said, "regained momentum in his push to win independence from the U.K. after viewers of a televised debate judged him the clear winner".

Bloomberg has recently highlighted the views of Nobel-prize winner Joseph Stiglitz that a currency union was in everybody's best interests after independence. International observers have never been quite as certain as UK ones that Chancellor George Osborne's famous pound gambit was more than a campaign stunt.

But the Washington Post this morning stressed the currency issue had hurt Salmond on his last outing with Darling. "Salmond seemed much more assured than he did during the last time notably addressing early on the contentious issue of what currency an independent Scotland would use, an area that seemed to rattle him during their previous debate."

Its archrival, the New York Times, describing the encounter as "acrimonious" said Salmond had been "on the defensive on the pound during the first debate but was better prepared this time." The First Minister, it said, "appeared to gain the upper hand over his opponent".

Media most hostile to Scottish independence acknowledged the Salmond victory - but, as in the UK, chose to highlight the acrimony spotted by the New York Times. The Belfast Telegraph, for example, headlined that "Salmond shouted loudest in a night of aggressive argument". El Mundo in Madrid, describing the oil reserves and the currency as the main protagonists of the debate, said Darling had won the first debate but encountered a "more aggressive Salmond" in the second one.

As always, it was Spanish and Catalan media that had most to say about the debate. Nowhere - as even a quick glance at world news shows - is there more interest in Scotland.

Twitter analysis had shown Iberia light up with interest as the two men clashed last night. But even staunchly unionist Madrid newspapers, such as ABC, declared Salmond the "clear winner". Business daily Expansion said the SNP leader "shone".

Catalan social media was particularly interesting - and challenging for their nationalist allies in Scotland - as they took the opportunity to highlight the democratic credentials of Westminster and the BBC, for allowing and broadcasting such a debate.

In the Basque Country - Iberia's other potential new state - independence-friendly daily Deia was overjoyed by the Salmond win. The first minister, it said, had "crushed" his opponent.

But what will the debate mean for the prospects of independence, with polls still showing No ahead.

Walter Oppenheimer in Madrid's El Pais tried to provide some context. The frontmen of the two campaigns, he said, "clashed with unusual violence" in the debate. Analysts, he said, thought Salmond won. But would this make a difference? "Darling victory in the first face-to-face on August 5 didn't mean a rise in the number of No supporters," he cautioned. "The independentists ended up going up in the polls over the following weeks." (Oppenheimer also took the view that the two men - he called them "old foxes" - were not "completely edifying" as they shouted over each other.)

Perhaps Salmond, he asked, had "laid the ground for a revival" in the polls. Had Darling overplayed his pound gambit? "The public started to whistle when he returned the 'nth' time to the currency issue," he said. Instead, Oppenheimer suggested, Darling had appeared "cringing" when he was dragged in to defending his Tory foes.

The Labour man let Salmond pull him in to territory that suited him much less than currency: health, poverty and Trident. The headline on the Oppenheimer piece - evidence, if evidence was needed, of just how detailed some coverage Scotland has become - was that the two sides were "playing their last tricks".

Spain, of course, isn't the only European country struggling with sovereignty processes. In Russia, too, as the Ukraine conflict rumbles on, they are watching carefully how Scots vote.

Russian broadsheet Nezavisimaya Gazeta had a very stark header this morning: "In Britain they deal with separatists without shooting." London, it observed, has allowed Scotland to hold a vote. "There is no talk of the use of force," it said. But the paper wasn't very interested in who won the debate. It focused on the international realpolitik of next month's vote. The Americans, it said, are mostly worried about the fate of British nuclear weapons. "Just as Russian challenges borders in the east," it said. "Scotland is preparing to declare itself a nuclear-free state just four years after independence."

Cue a quote from former Nato head George Robertson on the "catastrophe" of independence for world security.