Spain has endured a disappointing opening game at Euro 2020 as they have failed to fully pay for their dominance against a solid and stubborn Sweden in Seville.
Luis Enrique‘s team had a lot of space and territory for the game, which was sometimes more like an attacking session than defense. But they failed to take advantage of the good opportunities they had created in their build-up game.
The best fell to Alvaro Morata, who was allowed in on goal. By a fluffed attempted clearance from Marcus Danielson. But side-footed his shot wide.
Sweden’s best chance fell to young La Liga player of the year Alexander Isak. He had the opportunity to catch a deflected Spanish defender, hit the post. And headed straight for the grateful goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Isak also presented an excellent opportunity for his colleague Marcus Berg. He somehow managed to lead the shot to the nearest space in the back.
The result will not help much heighten feelings of decline in the Spanish public.
They have seen preparations for their national team shrouded in a collapse of Covid-19. Two-player tested positive, and the controversy to team selection.
Guessing in Seville means Slovakia got their first chance in Group E. With their 2-1 win over Poland earlier on Monday.
No nation has been better prepared for this tournament due to Covid-19.
No nation has been better prepared for this tournament due to the global epidemic. But the construction of a few cases has been as problematic and divided as in Spain.
The most famous Sergio Ramos has left many Spaniards more optimistic than expected.
While not the patch on any team to have won three consecutive major tournaments between 2008 and 2012. This is still a talented team full of speed and vision.
This was born out throughout the game, as the red and blue side shifted their opponents on the pitch. Moving consciously to the opening and opening of Barcelona’s youthful Pedri stand out.
In the first half alone, they completed 419 passes. The highest in the first 45 minutes of a European Championship match. Since data analysts Opta began collecting such data in 1980.
What Luis Enrique started with XI lacked was a finisher.
Morata has 19 international goals for his name and many of the biggest clubs on his CV. But he went through the competition and wasted his time when we arrived.
Gerard Moreno scored 30 goals for Villarreal last season sat on the bench until the 75th minute. And missed his big chance during a head injury saved by Olsen. It was one of only two attempts at the second half.
Sweden will be happy to frustrate the giant side in their backyard. It was not good, but it worked with great success. It is an agreement of the moral and ethical side of the spades.
Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof is sometimes a defender awarded by England fans. But here, he has been very high.
With the evidence of these two games, we have seen so far in Group E. It will be interesting to watch it until the end.
Should Spain worry about the opening draw of Euro 2020?
After the bold election of a team that angered large sections of the Spanish media. It would not have taken much of the growing pressure on manager Luis Enrique.
So Spain’s 0-0 draw against Sweden. Which leaves them behind Slovakia in Group E was far from the start of Euro 2020.
In the final whistle in Seville, managers are whistled by home fans. And some players left talking about “shutting down” their critics.
Spain enjoyed entire Swedish rule: 85% of the assets and significant passing of 917. The highest figures in the European Championship since 1980 is as far as Opta records are concerned. But in all their good play, they had no cutting edge.
In the first half alone, Dani Olmo saw the head cut off. Koke cut the effort past the post with Alvaro Morata, a number nine. Wide-legged after being allowed to enter the post by defensive error.
Morata’s appointment has been one of the hallmarks of the manager’s departure. And he was taken over by Gerard Moreno, the Villarreal striker who scored 30 goals last season.
‘Spain are the only ones to blame by themself.’
“If 10 passes were like a goal, how far would Spain go?” asked Karen Carney, a former Englishman.
“I always think of Belgium and Romelu Lukaku. The nine in the burning are all the Spaniards who are missing. They have everything to move forward.”
“Spain are the only ones to blame by themself,” said former England captain Alan Shearer. “They made enough chances. The reason they didn’t score was because of their shocking finish.”
Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, who played his first game in Spain, defended Morata.
“We know what he can do,” he said. “It’s not enough for him today. It’s true, but in the next game he can get three points and shut everyone up. Let’s hope so. We have to win the next game.”
Whistling? ‘I wish they wouldn’t.’
Spain can take comfort in the fact that they started small in the tournament and won. In fact, in 2010 they were beaten 1-0 by Switzerland in their first match and then won the World Cup.
This time, they play all three group games in Seville. And hope to get more support from home fans in their next two games, against Poland and Slovakia.
“If the crowd whistles at all we should not panic. And I wish we wouldn’t do it,” said defender Marcos Llorente. “We have two games left and the support from our fans is very helpful.”
Laporte added: “The team is going to feel bad after all the effort we have made and the chances we have.
“But we have two games left, and we will try to do better. If we played like that in 10 games, we would have won nine of them.
“We’re not worried, it wasn’t meant to be today. But it will help us in the next game.”
“We really want to see that support from the fans,” said Luis Enrique.
“That’s football though. It would have been nice to give the win to the fans because they were having a lot of fun in the game.”
‘Not the End of the World ‘
Cesc Fabregas was part of that team in 2010 and expected Spain to come out well.
“It’s not how you start. It’s how you end,” he said. “Spain has enough quality to at least surpass the group stage.
“They have to look at the first half. And do good things there, even though they did not take advantage of them.
“Spain is not lost. It is not the end of the world and I believe they will grow. We have to improve, for sure.”
Whether they are making progress is one thing. But Spanish soccer expert Guillem Balague says that whatever they do. They will not change the way they work.
“A lot of what Spain did was amazing. There were lovely triangles in the center of the pitch and outside with the defenders.
“But in the end when they had to make the final passage that didn’t happen often enough,” he said.
“So it was very worrying because here it is, that’s all Spain has. This is what we’ll see in the next two games.”
Luis Enrique added: “We are still looking forward to winning the team. Otherwise we will fight for second place. And if we don’t do that we will try to be one of the best teams in third place.”