Alvaro Morata wasted the very best alternative of a dominant first half, in which Spain churned out 419 passes,
Spain’s new crew struggled with the acquainted issues on Monday as a string of missed probabilities allowed Sweden to grasp on for a goalless draw in their Euro 2020 opener in Seville.
Alvaro Morata wasted the very best alternative of a dominant first half, in which Spain churned out 419 passes, essentially the most of any crew on document in the opening 45 minutes of a European Championship fixture.
But Luis Enrique’s crew misplaced their rhythm after the interval and Sweden would possibly even have received it, the superb Alexander Isak hitting the publish earlier than his strike companion Marcus Berg missed a sitter from two yards out.
A goalless draw leaves Spain enjoying catch-up in Group E after Slovakia earlier pulled off a shock 2-1 victory over Poland, elevating the stakes for the sport between Spain and Poland on Saturday, when a loser can be left struggling to qualify.
Another failure to convert possession into probabilities was harking back to current disappointments for Spain, most notably after they have been annoyed by Russia on the 2018 World Cup, earlier than going out on penalties.
In the wake of that defeat, Luis Enrique was tasked with launching a brand new period as coach, a venture that concerned selling a recent crop of gamers but additionally a extra direct, penetrative type.
His crew have been spectacular in the primary half, a far cry from among the ponderous passing shows that made Spain look outdated in current main tournaments.
But the second half drifted, maybe by means of a insecurity and even sharpness, given the crew have been unable to practice collectively for many of final week, separated in accordance to protocol after Sergio Busquets, nonetheless absent, and Diego Llorente examined constructive for Covid-19.
Sweden coach Janne Andersson, in the meantime, promised on Sunday his crew would “run like hell” they usually not solely defended resolutely however carved out arguably the 2 finest probabilities of the match.
Ibrahimovic’s inheritor obvious Isak impresses
Isak, the 21-year-old, who scored 17 objectives for Real Sociedad final season, confirmed why he is without doubt one of the most rated younger strikers in Europe and Spain would have been relieved when Andersson took him off with 20 minutes left.
The Spanish host metropolis was switched to Seville after Bilbao was unable to assure UEFA’s desired variety of followers and with 12,517 supporters inside La Cartuja, the environment was as heat because the climate, with the temperature over 30 levels Celsius.
Kick-off was briefly delayed whereas one of many nets was mounted and on the sideline Luis Enrique sat perched on the sting of an ice-box.
His crew swarmed throughout Sweden in the opening 10 minutes, racking up 100 passes to their opponents’ 13.
All Spain lacked was a final touch as Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres fired over early crosses earlier than Dani Olmo’s header was brilliantly pushed extensive by Robin Olsen.
Twenty minutes was up earlier than Sweden discovered a foothold in Spain’s half, a throw-in up the pitch prompting Andersson to leap off the bench and applaud.
But Spain saved passing and the probabilities saved coming, Koke steering extensive after one other drained Sweden contact in the realm after which ballooning over after he met Alba’s ball in.
The finest alternative fell to Morata, the ball discovering him in the field after Marcus Danielsson failed to clear Alba’s clip, however with the purpose gaping he curled his end extensive.
Already, Spain appeared to really feel the burden of their misses and Sweden nearly landed a sucker-punch, Isak’s end diverted by Marcos Llorente onto his personal publish.
The recreation drifted after the break and Spain light, their earlier urgency fizzling into one thing a lot much less convincing. Sweden ought to have taken the lead as Isak twisted and turned in the field, making sufficient area to drag a ball to the again publish the place by some means Berg failed to rating.
Both groups made modifications for the final 20 minutes, amongst them Isak going off for Sweden and Morata departing for Spain, changed by Gerard Moreno.
Spain surged in the ultimate minutes and Moreno nearly grabbed a winner, his flicked header flying in the direction of purpose however saved out by the precise foot of Olsen, who intervened once more in harm time to deny Pablo Sarabia.