Luis Enrique: “There are no small rivals, especially when they’re playing a low block”

La Roja mounted a remontada to beat Georgia 2-1 this evening in Tblisi in the second match of the qualification phase for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It was an important game to get Luis Enrique’s men off to a good start in their group, all the more so after their disappointing 1-1 draw with Greece at Los Carmenes during the week.

Spain started reasonably well but were aware of the threat Georgia, who went into the game without fear and backed by a noisy crowd, posed, and it was made real shortly before half time. The ball fell to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in a good position, and he made no mistake with an accurate finish.

La Roja

Spain got back on level terms ten minutes into the second half, however, when Ferran Torres met Jordi Alba’s cross at the back post. They found the winner in the 93rd minute through Dani Olmo, who fired his country into the lead from distance.

Georgia were then reduced to ten men after Nika Kvekveskiri saw red for a shocking challenge on Pedri, and Spain had done enough. A big result for Luis Enrique and his team.

La Roja

“I’m on the verge of a heart attack,” Luis Enrique said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We played a lot and the game, as it was, cost us a lot. We’ve been losing confidence and we haven’t been finishing chances. We conceded from a slight defensive error. We knew the second half was going to be complicated.

“Unfortunately, this is going to be the film against Kosovo too. We’re not as lucid as usual, you can see it. We’ve changed seven players, and the supporters [in the stadium] works in favour of the opposing team. Georgia have surprised me for the better.

“It’s always going to be like this. There are no small rivals, especially when they’re playing a low block. If you have lucidity you can solve those situations, but today the ball bounced around like a rabbit. If you’re not inspired you will suffer.”

Tags La Roja Luis Enrique