Pedri defends Alvaro Morata over fresh criticism following Spain’s draw with Sweden

Spain star Pedri has defended Alvaro Morata over criticism following La Roja’s opening game draw against Sweden.

Luis Enrique’s men got off to a slow start in their Euro 2020 campaign, drawing a blank against Sweden despite dominating possession and having a raft of good chances.

It was Spain’s failure to put their chances away that cost them all three points and that meant striker Morata was once again criticised, particularly after slotting a one-on-one wide in the first half.

But Barcelona midfielder and Morata’s La Roja teammate Pedri, who became Spain’s youngest debutant at a major tournament on Monday night, has defended the Atletico Madrid star.

“It’s much better when people applaud you than when they whistle,” he told Marca. “I want to stay with the people who applauded us, that are going to help us a lot more with the bad times.

“If we play the same game against Poland, they (chances) are going to go in. I think that Morata knows how to cope and in the next game he will score.

“He feels very good, he is very strong-headed. He is a great play, he gives us a lot, he is relaxed and he knows the goals will arrive, and I am sure that they will.”

Morata was whistled by some fans for his missed chances, as he was during Spain’s goalless draw with Portugal in one of their pre-tournament friendlies.

Despite that, he remains a favourite of Luis Enrique’s, and to his credit, Morata – who spent this season on loan at Juventus – did play well overall.

The problem for Spain is that they need more than to play well – they need goals – and that was shown rather clearly in the goalless draw with Sweden.

Nevertheless, the early suggestions are that Morata could keep his place for Saturday’s Poland clash with Gerard Moreno potentially coming in to start alongside him in the front three.

(Image by Getty Images)

Tags Alvaro Morata FC Barcelona La Roja Luis Enrique Pedri Spain