La Roja finally clicked on Wednesday evening in Seville, producing a performance that they had threatened to for some time. Spain had been putting up better numbers than their results, and it all came together against Slovakia.
Spain won the game, their final of Euro 2020’s group phase, 5-0. A Martin Dubravka own goal gave them the lead before Aymeric Laporte doubled it with his first goal for the Spanish national team. Pablo Sarabia then made it 3-0, before Ferran Torres hit a fourth. Juraj Kucka then completed the rout with a fifth.
The result will have carried special significance for Luis Enrique. The Asturian coach had been under pressure for his bold decisions, but all paid off on a suffocatingly hot night at La Cartuja. Spain finished second in Group E, two points behind Sweden, securing a place in the last 16.
“How can I not be happy?” Luis Enrique said post-match in comments carried by Marca. He fulfilled his promise to “uncork the cava” and deliver the performance the fans were waiting for.
“The fans have enjoyed it and this win was very good. We have a strong staff and the atmosphere is very good; the group is prepared to overcome difficulties. We didn’t give up today and the cava was uncorked.”
Sergio Busquets delivered a man-of-the-match performance at the heart of the Spanish midfield, playing with competence and control. The Catalan was the undisputed boss on the pitch.
“He’s a player very misunderstood by many people, because he’s been around for many years and we’re tired of seeing him,” Luis Enrique said. “But he’s a unique player and a guarantee.”