Spain fail to impress but secure first Nations League victory

Spain have played better matches than the one they did against Switzerland on Thursday night without getting a result. Yet Luis Enrique will likely be happy to have broken their run of two draws before it became a stick to beat him with.

They did start better, with an intensity and a zip to the passing in the opening minutes. The press was working well too as Spain won the ball high up the park and set Marcos Llorente upon the Swiss defence. Shrugging off a challenge, Llorente squared it for Pablo Sarabia to tap in from close range. The goal was reviewed by VAR and it looked as if he were offside, but was given anyway.

The game then settled into a rhythm of Spain keeping the ball but providing less threat as the game went on. The highlight of the first half was some neat footwork from Gavi on the edge of his own box, the youngster continuing to prove he deserves his place in the squad.

The second half was marked by the increased ambition from the Swiss side. Although they struggled to get shots on goal, one in total, they did trouble Unai Simon. Several long balls over the top found space in behind the defence and Spain struggled to deal with it effectively.

From a Swiss perspective, they failed to show the necessary quality to punish that. Spain looked neat in possession but became more blunt with their substitutions.

The win does mean that Spain maintain a decent position in their group. Portugal lead the way on 7 points, trailed by La Roja on 5. It’s hard to know how much salt to add to these games and performances, with most players longing for their holidays, regardless of what the managers say. Spain continue to look strong, but so far not necessarily sharp.

Tags Gavi Luis Enrique Pablo Sarabia Spain La Roja Spain National Team
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