Spain seal top spot in group of death with win

Spain 1-0 Albania

Spain did not have it all their own way against Albania in their final group game of Euro 2024 in Dusseldorf, but ultimately they stayed perfect through to the knockout stages. Despite being drawn in the supposed group of death, Luis de la Fuente’s side made it through with three wins out of three, having not conceded a goal.

Albania started off well, coming out the blocks fast, but they were stopped in their tracks and forced to run back when Aymeric Laporte found Dani Olmo in space. He slid Ferran Torres in behind the right-back, and his first-time left-footed finish went in off the post.

At that point it looked as if Spain would take over, as Olmo worked his magic and Alejandro Grimaldo steamed down the left. De la Fuente made 10 changes from the Italy match, with Aymeric Laporte the only player retaining his spot, but there was no lack of cohesion, with David Raya making just one save of note in the first half.

After a good start to the second, Olmo came close again with more magic, while Fermin Lopez came on for his competitive debut on the hour mark. Albania knew they needed at least a point if not three though, and began to push forward. While they created little, they did apply some pressure.

Lamine Yamal and Alvaro Morata were sent on to stem the flow of attacks, and the former nearly sliced open the Albanian defence with a brilliant touch, only to err with his pass thereafter. Armando Broja had Albania’s best chance in stoppage time, but could only toe the ball towards goal – Raya dived for a comfortable save.

It’s been an excellent start for Spain, and while this was their least impressive of the three performances, it was a heavily a rotated side, and the least important of their three fixtures. De la Fuente could scarcely have asked for more, and while Spain have looked exciting going forward, their defensive record is perhaps the most promising part of their group stage, as the least reliable part of their game.

Tags Albania Euro 2024 Ferran Torres Spain La Roja
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