Giorgi Loria, apparently a Georgian goalkeeper, got Spain out of trouble around the 92nd minute. At that time, Qatar 2022 was not so in sight. The frustrating Red against Greece had not managed to come back against Georgia, an equally flat rival, until in the last blink Dani Olmo shot many blocks from Loria and Loria swallowed the goal. The man flew in for a poster, but pulled out plasticine hands. A total snort from Spain, team of ashes in the first act and only improved when after the break he was on the canvas, sounded as groggy. It grew, without fanfare, to the same extent that Georgia was withering, which does not give much, even though it had the Red one a step away from a major fiasco.
Suddenly, this Spain is not going at all, obfuscated before adversaries with no other recourse than the well-armored blind. As against Greece, the visiting team lacked both ingenuity and shrapnel.
Georgia, a selection of wild air, was about to goring Spain, unexpectedly convalescing in its toll towards the World Cup in Qatar. The seized Red against Greece was an even fainter Red against the Georgians for almost an hour. Not even with seven changes between game and game did Luis Enrique’s team start to wake up. For Tbilisi, another ulcerative Spain. So much so that he raised a white flag against Kvaratskhelia, a Russian Rubin boy who was not considered a football troubadour. A tongue breaker for a disturbing possible outrage. Not only because of his goal, but because even the red rebound the boy rose above any Spaniard, were the promising Bryan Gil or Pedri, or the praetorians Busquets, Alba, Morata … until the Red was seen on the wire , the party caught him by the chest Kvaratskhelia, one line from entering the history of Spain if not for Ferran and Olmo.
Again a blurred Red, unable to break through before an opponent with no more tonnage than courage. A selection that sweats like a shower, without more. Georgia huddles like a musketeer on defense and catches the trail on the counter. Nothing revolutionary. The planned. The same was true. Spain, aware of the thousands of rivals so it has had and will have, was nothing in the first act. Two auctions. One from Ferran who rejected the local goal and another from Ferran who blew up in row forty of the stadium. La Roja: eleven solitudes. Eleven Babelic outsiders in the collective game without a soloist to break tedious protocol. All routine passes, subordinate, without spice. In Tbilisi, the plot was the business of this Kvaratskhelia, who tied up a very simple Georgian counter and beat Unai Simon. He had already made a stir before. With Spain strolling against Greece or Georgia, anyone could deserve a cover.
Luis Enrique’s team did not strike. It didn’t hit a crack. Nothing was harmonious. Not a dissident, a discharge. La Roja curled up until the break. Luis Enrique then intervened, with Dani Olmo and Iñigo Martínez for Bryan Gil and Diego Llorente. The game did not improve much, but there were sparks from Jordi Alba. Morata did not hit his center, but Ferran did to make it 1-1. All a relief for the Spanish. Gradually Georgia lost deposit and already Kvaratskhelia began to resemble Kvaratskhelia. And Georgia was already Georgia. What it is: a dedicated team, ready to leave its heart in the bones, period.
The solutions were where Bryan Gil and Ferran had not found them at first: along the banks. On the roads of Alba and, later of Marcos Llorente, relay of the newcomer Pedro Porro. To the selection of the French Sagnol every time the defensive aid was more difficult, to swing from side to side. There, on the outside, were the evacuation routes for Luis Enrique’s boys. Nobody interpreted it better than Jordi Alba. He put the improved Spain into orbit, well supported by his partner Pedri. Alba, captain once Busquets retired for Oyarzabal, in his fetén version. The punctual is not there, but it comes and goes. It is not a matter of going and going, but of being on time at the right time.
With Alba as a rower, he did not seem to reach this Red with water pistols. That Spain, the one in this window, not the one in November against Germany (6-0), which unexpectedly neither plays nor shoots. Two problems heading to Qatar 2022, with a previous stop at the immediate Eurocup in June, when Dani Olmo recalled that Loria was in Georgia, a goalkeeper who had been seen as little as the Greek. Something was breaking, who knows if chronifying, in Spain, when Olmo left Loria in a bad way. A full-fledged rescue without Ramos to remove it.