Spain does not shoot or shoot

Morata shoots on goal on the clearest occasion for Spain in the first half.

They say that reality is sometimes the scum of illusion. Of course, it was for Spain. Every premiere causes illusion. And it is possible that the harshest reality prevails: for this team the goal is as remote as a Martian journey. He did not have a drop of football left over, but a handful of occasions were not enough for him against racana Sweden, a team limited to entrenchment. The people, the Spanish, paid for it with Morata, taken as the cover of the greater evil of this Red. The Madrilenian did not hit the mark, nor did his successors: Gerard, Oyarzabal, Sarabia … It was useless for Spain to beat the ball with 917 passes (85% of possession) or 17 shots (only five on goal). For now, this Red shoots little and badly.

So novice is this Spain that Luis Enrique cradles that in the Eurocup premiere only three players with footsteps in major national team tournaments were enlisted from the start: Alba, Koke and Morata. Not counting their caps, the rest of the beginners averaged eight. A consequence of the constant nomadism of Spanish football since the candles of the streamer times were extinguished one by one. In Seville, after the many audits of the Asturian coach, a team in search of his dynasty at the foot of an everest, with the overload of failures chained since 2012.

Luis Enrique wanted to squeeze the 4-3-3 out of the box, with Ferran and Dani Olmo as wingers and Pedri and Koke as Rodri’s bodyguards in the midfield cabinet. Without spark for the overflow, only Jordi Alba and Llorente ventilated by the sides. More predictable was Spain by the funnel, blocked before the enchironamiento of Sweden, by La Cartuja only ready for defensive scrubbing.

La Roja lacked volume. A lot of play with the ball, but a lot of windshield play, too much parsimony. Not intrepid against the moth-eaten Swedish rival. Still, it didn’t take much to generate half a dozen chances in the first act. Olsen crossed Olmo’s path, which was thwarted by a header and a hemlock shot from outside the area. Koke got lost only in an arrestless finish at the penalty spot: the ball flew over the second amphitheater. A jaimited from the central Danielson cited Morata with the goal. His shot, face to face with goalkeeper Olsen, went into the void. The public took it with the Juventus striker, before and after, give him the chop. But in a Spain that is so little intimate with the goal, the striker has a capital subject. Especially when Gerard Moreno, the best Spanish scorer of the course, is on the bench in flip-flops.

In the dry, very dry grass of La Cartuja, the story of the match was reduced to the Swedish field. If not for Isak, Luis Enrique could have perpetuated the goal’s plot and saved himself a goalkeeper. As a tourist, almost the entire meeting, Unai Simón only focused on deflecting a misplaced cross and the first time Isak appeared, after 40 minutes. After a somewhat trumpeted play, the great Real forward scrambled and his pass to the net Llorente diverted it to the post to Unai’s left. From the absolute trifle, with his comrades with exclusive dedication to Olsen’s den, Isak was enough to keep Spain on alert. He repeated after the intermission, when he won and protected several balls that allowed his own to stretch. And he had air to leave Berg with the goal in the nose, but the boy had to step on the laces.

Luckily for the Spanish group, Jan Andersson, the rival coach, fired Isak a couple of minutes after Luis Enrique to Morata. A crossroads: the fans, as they had already done, charged against the Spanish. Isak returned the applause to the audience as he left. Morata is not the only way to goal, there are other shortcuts, others responsible for such a fallow.

Without Morata, Gerard did not appear either. Murmur in the stands. Sarabia did it and Ferran placed nine. There was no way. This Spain presses with courage, tries to give meaning to the game – even if it becomes rhetorical in many sections – but it does not find the target or shots. So, finally, popular jubilation: Gerard Moreno’s kite. By then, exiled Isak, Unai was literally installed in the middle of his own field. With Sweden resigned, Thiago was able to maneuver like what he is not, a defensive pivot. La Roja at the service of Thiago, Pedri and Koke’s ingenuity. Nothing. The same gave Gerard, Sarabia and Oyarzabal. More elemental than in the first half, the Red in the second created fewer chances. Until for the bravas, already shirtless, Gerard had the best. His header was rejected by Olsen with his right boot. Nor did Sarabia sink. Neither with one nor the other. For Spain, the goal is much worse than their worst nightmare. But football is so arcane, that the goal is so enigmatic when it goes like a sibylline when it returns.

Subscribe here to our special newsletter about Euro 2021

Leave a comment