Spain v Sweden Match Analysis

Euro 2020

Woeful finishing condemned Spain to a disappointing start to Euro 2020 with a draw against Sweden. La Roja completely dominated the Swedes throughout the game. But they forgot to bring their finishing boots and were left humbled. Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata were particularly culpable of squandering good chances. Sweden game was bolstered by top performance from goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

Match Review:

Spain vs Sweden

La Roja completely dominated the Swedes when it came to possession and chances. Spain started on the front foot; methodically picking apart the Swedish defence. The first good chance came a quarter hour in. Koke curling in a cross to find Dani Olmo, whose header was saved by Olsen. Following this, Koke received several chances, none found the target. Morata found a supreme chance after a defensive mistake by the Swedes. But the Juventus striker failed to convert, leaving Luis Enrique in dismay on the sidelines.

Isak was a major threat to the Spanish defence. He managed to beat 3 defenders and cross for a wide open Marcus Berg, who fluffed his effort. Spain displayed a lethargic performance moving late into the second half. Luis Enrique went to his bench for the first time; bringing in Pablo Sarabia for the wasteful Alvaro Morata, Thiago replaced Rodri. Shortly thereafter by Moreno and Mikel Oyarzabal for Olmo and Ferran Torres. Spain mounted more pressure in the final quarter hour, aided by Fabian Ruiz. The home side had one last crack in the dying minutes. Moreno’s header was denied by Olsen on a reaction save. Leaving Spain to settle for a point.

Tactics Review:

Teen Magician Pedri in Action

Luis Enrique pulled out a few surprises in his starting XI. Alvaro Morata and Jordi Alba started ahead of Gerard Moreno and Jose Gaya. FC Barcelona star Pedri started alongside Rodri and Koke in the midfield. The big surprise in the Spain lineup is Marcos Llorente starting at right-back over César Azpilicueta.


Starting XI: Simón; M. Llorente, Laporte, Pau Torres, Alba (c); Koke, Rodri, Pedri; F. Torres, Morata, Olmo (4-3-3)

Bench: De Gea (GK), Sánchez (GK), D. Llorente, García, Azpilicueta, Gayà, Thiago, Fabián, Sarabia, Oyarzabal, Adama, Gerard


Starting XI: Olsen; Lustig, Lindelöf, Danielson, Augustinsson; Olsson, Ekdal; Larsson (c), Forsberg; Berg, Isak (4-2-2-2)

Bench: Johnsson (GK), Nordfeldt (GK), Bengtsson, Svensson, Helander, Sema, Krafth, Claesson, Jansson, Quaison, Larsson, Cajuste

A clueless Morata

Alvaro Morata had been insignificant in his role. It was a surprise to see him start ahead of Gerard Moreno who has been prolific and consistent in role. It was a match to forget for Morata. Got into several good positions but failed to add a finishing touch. In the first half, should have pounced on a rare slip from Marcus Danielson but fired wide without testing Robin Olsen.

Sweden put up a solid performance despite the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alexander Isak was the player who posed Spain most problems. He was not regularly active; but when he was involved, he was typically dangerous. A break down the right channel in the first half resulted in Marcos Llorente clearing against his own post. In the second half he squared for Marcus Berg after a forceful run only for the veteran to miss from five yards out. Close to being decisive.

What next?

Spain play their next match against Poland on 20th June at Sevilla’s La Cartuja. Sweden plays Slovakia on 18th June at Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky.

Author: Aditya Desai

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