Despite ruining a few golden opportunities in Spain’s opening match of Euro 2020, striker Alvaro Morata has received backing from head coach Luis Enrique.
Spain started off their campaign with a Group E match against Sevilla on Monday, 14th June, at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. The game ended in a 0-0 stalemate, but the hosts had plenty of opportunities to take all three points from the match.
La Roja had 17 attempts on goal, but they lacked the clinical edge, as only five of those attempts were on target. While the list of Spanish players who missed gilt-edged opportunities is a long one, Morata is arguably the first name on that list.
The Spanish forward missed two clear opportunities, and in one of those chances, he was through on goal and had only Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen to beat. Unfortunately for him and his nation, Morata dragged the shot wide.
Morata’s performance against Sweden has made people draw comparisons of the Atletico Madrid striker, who spent the last season on loan at Juventus, with the former Spanish forwards like David Villa and Fernando Torres, who were known for their clinical finishing.
Amidst all the criticism, Morata has received praises from his head coach , who went on to say that the striker had a great game.
“”I think Alvaro had a great game. Of course we all want to take our chances, but other players had chances too.
We are going to analyse this game in detail as we always do. But in this case I think it’s really clear, we’ve all seen what happened this evening so there’s really not too much to go into.
We were by far the better team. We had sufficient chances to win the game. What went wrong? It’s the fact we didn’t take those chances.,”Enrique said after the match, as quoted by Daily Mail.
Enrique declines to opine on Sweden’s approach
Like Spain, Sweden has also been criticised, albeit for different reasons. Janne Andersson’s men looked threatening when they tried to attack, but they didn’t for the majority of the game.
Sweden played a defensive game right from the first minute, which made the match not as interesting a watch as many had predicted it to be. Given the firepower they have got upfront, fans and pundits have been questioning whether Sweden should have been more on the front foot, which could well have resulted in them taking all three points.
Luis Enrique, however, has opted not to opine on his opposition’s strategy. When he was asked about this, the former recipient of the FIFA World Coach of the Year award said:
“The coach decided how he wanted to play, and that’s completely right of course. At times you can make that decision and the other team can outdo you. They played the way they usually do against us with two strikers. But I really don’t have an opinion on that, that’s a question for Mr Andersson not me.”
Slovakia pulling off an upset by beating Poland earlier in the day has made Group E one to watch out for in this competition. Spain’s next match is against Poland on Saturday, 19th June. They will end their group stage campaign against Slovakia. Enrique’s men will play all of their matches at the Estadio La Cartuja.
Sweden, on the contrary, are not as privileged, as they will travel to Russia to take on Slovakia on Friday, 18th June. In their last group stage match, they will take on Poland.