After beating Scotland 3:1 and entering the second place in the group the next day after entering the 16th round, Croatia learned that the opponent in Copenhagen next Monday at 6 pm will be Spain. She was the most difficult opponent she encountered in that group on paper and in practice, but she was by no means invincible. In addition, there may be no other national team’s performance in the European Cup that split the world football public so much.
In the first two games of the group stage, against Sweden and Poland, the Spaniard only scored 2 points and scored only one goal. This started the story of Furi’s offense and the uselessness of high ball possession, continuing the previous large-scale games in Spain. Was eliminated earlier than expected.
Unlike the World Cup in Russia, Spain actually performed well in the group stage, although the results against Sweden and Poland did not benefit them. After the first two rounds, Furija has the most passes, the most possessions, the most shots and the most scoring opportunities created. In addition, the defense also worked-they made the opponent the least number of shots, and their press was undoubtedly the most successful in the championship game. Obviously, for the four unconquered points, the realization is worth it, but if we want to talk about how a team is performing, then the result of reducing the story to only the goal and a sample of two games is not the best of.
In the decisive match against Slovakia, the goal finally came. Although at the beginning of the game, the Spaniard once again failed to grasp several wonderful opportunities including penalty kicks, but in the 30th minute, Slovak goalkeeper Dubravka gave them an own goal and the shot started. At the end of the game, Laporte, Sarabia and Torres scored a goal, and the Spaniard celebrated with an own goal.
Although the Spaniard’s game against Sweden and Poland clearly controlled the game and created as many as 9 great opportunities, some control mechanisms did not work. As shown in the picture below (left), the Swedish team has a very tight defense in the 4-4-2 formation, while Luis Enrique’s idea of possession is relatively conservative, and he is worried about the Swedish team’s change. Enrique ordered his midfielders Pedri and Cork to stand quite low in order to better control the ball. In this case, teams similar to Spain usually send two defenders forward to widen the width. However, the width on the right is controlled by the right wing Ferran Torres, and Marcos Llorente (right back) enters the middle to play the fourth midfield, allowing Spain to better control the transition of the ball.
The reaction after losing the ball was very good, allowing them to control the ball as high as 85%, but due to the more conservative setting of Pedri and Cork, the Swedes controlled the yellow-marked center area around the penalty area well, with two The low offensive player blocked the flow of the ball through the connecting line. Spain created a surplus through the left alone, Olmo moved to the center, opening up space for Albi, allowing him to run recognizable and the center to shoot. But even in the Swedish team’s defense against the Spaniards, goalkeeper Olsen had to defend a few goals to end the game without a goal.
Enrique has improved some elements of possession in the game against Poland, but against Slovakia, Spain has completely penetrated. This time he decided to move Pedri and Cork closer to the penalty area, keep the defenders low to control the back line, and use his wings to order them to stand along the outside line and provide width. Therefore, Spain is in a favorable situation in all aspects of the field-relative to its opponents, there are too many players. By lowering Morata slightly from the previous games and the return of Sergio Busquets, who is still one of the best passers in the world, they created without problems even in the central area around the penalty area. With a surplus, it is more dangerous than attacking from the side. Through these adaptations, Enrique makes defending opponents more difficult, and Spain can easily enter a dangerous situation. The goal is a reward.
Expected goals (xG) is a metric that calculates the probability of each shot scored based on a large sample of similar shots. According to SofaScore’s data, the Spanish team collected more than 5 expected goals in the first two games and only scored one. This trend is simply unsustainable, and the Spaniards are a little unlucky. They will not have the opponent’s goalkeeper defending a five-pointer in every game, just like Gerard Moreno and Morata will not continue to miss penalties. The opportunities created by the Spaniard are too good for anyone at the level of football to continue to miss. They proved this in the match against Slovakia.
But the problem still exists.
Looking at the staff invited by Luis Enrique, it is obvious that there are 24 top players, but it is difficult to say whether Spain has the best players in the world in at least one position, because Spain has at least five or six at the beginning of the last decade . The particularly problematic attacker is the implementer. Morata has performed very well this year, but the statistics that he has missed 15 great opportunities in 11 goals in Serie A are once again shocking. He is the only center forward among Spanish officials.
Danny Olmo scored 5 goals in the Bundesliga, Ferran Torres scored 7 goals in the Premier League, Pablo Sarabia scored 6 goals in the French League, and Mikel Oyazabal scored in La Liga 11 balls. Gerard Moreno has become the most efficient player to date with 30 goals in all competitions, but like all the other players listed, he is oriented towards creating others and manages in a more hidden role between the lines Better, he can dribble and assist teammates, and most of his goals come from penalty kicks and background pitches.
Spain, even at a younger age, did not have an elite scorer center. This is one of the problems he must endure, and hopes to continue to create enough opportunities that it is impossible to miss all opportunities.
Speaking of the national team staff, the words “reinforcement” or “transfer” are rarely heard, but this is exactly what Laporte said to the Spanish national team. The French Basques were dissatisfied with Didier Deschamps’ distrust, who never invited him to participate in the French national team, so they decided to use the rights he had gained from playing for Athletic Bilbao for more than 10 years to play for Spain. Luis Enrique’s decision not to lead the national team captain and number one Sergio Ramos to the championship due to frequent injuries further emphasized the transfer. At that time, it was certain that Laporte was becoming the most important part of Fury’s defense. He temporarily confirmed this.