In need of points, goals and mental rearmament after the defeat in Solna, the Spanish team aired Georgia, less combative than it was in Tbilisi. La Roja met with a serious first half and a more stupid second in which he could not round off a bigger win that would have been good for Luis Enrique’s footballers. With two more games than Sweden, they lead the group and surpass it by one goal on the difference of so many.
From the outset, the game was a nuisance and measured the mettle of a selection in which five changes were registered compared to the last game. In defense, the spine was maintained, with the only novelty of Gayá by Alba. Soler remained in the center of the field, accompanied by Marcos Llorente and Rodrigo. And above, Abel Ruiz and Pablo Sarabia escorted the untouchable Ferran. That second unit fulfilled, with a great version of the Valencian connection that they set up between Soler, Gayá and Ferran.
He had no other Spain to win after Sweden’s misstep. And look for a cluster of goals in case at the end of the qualifying phase there is a tie on points between both teams. The performance to reach the win was manual against a rival with a script in which it was only possible to defend and try to catch a counterattack. Wide field, fast circulations and precision in the final passes in the auctions. Georgia was locked up from start to finish.
Five long minutes it took to pass from the center of the field. There was no other game than the one that Spain wanted to play. Laporte and Eric García, who were hurt by Solna, marked the line. Rodrigo played easy in the safety passes and had a fine foot in the changes of orientation and in those who broke lines. From there, Spain found the holes on the sides. First on the left. Between Sarabia, Gayá and Carlos Soler they started the binge that La Roja had. The Valencian midfielder has come stomping in his first call. If against the Swedes he was the best of the midfielders, against the Georgians he was the first to discover how to crack the defensive system. It was delicate on the touch and harmful to uncover the hallways. From a sharp corner, the first goal was born. Gayá found the ball in front of the area and blew it up. The hard shot slipped through a forest of legs and hit a Georgian defender. Barely 10 minutes had elapsed and Spain achieved the goal of opening the can as soon as possible to avoid nerves and emergencies.
If the bugle call started on the left, it soon moved to the right. And there Marcos Llorente emerged, aligned this time as an interior. In the second of one of his classic breaks in speed, he won the baseline and his pass back was riveted by Carlos Soler, who in addition to being a constructor has presented himself as a finisher. Good news for Luis Enrique, who has been looking for hitting midfielders for a long time. Soler has raised his hand.
From another Llorente career came the third, with Spain already unleashed and a goal for Gayá had been disallowed shortly before. Ferran was the recipient of the pass from the Atlético midfielder. There is no doubt that he can play as a winger, just as Luis Enrique and Simeone do from time to time. But more true is that his number of unchecks to space and arrivals is much higher when he plays in more advanced positions.
With three goals in the bag, Spain went to rest with the feeling of having played what they had to play. The halftime came out more lazy and Georgia did it touched in pride, sharper. In less than five minutes, Sagnol’s footballers stepped on Unai Simón’s area more times than in the entire first half. That extra speed with which the Georgians used themselves cost Spain to tame. So much so that Unai had to work hard to deflect a shot from Mikautdaze against the post.
The shock once again set Spain firm, which stretched out in a precise counter. The Georgians fell asleep on a corner kick in favor. Launched Sarabia from his own field, he ran to the peak of the area and took a running pass with the outside to the other lane through which Fornals was coming. The latter, after seating a couple of Georgians, returned the gift to Sarabia for her to mark at will. The already Sporting de Portugal player continues to defend his calls, contributing overflow and goals. He has already added four since he was included in the Eurocup list, from which he was reinforced. Shortly after scoring, he left Abel Ruiz alone against Loria, who covered the shot with his chest. He was more hard-working fixing the center-backs and pressing the Braga striker to hit the shot, the great novelty of this list. Already in the first half he had another clear opportunity that he did not take advantage of.
With the 4-0, Luis Enrique made his debut for Robert Sánchez, who was waiting for the moment from the friendlies prior to the Eurocup. There was also a dance of positions to finish off a match in which a couple more goals would have been good for Spain.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.