Euro 2020: Spain top goals with concerns ahead of semi-finals
Posted On July 4, 2021
Spain qualified for the semi-finals of the European Championship as the best team in the tournament. Don’t be fooled, however. The biggest flaw in Spain’s quest for a third continental title over the past four editions is its shortcomings in attack.
Take for example the victory against Switzerland in the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 on Friday, for example. The Spaniards managed 28 shots in a game that ended in extra time and penalties and in which the Swiss played around 45 minutes with 10 men.
In the end, it felt like shooting practice against overworked Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Still, Spain finished the 120 minutes after having to count on an own goal in a 1-1 draw, and even missed two of their penalties in an error-ridden shootout that the team won 3-1.
The problem for Spain coach Luis Enrique is that he has nowhere to turn.
First-choice striker Alvaro Morata has full backing of Luis Enrique, but – not for the first time in his career – looks like a player in disbelief, having suffered abuse on social media after missing many great chances in the group stage.
Gerard Moreno is the other striker for the Spanish team for Euro 2020 and replaced a tired Morata after just 54 minutes against Switzerland. The Villarreal player, who scored 30 goals last season in Spain, was given at least four clear scoring opportunities – one coming from inside the six-yard penalty area – but wasted each of them. they.
Of Spain’s 12 tournament-leading goals so far, Moreno has none and Morata has two. “It’s pretty clear what Morata and Gerard went through here,” said Luis Enrique.
Spain made their way to the semi-finals in an unconventional way, shooting their first two games – scoring just one of their 29 shots on goal against Sweden and Poland – then finally finding an advantage in a 5-0 victory in the must-win the game against Slovakia. Then came that crazy 5-3 victory over Croatia in the round of 16 which seemed to be a turning point for Spain’s attack.
Switzerland’s match showed the opposite. One thing that will satisfy Luis Enrique is that Spain had six different goal scorers at Euro 2020. The midfielder is performing well, with a record number of possessions of 67.2% and the best passing accuracy of any team. at 89.4%.
According to UEFA statistics, Spain recorded 365 attacks in the tournament, 69 more than second-placed Italy. Only three teams have more than 200.
It’s fine if there are attackers out there to finish them off. But that’s not the case as Spain head to a semi-final game against a defensive giant in Italy.