3 things we learned from Slovakia v. Spain
Spain hammered Slovakia 5-0 in Seville to advance to the last 16 of EURO 2020 as Group E runners up.
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Alvaro Morata had an early penalty kick saved by Martin Dubravka but he turned from hero to villain as he somehow slapped a high ball into his own goal to hand (literally) the lead to Spain.
Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres all scored for Spain to put further gloss on the scoreline, while Juraj Kucka scored an own goal to pile more misery on Slovakia.
With the win Spain finish on five points in Group E and finish second, as they will face Croatia in the last 16 in Copenhagen on Monday, June 28.
Slovakia finish third in Group E and will not reach the last 16.
3 things we learned, Slovakia - Spain
1. Morata continues to struggle: He had a penalty kick saved and he lacked conviction throughout. Morata’s movement created chances for Spain and he was applauded off the pitch, but like Higuain and Giroud in previous major tournaments for big nations, he’s a center forward who plays a key role without scoring. He has no confidence in his goalscoring ability right now, but Spain need him to be the focal point of their fluid attack. If he can do that well they can go far.
2. Simmering Spain will cause Croatia problems: Spain have played so well in their opening games but have failed to put their chances away. Then they battered Slovakia. That will give them a lot of confidence heading into the last 16 game and Enrique said he always believed the goals would come. Now that they have, Spain will cause Croatia problems. Their energy will offer Croatia a similar problem to the one England did. Between the boxes Spain dominate play but now they have to do that in the final third.
3. Dubravka goes from hero to villain: The Newcastle goalkeeper saved Morata’s penalty kick early on but then somehow slapped the ball into his own net, then came rushing off his line when he didn’t need to for Spain’s second. Dubravka is a fine goalkeeper but the own goal will be replayed time and time again.
Man of the Match: Pablo Sarabia - A constant threat on the ball, scored and buzzed around.
The first big action of the game was more pain for Spain, as Alvaro Morata had a penalty kick saved by Dubravka.
Koke was kicked by Jakub Hromada as the latter tried to clear and VAR intervened as a referee check on the pitch-side monitor saw the penalty awarded.
But Morata saw his spot kick saved as Spain has now missed their last five penalty kicks in a row. Sarabia and Pedri both went close for Spain as they should have scored, as chances kept coming for the home side in Sevile.
Morata then had a shot pushed away as Dubravka stood tall for Slovakia, but he then made a huge error to hand Spain the lead.
A shot hit the bar and looped up into the air, then Dubravka slapped the ball into his own net instead of tipping it over as Spain took the lead in extraordinary fashion.
Right on half time Spain doubled their lead as Aymeric Laporte headed into the top corner. Dubravka was caught out by Gerard Moreno and he crossed for the Manchester City defender to score.
In the second half the impressive Sarabia added extra gloss to the scoreline as he flicked home a lovely cross from Jordi Alba to make it 3-0.
Substitute Ferran Torres then scored with his first touch to make it 4-0, then Kucka scored an own goal to make it 5-0 after substitute Pau Torres caused problems.
Slovakia had no answer to Spain’s domination, as Luis Enrique’s side eased through to the last 16.