- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
Spain - Sweden
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It’s all over! Sweden have held on for a draw in Seville, a point that they absolutely deserve for an extremely organised defensive effort. In truth Sweden could have won it had Berg converted his chance in the second half, although Spain will be able to point to plenty of opportunities of their own and a host of examples of profligate finishing. Group E is wide open!
A Moreno header slides wide and is that the last chance for Spain?
And another chance! Alba does amazingly well again to get in down the left and his clipped cross finds Sarabia. But the substitute doesn’t react in time and essentially knees a tame effort straight into the grateful arms of the keeper.
There will be six minutes of added time. Still hope for Spain...
Is that the chance? Moreno meets a cross with a flicked header, but his contact isn’t perfect and it gives Olsen the chance to produce a great reaction save. He should have scored.
Alba again makes the run down the left and clips in a cross towards Moreno, but the flag goes up for offside. Replays suggest that was probably the wrong call.
Back come Spain, with Alba again the out-ball on the left. He’s tried his best the captain, but Sweden have been quite happy to receive crosses into the box, knowing that they have the wood over the Spanish centre-forwards (so far anyway).
Seb Larsson, yes that one, draws a foul to give Sweden the chance to take a bit more time out of the game. He’s 36 now, Larsson, and frankly I half thought he’d retired, but he’s put a real shift in tonight.
Moreno whips a lovely ball into the box, but Danielson knows there’s nobody behind him and lets it run through to safety. It’s a real siege of the Sweden box now, but there haven’t been any great chances for Spain at all in this second half.
Alba skips past defenders in the box and hammers a ball across the face of goal, but it is cleared again. Spain are getting closer though, and the threat from Sweden seems to have gone since Isak went off.
Sarabia whips in a peach of a cross but it’s cleared by Sweden yet again. He looks lively, the PSG man.
Sweden clear but it’s long and aimless and back come Spain again. It’s a bit early to be punting it away like that.
The clock is ticking down as Spain continue to recycle the ball and look for gaps in the Sweden defence that don't seem to be there.
- OffDani OlmoSpain
- OnGerard MorenoSpain
Spain need a goal and who better to get one than Moreno. That's what Enrique will be hoping at any rate.
- OffFerran TorresSpain
- OnMikel OyarzabalSpain
Two further changes for Spain.
Llorente does brilliantly to keep the ball alive on the byline and cut hit back for Olmo. He’s been good all night and controls it well before seeing his shot well blocked by Danielson.
Spain have lost their zip a bit in this second half and are the feeling of desperation is increasing in the stands. Failing to win here isn’t terminal for their qualification chances, not by any means, but they had likely earmarked this as potentially the most likely three points in the group.
- OffAlexander IsakSweden
- OnViktor ClaessonSweden
Bringing Isak off does seem very strange given what has happened in this second half, but we'll see.
- OffMarcus BergSweden
- OnRobin QuaisonSweden
A double change for Sweden too.
Sweden sense they have a chance of a huge result here and are throwing a few more bodies forward on the limited occasions they have the chance to attack. The defensive banks are still there the rest of the time.
- OffÁlvaro MorataSpain
- OnPablo SarabiaSpain
The hosts really need some inspiration.
Changes for Spain...
It’s Isak again who looks to cause Spain problems on the break, but Laporte gets across him and comes away with the ball on this occasion.
The whistles are growing louder and louder in Seville and Enrique is preparing some changes down on the touchline. His side need it too.
What a chance! Sweden break and it’s Isak again who does amazingly well to keep the move alive with three Spanish defenders on him. The youngster somehow manages to squeeze a peach of a cross right into the feet of Berg at the far post, but the veteran somehow skews his effort wide when it looked easier to score. He buries his face into the turf in disappointment.
Alba launches another overlapping run down the left, but this time he is tracked well and the ball is shepherded out of play for a goalkick. Sweden seem much more in control in the second half, even if the look of the game is much the same.
Morata and Koke aren’t on the same wavelength and a Spain move breaks down, which is greeted by a chorus of whistles from the stands. Frustration is beginning to build (understandably) and the quality from Spain has also dipped since the restart.
Sweden power a couple of long throws into the box, but Spain deal with both.
Olmo, who has been lively all night, makes a good run into the box but isn’t quite picked out… which is admittedly tough given the banks of yellow-shirted defenders.
The second half has largely started in the same pattern of Spain dominating possession, except for that one set-piece opportunity for the Swedes. It’s not massively pretty to watch in truth, but Sweden won’t care if they somehow manage to pull this off.
Oh no! Sweden have Spain in all sorts of trouble with a deep set-piece cross that finds Lustig completely unmarked and with plenty of time to turn in a cross, with two teammates also unmarked in the middle. But he makes an absolute hash of it, failing to connect and tripping himself up. He won’t want to see that again.
- 2nd Half
We’re back underway in Seville and both teams are unchanged.
- End of 1st Half
And that’s half-time. Spain have dominated, but chances have been few and far between, and it’s Sweden who have come closest through Isak.
Olmo has a pop from range and forces a strong save out of Olsen. The rebound could have gone anywhere, but the keeper is relieved to see it spin back and wide of the post. He lets out a huge sigh of relief (quite literally).
Sweden haven’t been great in this half, but sitting deep and frustrating is quite clearly the plan. It’s risky, but when you’ve got somebody like Isak in attack then you’ve always got a chance.
Oh my word! Isak is all on his own and it’s virtually the first time he’s touched the ball, but he feints and weaves and finds some space for a shot in the box and sees his effort deflect off the covering defender and onto the post. That is so close to an opener for Sweden, and brilliant by Isak.
It’s almost a gift for Spain as Danielson misreads a cross and allows Morata clean through on goal. He’s got time and is well-placed, but curls his effort around the keeper and wide of the post. Should be 1-0.
But Spain deal with the whipped delivery well, and a foul by Ekdal on the edge of the box relieves the pressure.
A very rare foray forward from Sweden results in a corner as a deep cross is turned behind. These are the chances they’re waiting for…
Again Spain pour forward and Sweden are cut apart all too easily. It’s complete dominance from the home side, although they will be slightly concerned that their control of the game isn’t reflected on the scoreboard.
Koke can’t quite sort himself out a low cross finds him totally unmarked in the box. He blazes over from the penalty spot with the chance, and sinks into the net in disappointment. That was a great chance.
Luis Enrique is sat on a cool box. Bit odd, you’re not Bielsa mate.
Morata gets duped into making a foul as he tracks back and Sweden have some all-too-brief respite before the waves of Spanish passes start again.
Oof, Koke goes extremely close to scoring his first ever goal for Spain, slicing a shot wide of the far post as the ball breaks fortuitously to him in the box.
Here we go. Sweden work the ball forward and have a throw-in. That normally wouldn’t be a noteworthy moment, but everyone comes forward and it’s clear that the tactic is to bomb a long throw into the box. It doesn’t come to anything on this occasion, but the gameplan has been clearly laid out.
Sweden have barely got out of their own half so far, it’s been a chastening opening 20 minutes.
Another brilliant cross is scrambled behind by Sweden, they are on the ropes here.
That should be 1-0. A brilliant cross picks out Olmo in the box, but Olsen makes a stunning save.
Spain continue to dominate and Olmo draws a foul in a dangerous area inside the Sweden half.
There are two pretty outstanding club grounds in Seville, but instead this game is being held at the Estadio de La Cartuja, with its running track and frankly poor set-up for football. The original decision was probably due to the larger capacity, but with reduced Covid numbers it does seem a little odd.
Sweden clear the corner, but only as far as Olmo, who fires an effort a bit wildly over the bar.
Alba whips a dangerous ball across the box after getting played in down the left, but it’s turned behind for a corner.
Spain aren’t the possession-dominating team of old, but they can still keep the ball and that’s been the pattern of the opening stages.
- 1st Half
AWAY WE GO! Sweden, kitted out in all-yellow, get the game underway. Spain are in their usual red with a golden trim and dark blue shorts.
There's a bit of a delay to kick-off because one of the nets doesn't appear to be attached correctly. People are out there now with some string and scissors (I assume).
Here we go. The players are out and it’s time for the anthems.
The Spanish side will know all about Isak. The striker won the Young Player of the Year award in La Liga for the season just gone, and has more than enough about him to trouble Spain's new-look defence.
Here's a reminder of those XIs:
Spain: Unai Simon; Marcos Llorente, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba (captain); Koke, Rodri, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo.
Sweden: Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Marcus Danielson, Ludwig Augustinsson; Sebastian Larsson (captain), Albin Ekdal, Martin Olsson, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Alexander Isak.
Right, so back to this game. It’s a fascinating match-up this, the new young Spain versus the oldest team in the tournament. Two nations who are lacking the star power of previous iterations, but still have plenty about them.
To say that Schick scored twice barely tells the story. His second will go down as one of the all-time great Euro goals.
And poor Scotland’s 23-year wait for a major tournament match ended in disappointing fashion this afternoon, as Patrik Schick scored twice to earn the Czech Republic a 2-0 win at a stunned Hampden Park.
There was a pretty interesting game in St Petersburg earlier this evening, where 10-man Poland suffered defeat at the hands of a Skriniar-inspired Slovakia. You can read more about that here:
Spain midfielder Rodri has been speaking ahead of his nation’s opening game. The Man City man starts tongith in the absence of Sergio Busquets, and lines up alongside two Man City teammates in Ferran Torres and Aymeric Laporte. And Rodri says that club link is a real benefit to the side:
" The understanding with teammates is better if you have been better all year. You’re used to working in a certain way, all the more so if they’re positions that are close together: the centre-back with the pivot, the inside midfielders too. That creates associations that are beneficial. But we’ve all worked together with Spain for a year so we all understand each other anyway."
The big news for Spain is the selection of Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the defence. The Man City centre-back only switched allegiances to Spain from France a couple of months ago.
Sweden’s XI is largely as expected, with Markus Berg the presence for Real Sociedad’s exciting young forward Alexander Isak to work off.
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the Euro 2020 clash between Spain and Sweden in Group E.