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Spain shows again that Euro 2020 will not go away easily

Maybe that’s not great Spain Team a decade ago, but the 2021 class won’t just go away.

There is a risk of going home early after it opens EM 2020 campaign with two slack draws, Luis Enrique’s team scored a 5-0 win over Slovakia to secure their place in the knockout rounds. Posted against Croatia, the 2018 runner-up, fell behind in the round of 16 thanks to a bizarre own goal; recovers to 3: 1, conceded twice in the last 10 minutes, which secures extra time; and then had to win the game again.

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After 120 minutes of chaos, finally Spain Won 5-3 and will either face France or Switzerland in the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg on Saturday. The win at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen was the first success in a knockout match at a major tournament since the Euro 2012 final and completed a hat-trick of the trophies after the success at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

This version of Spain may not have the talent of these teams, but they are not lacking in character. On that day it was embodied by the goalkeeper Unai Simon and striker Alvaro Morata certain.

It was Simon’s terrible mistake that led to that Pedri scored a barely believable 40-yard own goal to put Croatia in the lead. Then, with the score 3: 3 in extra time, Sporty Bilbao Goalkeeper held a spectacular save to fend off Andrej Kramaric.

Morata was the subject of death threats following his early appearances this summer and although he missed an early close-range header, it was his clinical graduation from a wonderful first touch that put Spain 4-3 ahead.

Enrique seemed like the only one at times to think Morata should be Spain’s first center-forward, but his confidence was repaid with an all-round performance that in some ways explains why clubs across Europe have paid out £ 170m combined for his services.

“It’s true, I’ve been through things that I didn’t like, but most of Spain is with me,” said Morata afterwards. “The goal is for my wife, my children and all the people who support me. To experience moments like this, you have to suffer.”

A team that has been criticized for not having the final product it deserves from its line-up has now become the first in the history of the European Championship to score five goals in a row.

“We had a chance to finish the game early, but we showed character all along,” said Sergio Busquets after that. “When Croatia changed their system, they flooded the field and we didn’t adapt quickly enough. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it 4-1 before they caught up.

“But overall, I’m so happy with the result, how we handled the extra time and that we’re in the quarter-finals.

“Unai Simon knows he has our full confidence. The goal was bad luck, but his mentality is very relaxed and ambitious and he showed that today.

He was ultra-safe after the goal and made some great saves. “

This is still an inter-era Spain and there are many issues that Enrique must solve before traveling there Russia for the next round – not least how his team managed to move from the 3-1 lead in 85 minutes to an extension in order to finally defeat Croatia – he can be satisfied that he has laid the foundation for another cycle of success to be able to lay.

Barcelona Midfielder Pedri, who is only 18 years old, has done an excellent job of helping Spain reach the edge of victory in regular time Ferran Torres was impressive in his role on the wing, scoring one goal and one assist. The 21-year-old showed in his first season Manchester city and should only get better. Eric GarciaThe only 20-year-old started out as a center-back and after limited opportunities at Manchester City, his move to Barcelona should accelerate his development.

However, Enrique didn’t just bet on teenagers and brought back his decision Cesar Azpilicueta has proven to be a masterpiece. The 31 year old Chelsea The defender made his debut in 2013 but had not played for Spain prior to the tournament since November 2018. Back in favor, he scored his first international goal that day to make it 2-1 for Spain and lasted Josko Gvardiol calm after the Croatian full-back caused so many problems Scotland in their last group game.

“We had to suffer,” said Azpilicueta. “It’s been a few tournaments since we played a knockout game, but today we broke the ice against the runners-up. It wasn’t great to score twice in regular time, but we were in overtime the better team. ” and we deserve to get through. “

Hit by Covid-19 during their preparations and finished second in Group E behind Sweden To land on the harder side of the draw, Spain is not making it easy at Euro 2020. They seemed to have a tough time against Croatia too, but by the end of the week they will be one of them with only eight teams left.

Quite simply, Enrique’s men refuse to go away.

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