Spain head coach Luis Enrique and his players leapt to the defence of Alvaro Morata after he was booed in their frustrating 0-0 draw with Sweden at Euro 2020.
Morata squandered Spain’s best chance of their Euro 2020 Group E opener when he fired wide with just Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen to beat on Monday.
Spain had dominated the match in Seville as they made 917 passes and enjoyed 85 possession, but lacked a cutting edge in attack.
Morata was even subjected to boos and whistles by a section of Spain supporters, having failed to register any of his three attempts on target before he was substituted in the 66th minute.
“He has the personality to endure it and I would more like [him] to be applauded,” Luis Enrique told a post-match media conference.
“Morata is a great player who does things well in attack and defence.
“I have heard the whistles for Morata but then he was applauded off. He does a lot for the team and he is used to these situations so I do not think it will affect him.”
95.3 – Spain still have a 95.3% chance of qualifying for the Last 16 despite tonight’s draw with Sweden according to our prediction model. AI.
With 20/24 teams having now played a game, see more data like this in the Euro Hub over on @OptaAnalyst.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 14, 2021
Spain midfielders Marcos Llorente and Pedri also backed Morata, who has not scored in his last four international matches, to come good.
“Today he was not lucky in the face of goal, but he will be,” Llorente said.
“I don’t think the whistles are good. Anyone who was inside would like to be supported and applauded.
“We’ve got two group games left and the support of our fans is a great help.”
Pedri added: “We can all fail, we all do. He [Morata] works a lot for the team and that can be seen on the field. He needs support. I tell people to keep trusting us, we are a great team.
“We created so many chances that I’m sure the goals are coming. I know there will now be good video analysis to see why it is we didn’t score.”
Luis Enrique felt the playing surface at Seville’s La Cartuja stadium hampered his players in front of goal.
He said: “What we try to do is to generate scoring chances, the field was not helping much. If you haven’t noticed the players have complained.
“We have generated chances, we haven’t scored them.”
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