Alvaro Morata told his Spain team-mates to expect more negative tactics in their next World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Sunday.
Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the country’s opening Group B fixture in Granada on Thursday as their opponents set up defensively straight from kick-off.
Morata put Spain ahead with a stylish volley, but visitors Greece equalised with their only shot of the game courtesy of a Anastasios Bakasetas penalty.
Spain monopolised possession with 79.9 per cent and made 920 passes with a successful accuracy of 92.4 per cent.
However, Greece’s defence stood firm as they won 42 duels to Spain’s 33 with Georgios Tzavellas making the most clearances in the game and Konstantinos Tsimikas the most tackles on either side with five apiece.
Morata predicted Spain’s players will face more teams who will try to stifle their play, starting with Georgia at the weekend.
“We’ll have lots more games with rivals who try to do this to us,” Morata said in a post-match media conference.
“We knew how Greece were going to try and play us this evening. Any international side which knows how to defend can make things difficult for you.
“In fact, Georgia play in a similar style. We need to get used to having complicated moments and trying to get the best from them.
“We have to draw the positives from this match and keep on working hard.”
36 – The Spanish National Team have scored in each of their last 36 World Cup Qualifiers games (96 goals), their best run in this competition. The last time they went without scoring was against Serbia in March 2005 (goalless draw in Belgrado). Accurate. pic.twitter.com/4M4pqDqTbw
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 25, 2021
Spain head coach Luis Enrique echoed Morata’s sentiments but insisted despite the setback their commitment to play attacking football remains.
“I don’t like the result at all, nor have we been inspired,” he said.
“I liked the rhythm, but once we pinned Greece back we didn’t flow and fashion the chances that would have enabled us to take a clear lead.
“I did like our attitude and the tempo of play that the team tried to produce throughout. Whenever we got near the Greek penalty area, however, we lacked sharpness and efficiency.
“Sunday will be a similar game, with an opponent who uses the same weapons. We’ll continue to insist on attacking in the same way.
“This result doesn’t change anything for the next two games. [Attacking] is the most difficult phase in football, it depends on the situations you generate.
“I don’t think this result will influence the following ones.”
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