Spain midfielder Rodri admits they must find ways to mitigate their worrying lack of strikers after a shock defeat to Ukraine on Tuesday.
La Roja’s 15-match unbeaten run came to an end in Kiev thanks to a 76th-minute strike from substitute Viktor Tsygankov.
Spain had 72 per cent of the possession, 21 shots overall and forced goalkeeper Georgi Bushchan into eight saves, yet they struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities against their deep-lying opponents.
Adama Traore, Ansu Fati and later Ferran Torres were lively on the wings, but Rodrigo Moreno was scarcely involved as the centre-forward, while Mikel Oyarzabal, who replaced him just before the hour mark, had only one shot.
A solitary effort on target proved enough for Andriy Shevchenko’s men, though, as Andriy Yarmolenko played in Tsygankov as Spain’s defence switched off and the Dynamo Kiev midfielder fired beyond David de Gea, who had strayed out of position.
Luis Enrique has spoken of the need for Spain to get goals from different areas of the pitch given the lack of a world-class striker and, after scoring just once in three games this month, Manchester City midfielder Rodri has echoed those thoughts.
2 – Spain have failed to score in two of their last three games (0-0 in a friendly vs Portugal and 1-0 vs Ukraine in the #UEFANationsLeague), after scoring in each of their previous 42 matches (121 goals, 2.9 goals per game). Difficulty. pic.twitter.com/nuYxr05PWc
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 13, 2020
“We weren’t planning on losing here, but we knew it would be very difficult. They made things difficult for Germany,” he told Teledeporte.
“We dominated the game but we lacked the finesse of other days in front of goal. They got forward once and they scored a goal.
“We have to learn from these errors. The coach said we don’t have a great goalscorer and we need everyone to work.
“It’s always more difficult. No national team wins all the time.”
Sergio Reguilon believes Spain can still be pleased with their overall performance and is confident they are on the right track ahead of next year’s European Championship.
“We have to correct the mistakes and improve things but try to look at the good things,” said the Tottenham full-back.
“Playing like this, with a bit more success up front, we can win. Going forward, we have to be more direct and incisive.”
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