Spain wrapped up a confident Euro 2020 qualifying win against Sweden at the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday evening.
The hosts dominated proceedings throughout the game but it took until the 64th minute for them to take the lead as skipper Sergio Ramos struck from the penalty spot after a handball from Sebastian Larsson. The lead was doubled once again from the penalty spot as Alvaro Morata earned the decision and stuck the ball into the net. Mikel Oyarzabal polished the game off with a great strike from the edge of the box to give the hosts control of their qualification group.
Olsen on form from the off
Dani Parejo twice tested Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen from range early in the game as the midfielder had an effort tipped away from the top corner before also forcing the stopper into a solid low save on the volley. The Sweden man also had to be alert to get to Sergio Ramos’ powerful, headed effort.
The hosts thought they had the lead with just over a quarter of an hour on the clock as Parejo squared the ball into Rodrigo but the latter was adjudged to be offside and the goal was ruled out.
Spain continue to dominate
Predictably, Luis Enrique’s men dominating most of the play throughout the first period. Rodrigo just failed to make contact with Inigo Martinez’s knockdown in the penalty area. Fellow defender Sergio Ramos then tried his luck with a spectacular effort but sent the ball high over the crossbar.
The second-half resumed in a very similar vain, with Spain creating chances but failing to find the opener. Isco went close on two occasions, at first sending a thunderous volley just over before also rolling marginally wide. Sweden did have a rare foray forwards on the hour though as Robin Quaison found space but he could only fire straight into the arms of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Ramos fires Spain ahead from the spot
Eventually, Spain’s chance did eventually come and it was from the penalty spot as Sebastian Larsson was adjudged to have handled in the area. Ramos was the man to take responsibility at the Bernabeu and he confidently stroked the ball into the bottom corner to take his record to seven goals in his last eight matches for his country.
Enrique’s troops were then given another spot kick in the final few minutes. Substitute Alvaro Morata showed excellent skill to race away from Pontus Jansson and charged into the box before being hauled down. Ramos passed on responsibility to the on-loan Chelsea forward and the striker picked the same spot as his captain to double the lead.
Oyarzabal polishes off victory
Another man introduced off of the bench also had an impact late on as Spain rounded off a comprehensive win. Oyarzabal picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area, cut inside and curled the ball fantastically into the far corner to score his first goal for his country.
The gap in quality between these two sides really was clear to see as Spain dominated the majority of the game. However, it looked like it was set to be a frustrating evening for the hosts as they failed to open the scoring. However, as soon as they found that first strike, there was no coming back for Sweden. Consequently, the Spanish now sit top of the group and five points clear of nearest challengers Romania.
Spain: Kepa (7); Alba (6), Martinez (7) (Llorente (N/A), 88′), Ramos (8), Carvajal (7); Pena (6), Busquets (6), Parejo (7); Isco (5), Rodrigo (6) (Oyarzabal (7), 72′), Asensio (5) (Morata (7), 65′).
Sweden: Olsen (7), Augustinsson (6), Helander (5), Jansson (5), Lustig (6); Forsberg (6), Ekdal (6) (Olsson (N/A), 86′), Larsson (6) (Isak (N/A), 82′), Claesson (5) (Johansson (6), 27′); Quaison (6), Berg (5).
Goals: Ramos PEN (64′), Morata PEN (85′), Oyarzabal (87′)
Referee: William Collum
Yellow Cards: Alba (24′)
Red Cards: N/A
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