(EFE) – A goal by Gerard Moreno at the end alleviated Spain’s lack of punch and served Luis Enrique’s team to add a draw against Switzerland (1-1) in a clash in which Sergio Ramos missed two penalties in the second half.
The point at St. Jakob-Park wasn’t enough to maintain the Nations League Group 4 lead. Germany did not fail against Ukraine and Spain must beat the German team in Seville if they want to continue fighting for the title.
As on other occasions, the lack of forcefulness above marked the evolution of a duel in which the departure in the second half of Álvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno electrified Spain in their search for a draw that seemed unlikely due to the bad luck of Ramos and the lack of ideas in the last meters.
And it is that Luis Enrique made good his words about Switzerland on the eve of the duel. He warned that he is one of the best-worked teams in Europe despite the fact that he has not yet won any of the six games he has played in 2020 and he was right. Vladimir Petkovic’s team, despite not working with their results, is always very uncomfortable.
He showed it from the first moment. Petkovic ordered a pressure from the very first line, almost suffocating, to which Spain responded with success in the initial section of the match. He almost always managed to get the ball out, sometimes with too much uncertainty and perhaps with a lot of risk until the last moment in the figure of Unai Simón, who joined his teammates in the art of touching the ball.
He was one of the surprises of Luis Enrique’s eleven, who rewarded his good match in the friendly against the Netherlands. In addition, the Asturian coach opted to seat Álvaro Morata and play at the top with Dani Olmo at the top flanked by Ferran Torres and Mikel Oyarzabal at the sides.
With those wickers, Spain managed to get rid of the suffocating Swiss pressure, but did not have a bad grape in attack. Ideas were almost always lacking in the last pass and above all forcefulness, because although Luis Enrique’s men were not right in the first act, they did have chances.
Most of them were shy or erratic. Fabián Ruiz and Ferran Torres tried from afar, who sent two shots over the crossbar. The former also tried on a second occasion in which he forced Sommer to draw a good hand. Like Mikel Oyarzabal, who was about to extract oil from a center that escaped the Swiss goalkeeper’s hands.
And, meanwhile, Switzerland, crouching waiting for its opportunity, got its prize on the second attempt. In the first, Unai Simón was decisive with a great intervention against Xherdan Shaqiri in a heads up. In the second, there was not so much luck. In a general defensive imbalance, Breel Embolo penetrated the right wing and his center was finished off by Remo Freuler to the net of the Spanish fence without Unai being able to do anything at all.
More than a prize for Switzerland, it was a punishment for Spain, unable to seal their chances with a goal as their rival did. And, to finish off the job, Mikel Merino missed a corner from Reguilón on the horn almost under the goal, which gave way to half-time.
Luis Enrique, aware of the problem, did not take long to move pieces and took Álvaro Morata onto the field, who came out on the pitch for Fabián at a crucial moment of the clash, when Sergio Ramos became a hero and a villain almost at the same time.
First, he corrected an error by Unai, who failed miserably on a punt and left Haris Sferovic at 2-0. Ramos passed by to save the Swiss goal with a clearance on the line of his goal. Right after, he himself caused a penalty after finishing a corner to Ricardo Rodríguez’s arm and he himself missed the shot.
Sommer was in charge of stopping the attempt of the Real Madrid player, who accumulated 23 penalties without failing. And, as it happened, he maintained the illusion in Switzerland, which still relied on a draw in Germany-Ukraine to stay in the fight to go to the next round.
That intervention made Spain a more vulnerable team. More focused on the search for an equalizer, he left more spaces suitable for Swiss counterattacks. With half an hour ahead, anything was possible, the draw or the sentence.
However, Luis Enrique’s men continued to be timid in attack. The chances did not come despite playing in many moments near the Swiss area and in the last 20 minutes Adamá Traoré, Sergio Canales and Koke Resurrección appeared.
The last attempt in the search for the necessary fluidity and forcefulness in the final meters was not effective either. There was only a moment of inspiration in a pass from Koke to Morata that ended again in a penalty and Elvedi was sent off for a double warning. Ramos repeated and again met Sammer.
His weak, weak pitch, in a kind of Panenka-style attempt that didn’t seem like it, almost sealed the fate of the Spanish team. They arranged it between Reguilón and Gerard Moreno, the last to leave to play rapture. At 89 minutes, an intermission by Tottenham’s left-hander ended up in the net after a shot from Villarreal’s striker that ended Spain’s lack of punch and did justice on the scoreboard. Now, Germany waits in La Cartuja.