Spain would be ruing the penalty miss as they draw 1-1 against Poland to split UEFA Euro 2020 Group E wide open.

Two home games, two draws, four lost points, and an opportunity to stamp their authority on Group E goes begging for Spain. Yet again, Spain dominated possession, tempo and set the rhythm to this match, but Poland were a match to everything they threw on the pitch.

Spain did go ahead in the first half with a well-taken goal from Alvaro Morata but overall failed to create clear cut chances in the game. Had La Roja taken the minimal chances they had, the Robert Lewandowski leveller would have been obsolete, but that goal from the Bayern Munich frontman earned a point for Poland.

Immediately after Lewandowski’s equaliser, Spain were awarded a penalty for a foul on Gerard Moreno. The Villarreal forward stepped up only to hit the post, and Morata missed the subsequent rebound, which with some composure, any striker would have buried.

Poland were solid at the back and cleared whatever came their way, especially in the second half. The Polish backline found it comfortable to stifle the Spanish attackers and were never really sloppy throughout the game, barring a few moments.

In the end, it was a well-earned point for Poland, which splits Group E wide open heading into the final round of fixtures. Any of the four teams can qualify for the next round, and for Poland, a victory against Sweden will do them good.

Spain

Unai Simon – 5.5/10

The Spanish keeper barely had anything to do all evening, barring a few moments when Poland attackers threatened. Lewandowski’s goal, which was only a half-chance, was out of Simon’s reach and more of a defensive error. He should retain his place for the next game.

Marcos Llorente – 6/10

Llorente put in another good shift for Spain from right-back, despite Luis Enrique having experienced players such as Cesar Azpilicueta in that position. Llorente provided the width needed as he participated rather well in the attack and was solid defensively.

Aymeric Laporte – 5/10

Laporte was generally solid at the back alongside defensive partner Pau Torres. However, in that one moment when Lewandowski got his chance, he lost his concentration a bit and should have done better with his physicality to prevent the Bayern striker from scoring the equaliser.

Pau Torres – 6/10

Dealt with the threat of Lewandowski and Swiderski quite well and gave Spain a foundation from the back with his excellent passing and positioning. Torres showed good energy to get into challenges and collect loose balls, which Poland were kicking in his direction.

Jordi Alba – 7.5/10

Spain’s best player on the pitch. Alba was driving the Spanish game from the left flank, and in the end, got no rewards for his hard work. Named man-of-the-match for his performances and stood out among defensive stats in his team. Additionally, Moreno should have buried the chance from Alba’s pinpoint cross.

Rodri – 5.5/10

As expected of him, Rodri dominated the midfield and set the tempo for his team with his distribution. However, that one moment when his loose pass almost cost his team, only for Lewandowski to slip and waste the chance.

Koke – 6/10

Embed from Getty Images

Typical of his battling style, Koke played well to control his side of the pitch. Linked well with club teammate Llorente on the right side whenever possible. He offered no threat in creating chances, but yet another stable display in midfield.

Pedri – 6.5/10

Pedri’s rise has been phenomenal considering his age which is only 18 years. The Barcelona prodigy justified his selection yet again with some incisive passing and chance creation. He has successfully kept Thiago on the bench for consecutive games.

Dani Olmo – 5.5/10

Provided width but couldn’t make a mark on the game despite those behind him supplying him with decent passes. He did provide Alba more chances to bomb forward.

Alvaro Morata – 6/10

Morata justified his selection and produced Spain’s first goal in the tournament. Great run and timing to leave his marker for the goal. The disappointing factor of his day was missing the simple chance from the rebound after Moreno missed his penalty.

Gerard Moreno – 6/10

Moreno had a lively evening in the forward line, as he kept the Poland defence on their toes. Although he missed the penalty, which was a tremendous chance for Spain to go ahead after Poland had only equalised moments ago, he created the brilliant Morata goal.

Substitutes

Ferran Torres – 5/10

Torres was brought in to provide a goal threat and failed to do so. He did get a glorious chance to head the ball into the net but put it wide.

Fabian Ruiz – 5/10

He failed to make the required impact as Spain kept searching for the winning goal.

Pablo Sarabia – 5/10

Not long enough on the pitch to impact proceedings.

Mikel Oyarzabal – N/A

Not long enough to rate.

Poland

Wojciech Szczesny – 7/10

Szczesny put the lousy performance against Slovakia behind to produce a brilliant display. He saved whatever was thrown at him, although he could do nothing to stop Morata’s effort. Got lucky with the Moreno penalty miss, but he should be thanking his stars after Morata put the rebound wide.

Bartosz Bereszynski – 7.5/10

A solid display from Bereszynski. He won all his aerial duels while making five interceptions and tackles each to go with his four clearances. His presence was the reason Spain failed to penetrate the backline barring that chance with the penalty.

Kamil Glik – 7.5/10

A true leader of the Polish defence. Glik was everywhere at the back, defending with his heart on the sleeve. One could see his anger in the moments the Polish defenders lost some of their concentration but rallied them back into the game to help earn a point.

Embed from Getty Images

Jan Bednarek – 7/10

Bednarek was the final puzzle in the Polish defensive game. Alongside Glik and Bereszynski, he was solid enough and kept the Spanish attackers at bay. He made some crucial blocks as well.

Kamil Jozwiak – 6.5/10

Jozwiak was responsible on multiple occasions to let Spain cross into the box. There were some visible lapses in his defensive game, but he made amends when he delivered a brilliant cross for Lewandowski to score.

Jakub Moder – 6/10

Held his ground against that dominating Spanish midfield. Overall a good outing, but it was overshadowed when he gave that penalty away rather clumsily.

Mateusz Klich – 6/10

Klich Set the tempo for Poland early on with a stinging shot, which only just went over the crossbar. A good outing overall. Got booked during the first half and was subbed in the second.

Piotr Zielinski – 6.5/10

An improved performance from Zielinski after shifting behind the striker in this game. Although he couldn’t influence much with the ball, he certainly kept Spain’s midfield runners at bay with a somewhat combative performance.

Tymoteusz Puchacz – 6.10

Puchacz let Moreno beat him and slide the ball to Morata for the first goal but made amends by preventing many crosses from going in with his energetic displays on the wing.

Karol Swiderski – 6.5/10

Gave good support to Lewandowski at times but was unable to make an impact. Had his few moments in attack and also flashed a shot from the edge of the box.

Robert Lewandowski – 8/10

Lewandowski only scores against European champions at the Euros (vs Greece in ’12, Portugal in ’16 and Spain ’21). Anyway, this is what the Poland captain does, making a difference. His towering header against Spain put the former champions in a tricky spot while also saving his team from being eliminated.

Substitutes

Kacper Kozlowski – 6/10

Replaced Klich and did a decent job in midfield. It was combative enough to keep Spanish attackers at bay and ensured the energy in midfield remained till the end.

Przemyslaw Frankowski – 6/10

Like Kozlowski, Frankowski also put a decent performance and kept the midfield ticking with his energetic display. He came around a time when Poland were looking to shut the game off.

Pawel Dawidowicz – 5/10

He came on to shore up the defence and did fine.

Karol Linetty – N/A

He came on late to shut the game out and got involved well.

Leave A Comment...

*