Spain registered a 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic to go top of Group A2 of the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League.
Spain completed a second consecutive victory in the UEFA Nations League to go top of Group A2 as Portugal succumbed to a surprise defeat against Switzerland. La Roja dominated the Czech Republic to win 2-0 just five days after the two sides played out a 2-2 draw.
Midfielder Carlos Soler opened the scoring for Spain at Malaga just minutes after the visitors looked to be growing in the game. Soler’s goal in the 24th minute knocked the wind out of the visitors’ sail, and Spain did not allow them many chances to get back into the game.
Luis Enrique’s men doubled their advantage in the 75th minute through Pablo Sarabia and saw out the lead to gain three points and move atop the group table. Portugal’s defeat to Switzerland played a part in their rise to the top as a draw in that encounter would still have helped the Seleccao in holding on to their position as the top-placed team in the group.
Spain’s next Nations League encounter will be played against Switzerland in September later this year, while the Czech Republic will face Portugal at the same time. Here’s looking at how each Spain player fared in the 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.
📈 CLASIFICACIÓN | Invictos y líderes de grupo a falta de dos jornadas.
🗓️ España buscará en septiembre sellar su clasificación para la Final Four de la UEFA #NationsLeague.
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 12, 2022
Unai Simon: 7/10
Unai Simon made two early saves to keep Spain in the game and was overall good with his passing as well, with a completion rate of 91 per cent. However, there were a couple of miscued kicks from which could have been costly.
Dani Carvajal: 7/10
Carvajal did well to ensure Spain walk out with all three points from the encounter. He was defensively strong overall, although he did make some errors. In all, he made one clearance and one interception on top of four tackles. He also won four ground duels.
Eric Garcia: 7/10
The Barcelona defender looked strong defensively after some jittery moments in the last couple of matches. He was also good on the ball, completing 94 personally of his passes. He also completed five of the seven long balls that he attempted.
Inigo Martinez: 7/10
Martinez was the hero for Spain in the reverse fixture against the Czech Republic, but there was not much to do for him in this match. He did well to ensure Spain kept most of the ball, completing 93 per cent of his passes. Martinez also made three interceptions and a clearance.
Marcos Alonso: 5/10
The Chelsea left-back had an off day as he failed to contribute significantly on either end of the pitch. He only managed to attempt two crosses, none of which found his teammates. Defensively, he made just one interception. while one of his errors led to a shot as well.
Carlos Soler: 8/10
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) June 12, 2022
Carlos Soler scored the opener for Spain and was quite actively involved in the team’s build-up play, often making runs into the box to create space for his forwards. He played one key pass and also won four ground duels.
The Manchester City star dominated the midfield, completing 94 per cent of his passes, and kept Tomas Soucek out of the game. He completed six of his attempted nine long balls and also won all five of his aerial duels. A complete performance from Rodri.
The Atletico Madrid midfielder was often forced to track back as Marcos Alonso bombed forward. Koke was composed on the ball but not so much in one-on-one situations. Overall, he completed 90 per cent of his passes, which included five long balls, although he won just one ground duel.
Marcos Asensio: 8/10
Marco Asensio created more chances than any other player vs Czech Republic (3).
He created the same number as all of his teammates combined. 😳 pic.twitter.com/1DVVHio3DW
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 12, 2022
Marco Asensio was on fire once again. He turned the reverse fixture against the Czech Republic with his introduction and was awarded a start at Malaga. He assisted Soler’s goal and played two more key passes, which include two big chances. He was taken off in the 72nd minute for Sarabia, who scored Spain’s second goal of the night.
Alvaro Morata: 6/10
Morata dropped deep to get involved in the build-up play but could not quite threaten the Czech Republic defence. He did not take even a single shot on goal and was taken off for Ferran Torres in the 59th minute.
Dani Olmo: 6/10
Olmo was enterprising with his play, but that also resulted in him making a few mistakes along the way. He also missed a big opportunity to score as his shot was blocked.
Ferran Torres: 6/10
Torres came on for Morata in the 59th minute and drifted out wide mostly. He had a shot blocked, while he played a key pass as well.
Gavi came on for goal-scorer Soler in the 59th minute and impressed in his short stay on the pitch. His passes broke through the Czech lines and he also did not shy away from running at their defenders.
Pablo Sarabia: 7/10
Sarabia came on for Marco Asensio in the 72nd minute and scored within three minutes after coming on. He was accurate with his passing, completing 93 per cent of his attempts.
Jordi Alba: N/A
Alba came on in the 79th minute but did not affect the proceedings much to warrant a rating.
Sergio Busquets: N/A
Busquets came on in the 79th minute for Koke and saw off the match for Spain.