Some woeful finishing condemned Spain to a disappointing start to Euro 2020 with a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Group E on Monday night at the Estadio La Cartuja in Sevilla.
La Roja completely dominated the Swedes when it came to possession and chances, but Luis Enrique‘s men forgot to bring their finishing boots and were left humbled by a defensively solid Sweden side that was bolstered by a top performance from goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
Luis Enrique pulled out a few surprises in his starting XI, as Gerard Moreno and Jose Gaya found themselves on the bench, while Alvaro Morata got the start up top and Jordi Alba slotted in at left-back. There was also a start for 18-year-old Pedri in midfield, playing alongside Rodri and Koke.
It was no surprise to see Spain start on the front foot as they began to methodically try to pick apart the Swedish defence. The first good chance came a quarter-hour in, with Koke curling in a cross that connected with Dani Olmo, whose header was saved at the last moment by Olsen.
That was followed by a pair of chances for Koke that failed to find the target and a gilt-edged chance for Morata off a Swedish defensive mistake that the Juventus man failed to convert, much to the dismay of Luis Enrique on the sideline.
Sweden barely touched the ball, but nearly were the ones to break the deadlock shortly before half-time when Alexander Isak got behind the Spanish defence, but could not find a way past the post and Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Isak was giving the Spanish defence a headache any time he had the ball and on the hour mark, the Real Sociedad man managed to beat three defenders and cross for a wide-open Marcus Berg, who flubbed his effort from a few metres out.
As time ticked into the second part of the second half, it was a noticeably more lethargic performance from La Roja, so Luis Enrique went to his bench for the first time, bringing on Pablo Sarabia for the wasteful Morata, while Thiago replaced Rodri, followed shortly thereafter by Moreno and Mikel Oyarzabal for Olmo and Ferran Torres.
Spain mounted more pressure in the final quarter-hour, aided by Fabian Ruiz on as a late replacement for Koke, and there would be one last crack for the home side in the dying minutes, only to see a Moreno header denied by Olsen on a reaction save, leaving Spain to settle for a point.