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Norway 0-1 Spain Player Ratings: In our lowdown of the intense Euro 2024 qualifier at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo, we look at how Luis de la Fuente’s men were able to guarantee qualification into the Europan Championship next year with a gritty win over a frustrated Norwegian side.
Spain had to be calm under an intense environment in Oslo, but held their nerve and took their chances well to slip away with a slender win. La Roja controlled possession from the get and were defensively admirably, stopping everything that the hosts threw at them without that much trouble. A smart goal from Gavi in the second half helped them secure a top-two place in Group A and hence qualify for Euro 2024.
Stale Solbakken’s men failed to score a goal in a match since their loss to Spain in the reverse fixture in the Euro 2024 qualifying group. Ballon d’Or favourite Erling Haaland failed to make things happen and was frustrated by the lack of service. Norway’s dreams of qualifying for the Euro 2024 are now hanging on by a thread and they need to hope that lady luck favours them to give them a fortunate entry into the competition.
Interestingly, Spain’s win over Norway has also ensured Scotland’s qualification into Euro 2024. La Roja will now be fighting for the top spot of Group A with Tartan Army in their remaining two qualifying fixtures.
Norway 0-1 Spain Player Ratings
12′ – Carvajal gets the ball in the box but his shot goes well wide.
20′ – Carvajal’s cross is mistakenly diverted onto an open net by Strandberg before Morata taps it into the goal. But the goal is ruled out by VAR.
28′ – Carvajal hits a shot using the outside of the right foot that powers past the goal.
31′ – Morata slips past a defender and directs his shot at the goalkeeper.
41′ – Morata’s clever back header from a free kick loops its way to land on the upper netting.
42′ – Haaland’s goalbound shot is blocked by Laporte.
49′ (Goal) – A number of shots on goal are blocked before Gavi smartly guides his left-footed attempt into the back of the net.
62′ – Odegaard gets a shot on sight but his attempt goes well wide of the goal.
65′ – Nusa smashes a shot right at Simon.
71′ – Torres’ left-footed attempt goes well over the bar.
73′ – Pedraza’s powerful shot hits the side-netting.
83′ – Haaland’s flicked attempt is easily saved by Simon.
90+7′ – Nusa’s cross is easily collected by the Spanish goalkeeper.
Star Man – Aymeric Laporte – 8.5/10
In a game when Spain had to rely on their backline to see them through a daunting test, Laporte stepped up to the plate to haunt his former Manchester City teammate Erling Haaland. The Spaniard proved that despite moving to Al Nassr, he is still a very reliable defender against the world’s best.
Laporte was extremely calm and concise with his defensive work, reading Norway’s attacking pattern perfectly to stop them in their tracks before anything really troublesome happened. He blocked multiple attempts from Haaland to frustrate him. Apart from that, he made five clearances and won four duels, all while moving the ball forward efficiently to help his side control the game calmly.
Norway Player Ratings
Orjan Nyland 5.5/10 – Almost embarrassed with a silly error in the first half and couldn’t read Gavi’s goalbound shot.
Julian Ryerson 7/10 – Completely neutralized Fati’s threat with sturdy defending and a powerful figure going up and down the right.
Stefan Strandberg 5/10 – Bailed out by VAR after almost gifting Spain a goal in the second half. Did a decent job keeping Morata at bay, but a bit erratic.
Leo Ostigard 6/10 – Disciplined at the back, but couldn’t stop the opponents from constantly getting in the box.
Birger Meling 5/10 – Struggled to keep Ferran quiet and had little creative influence.
Sander Berge 6/10 – Energetic and smart in midfield, winning the ball back on quite a few occasions.
Patrick Berg 6.5/10 – Restricted Spain’s movement through the middle and smartly won back possession.
Oscar Bobb 5.5/10 – The youngster made a few exciting runs into the final third, but his final delivery was awry.
Frederik Aursnes 5/10 – Failed to really test Carvajal or create much from the left.
Martin Odegaard 4.5/10 – Odegaard lacked spirit or influence in key areas, not being able to nail his final third passes.
Erling Haaland 4/10 – Marked out of the game and hassled with physical challenges. Had a late effort saved.
Antonio Nusa 6/10 – Made a few exciting dribbles but his final product wasn’t effective.
Alexander Sorloth 5/10 – Failed to assert himself in the final third.
Kristoffer Ajer 6/10 – Added more steel to the backline.
Kristian Thorstvedt – N/A
Spain Player Ratings
Unai Simon 6/10 – Had a few routine saves to make and passed the ball around nicely.
Dani Carvajal 7.5/10 – Proactive and alert on the right, locking down Norway’s movement through that side and also delivering nice passes to the final third.
Robin Le Normand 5.5/10 – Too aggressive in trying to keep Haaland quiet and got himself booked. Taken off at half-time.
Aymeric Laporte 8.5/10 – Kept a close check on Haaland and neutralized his threat with effective marking. Won a lot of vital duels too.
Fran Garcia 7.5/10 – Sturdy and energetic, winning back possession on a lot of occasions and frustrating Bobb.
Rodri 8/10 – Controlled the tempo of Spain’s game admirably well. Undeterred in possession and won back possession many times.
Fabian Ruiz 6.5/10 – Got the ball into the key attacking areas smoothly and added more creativity with his forward passes.
Gavi 7.5/10 – Distributed the ball around smartly and got himself in a lot of key areas, which paid off with his instinctive finish for the goal.
Ferran Torres 7/10 – Torres got into a lot of promising areas on the right, creating a lot of chances with his inviting delivery.
Ansu Fati 3/10 – Really erratic and sloppy in possession, getting bullied on the left.
Alvaro Morata 7/10 – Troubled the defenders by slipping in behind the defence to cause chaos, but was unlucky to see a goal ruled out.
David Garcia 6.5/10 – Added a protective layer to the backline by working smartly with Laporte in defence.
Mikel Oyarzabal 6/10 – Made a few promising forward runs, but his final product left more to be desired.
Alfonso Pedraza 6/10 – The debutant made some impressive forward runs and helped Spain defend better.
Oihan Sancet 6/10 – Moved the ball around nicely towards the end.
Joselu – N/A
Norway 0-1 Spain Player Ratings – The final word
Spain was able to execute their plan perfectly to assume total control over the game and also ensured that Norway’s biggest attacking threats had little freedom to cause them damage. They were patient and were rewarded with that approach with Gavi’s chaotic goal being allowed. Norway were sloppy going forward, not being able to create anything that big to really destabilize the Spanish defence. La Roja will now hope to win their next two qualifiers in dominant fashion to win Group A and head into Euro 2024 with a slight advantage.
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