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Spain 2-0 Scotland Player Ratings – Here is our lowdown of what happened in the dramatic Euro 2024 qualifier clash at the Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, with Steve Clarke’s men suffering their first loss of the qualifying campaign at the hands of a determined La Roja side.
Spain went with the patient approach against a heavily stacked Scottish defensive style and kept troubling them by sending in inviting crosses into the box, making their defenders work. Luis de la Fuente’s inspirational substitutes in the second half did the trick in being heavily involved in both goals, helping Spain get an important win that moves them closer to the top spot in Group A.
Scotland were ultimately made to pay for their overly defensive approach. Clarke’s men actually showed admirable resilience for the first hour, but then exhaustion made their performance levels drop. A few lapses in concentration allowed Spain to clinically put away two late chances to end their unbeaten streak in qualifying.
One major highlight of the match was the impressive goal from Spanish captain Alvaro Morata. With his latest goal, he has now scored 34 goals for this national team and is the fifth-highest goal-scorer in their history.
Spain 2-0 Scotland Player Ratings
2′ – Ferran Torres slips into the box, but his shot goes just wide of the goal.
16′ – Spain wins back possession near Scotland’s box but Oyarzabal’s botched effort is easily saved.
34′ – Oyarzabal’s shot is blocked before Merino’s effort on the rebound hits the post.
38′ – Morata scores from a close-range finish but his goal is disallowed for being in an offside position.
49′ – Zaragoza dances past a few players before his curling attempt skits over the bar.
53′ – Christie loses his footing to mis-control the ball and wastes a chance in the box.
56′ – Morata skips past a defender brilliantly before his shot whiskers past the post.
61′ – McTominay swings in a free-kick from a tight angle past a sea of bodies into the back of the net. But it is ruled out after VAR spots a foul on Simon.
73′ (Goal) – Navas swings in a brilliant cross into the box that is converted with a diving header from Morata.
81′ – Hickey makes a promising run into the box before his shot is tipped on goal by Adams, only to be denied by Simon.
85′ – Joselu gets around Gunn but sees his shot blocked by a defender.
86′ (Goal) – Spain capitalizes on a defensive error as Joselu’s cross is diverted into the goal by Sancet.
90+5′ Rodri’s late attempt on goal is saved.
Star Man – Alvaro Morata – 8.5/10
The new Spain captain did not let down his team when they needed him the most. Morata was a thorn for the proactive Scottish backline, making clever runs in behind the defenders to catch them off their guard. Had a first-half goal ruled out, but was not going out empty-handed.
Showcased his clinical instincts by launching himself like a rocket onto the ball for his brilliant goal. Did not exactly link up that much with his teammates, but took his chances well to keep the belief in his teammates. Worked his socks off and got the last laugh with his late heroics for La Roja.
Spain Player Ratings
Unai Simon 6.5/10 – Sharp when tested by Scotland, making a few impressive saves and moving the ball forward nicely.
Dani Carvajal 5.5 – Couldn’t create many definitive chances through the right and a bit erratic defensively.
Robin le Normand 7.5/10 – Proactive and combative at the back. Read the Scottish moves really well, making timely challenges to avert trouble.
Aymeric Laporte 7.5/10 – Commanded over a strong defensive shape that restricted the Scotland attacks efficiently. Completed over 100 passes to help build up attacks from the back.
Alejandro Balde 5/10 – Couldn’t really force Spain’s attacks through the left and struggled with Scotland’s physicality. Taken off at half-time.
Mikel Merino 7/10 – A positive energy in midfield and made some clever attacking runs too. Unlucky to hit the post in the first half.
Rodri 7.5/10 – Immovable in the middle, getting the ball forward swiftly and ran the show for La Roja with ease.
Gavi 6/10 – Worked hard defensively and maintained a nice energy around the midfield.
Mikel Oyarzabal 5/10 – Struggled to impose himself and was sloppy with his work in the final third.
Ferran Torres 4.5/10 – A bit erratic in the final third, missing an early chance and failing to create anything major.
Alvaro Morata 8.5/10 – Kept on making the smart runs in behind the defenders to rattle defenders. Scored a superb diving header to break the deadlock in style.
Bryan Zaragoza 6.5/10 – Made some impressive dribbles and tormented the defenders with his pace.
Fran Garcia 5/10 – Added a positive energy on the left and more discipline at the back.
Jesus Navas 7.5/10 – The experienced winger proved to be the game-changer. Tormented Scotland with his runs and swung in a perfect cross for the opener. Defensively solid.
Oihan Sancet 7/10 – Got a debut goal by showing impressive awareness in the box.
Joselu 6.5/10 – Created the second goal by capitalizing on an error.
Scotland Player Ratings
Angus Gunn 5/10 – Made only one save and couldn’t show enough reflexes to trouble Spain.
Ryan Porteous 6/10 – Worked really hard to clear a lot of Spain’s crosses but just broke down towards the end.
Jack Henry 5.5/10 – Troubled by Morata all game long and lost his marker for the opener.
Scott McKenna 6.5/10 – Used his physicality to trouble the hosts, making five clearances and winning seven duels.
Aaron Hickey 5/10 – Ran his socks off but became erratic towards the end, horribly losing the ball leading to the second.
Ryan Christie 5/10 – Couldn’t cope with the intensity of the game and scuffed a prominent chance.
Callum McGregor 5.5/10 – Helped hold down a strict midfield shape but unable to do much going forward.
Andy Robertson 6/10 – Brave with his defensive work before being substituted due to a shoulder injury.
John McGinn 6/10 – Worked hard in his defensive contributions, but couldn’t create much at all.
Scott McTominay 6.5/10 – Scored a phenomenal free-kick that was ruled out and showed admirable spirit going forward.
Lyndon Dykes 4.5/10 – Failed to cause any problem to the defenders and barely involved in the attack.
Nathan Patterson 5.5/10 – Struggled to keep Zaragoza quiet.
Che Adams 6/10 – Had one attempt saved after coming on.
Stuart Armstrong 5.5/10 – Made some nice runs into the box.
Billy Gilmour – N/A
Kenny McClean – N/A
Spain 2-0 Scotland Player Ratings – The final word
Luis de la Fuente will be pleased with how his Spain side showed great character and strength to grind out the late win against a rugged Scotland side. The win can revitalize La Roja’s aspirations of topping the group, as they have three more games remaining as compared to Scotland’s two games. Steve Clarke’s side needs to bounce back strongly from this and win their remaining games to have any chance of heading into Euro 2024 as group toppers.
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