Red alarm

tying is a little further and that is not a good sign. Quite the opposite. Spain landed in Solna with the label that it had never won in Sweden and with that same label it returns to Las Rozas, its headquarters, where emergencies turn the next duels with Georgia and Kosovo into a jump without a net. Direct qualification to the 2022 World Cup has been seriously complicated. You have to win or win. I can’t think of a better test to know what pasta this Selection is made of.

Soccer is capricious and he plays with us as he pleases. Two and a half months ago, Robin Olsen was a wall in La Cartuja in that 0-0 with which La Roja debuted in the European Championship. Well, in Solna four minutes were enough to see how the Swedish goalkeeper had to walk to the back of the net to collect the ball. A beauty of goal by Carlos Soler, who made his debut in the absolute with the difficult mission of covering the loss of Pedri, who at 18 has become an indisputable ingredient of the absolute. Heel by Morata, Busquets’s opening to Jordi Alba, whose temperate center was finished off with an excellent right-hand goal by the Valencia midfielder. Too bad Sweden didn’t take a minute to respond with dynamite. Olsen’s long serve, a couple of touches and a rebound and shot by Isak from the edge of the area against which Unai Simón could do little.

It was the best way to move the shaker of a match that was born with the doubt of knowing if Solna’s Sweden would be the same that sat down to wait in the match played in Seville. But this Sweden spoke a different language. From the start it was clear that the pressure from Ekdal and Olsson in midfield was different and that Kulusevski, absent from the continental tournament, was the best partner in attack for the realist Isak. Twenty-one years each, a check payable to the disputed Janne Andersson.

After the goals, Forsberg claimed that more offensive air on 19 ‘, in a ride with a bicycle included that Azpilicueta finally aborted. The Nordics tried to get the ball played, but if they could not do so they had no qualms about betting on long balls whose second play opened the doors to both ends. And the Spanish antidote to that Swedish push? The usual one, the one with patience to touch and touch until you find the crack. Ferran Torres was the most incisive fang. The one from City moved in his natural habitat, the right wing, with Morata in the central axis of the attack and Gerard off the hook to the left. In minute 33, two falls and two repetitions to find out what we had missed. The possible penalty to Ferran for a joint grab by Krafth and Claesson resulted in a “play, play” by Briton Anthony Taylor. Kulusevski’s elbow to Laporte led to a yellow for Juventus and a subsequent one for Jordi Alba for getting into the chat room when he did not correspond.
Of course, Kulusevski’s anger lasted a sigh, as he immediately received a ball whose cross shot did not end in a goal due to Unai’s excellent intervention (36 ‘). That rejection of the Athletic goal was air to reach the rest, because La Roja had blurred. And that rest came with the task for Luis Enrique to recover what with the passing of the minutes we had been left on the road.

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Spain tripled Sweden in passes (400 to 136) and doubled it in possession (68% to 32%), but those numbers did not translate into real danger. The coach interpreted that it was not a matter of making changes, but of refreshing concepts, so the eleven of the restart were the same ones that had started the game. Of course, with the insistence of that change of bands that placed Gerard on the right and Ferran on the left.

Spain came back from the locker room with a better face and one more speed in the triangulations that had to open the can. In those we were when Kulusevski showed the talent that he has inside. He surpassed Azpilicueta with a waist twist and his center fell on Claesson’s right boot, which he finished off at the near post. The 2-1 put us on the ropes not only in the game but also in qualifying for the World Cup. More than half an hour ahead to channel a qualifying round that was born crooked with the draw at home with Greece.

Luis Enrique opted for vertigo and there is no greater vertigo in this team than Adama Traoré. After four minutes he already enjoyed his first chance, but his shot was cleared by Olsen. Shortly after, the coach opted for Sarabia instead of Morata and for Llorente as Koke’s replacement. Spain went up and saved more than one match-ball, especially in a career of Isak who, when he was about to shoot Unai, frustrated Laporte by clearing for a corner. The entries in extremis by Brais or Rodri were of no use. The victory was gone, also the draw. Sweden sang in the stands the group leadership that leaves Spain on the ropes. Georgia awaits Sunday. You have to get off the canvas now, there is no other.

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