Spain arrived at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to face Georgia in their final warm-up match ahead of the Euro 2016 championships in confident mood. Just six days ago La Roja destroyed South Korea 6-1 in Salzburg with what gave Del Bosque the chance to play around with the squad and gave onlookers a possible glimpse of a major challenger for the European crown. Leaving the south of Madrid tonight after a 0-1 defeat, thanks to Tornike Okriashvili's tap home late in the first half, may change the mood somewhat.
The match actually went pretty much as expected. The hosts dominated possession (72%) and most of the attacking play took place in the Georgian final third (43%) with less than 10% of the play near David de Gea's goal. But as we've seen before from Spain, these numbers don't guarantee you the win and this side is going to have to face others as stubborn as the former Soviet republic.
What Del Bosque may be secretly pleased about is that his starting XI for the first competitive game (against the Czech Republic on Monday 13 June) may be less in doubt and therefore less up for debate. Áduriz did little to suggest he should start ahead of Morata whereas Nolito put in another strong performance to give him the nod in the attack with the Juventus man who sat out the loss. Koke should have cemented his place and the movement, speed of thought and delivery of Iniesta and Silva when they came on in the second half are certain to remind the coach that Cesc, Pedro and Thiago are back-ups.
The final word has to go to little Georgia. It was only a friendly, granted, but they can be proud of their effort in thwarting the side going for an unprecedented third consecutive title. And just maybe, if Del Bosque does make the right calls and the team finds new ways to break down resolute defending, the Crusadors can sit back on holiday over the coming weeks and say that they beat the eventual European champions. Next up, France 2016.
Here's how it all happened:
Congratulations to Georgia who defended well, blocked out much of the space in the danger area, headed almost every cross clear...and took their one chance when it came. For Spain, a result to forget about quickly and decisions to be made ahead of France. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you again soon.
90+7 | The final whistle is blown. Spain lose on the night 0-1 to visitors Georgia and with that goes the chance to maintain their long unbeaten run.
90+6 | Silva and Pedro combine well on the right but again crowded box blocks any clear chance on goal. De Gea could have sat out this half - and almost all of the first to be honest.
90+3 | Silva and Nolito try their best to work an opening inside the Georgain area but eventually the ball is worked back for a wasted shot.
90 | 7 added minutes (due mainly to head clash in 50th minute)
89 | Another foul, another free-kick swung in from Koke. Guess what? Another headed clearance by Georgia. Spain may well have similar obstacles to overcome in the coming weeks and need to have answers. Their best work has been their quick, neat passing.
87 | Chance! Drifted in (again!) from the right by Koke and Piqué rises to make good contact with his head. Kobakhidze calmly watches it bounce wide though.
84 | It feels like there have been a lot of lofted balls into the box tonight from Spain, with nothing - other than a couple of bloodied heads - coming from them. Unusual for the shortest team going into the Euros
81 | Yellow - San Jose goes into the book
80 | Incidentally, we know the Northern Ireland fans will be following this game with interest. If Spain can't get back into it then Michael O'Neill's men will be remain the only team in Europe undefeated in their last 12 games.
78 | Sub: Another change for the visitors. Tsiskaridze off, Abujarnia on
75 | Nolito looks like he could be in a Scorsese film and has done well tonight including running through a few tackles and getting a shot off but straight at Kobakhidze. Georgia have close to the full team in their own box every time there is a threat.
72 | Subs: Qazaishvili and Dvalishvili off, Chanturia and Kvilitaia on
69 | Lovely ball over the Georgian defensive line finds the sneaky Alba coming in from the left. Flag up although nothing came of it.
65 | Silva and Iniesta linking up nicely and Spain are pushing more players forward (including the local favourite Piqué) in search of a goal. A couple of recirculations of the ball end with a shot from about 20 yards from Iniesta. High and wide.
62 | David Silva replaces Lucas Vázquez. Del Bosque maybe looking to his more experienced players to get this game back on track. Much of the good play from Spain has gone through Iniesta since his introduction.
61 | Kverkvelia booked for snapping at the ankles. Spain won't be enjoying that - they've got a big tournament coming up.
60 | Some neat interchange outside the Georgian area for Spain but lacked final pass.
59 | Georgia try to zip the ball about just inside their own half but as soon as they try to make inroads towards the Spaniards final third it gets tighter and they lose possession.
56 | We're back underway and Busquets still on the field. We can expect at least 5 mins added on to this game at the end.
Injury: as the ball floated towards the onrushing keeper the clearing defender accidentally bumped the Barça midfielder into Revishvili. Heads clashed and now both are being treated. Georgian medics go with bandages, the Spaniards with staple gun!
50 | Ugly, but ultimately harmless, tackle on Nolito draws a free-kick wide left. Ball drifted into area and knocked clear by the defence. Injury to Busquets though!
48 | First chance of the second half but fairly tame shot from Iniesta.
Peep! The second half is underway. What has Del Bosque said to his troops? Will it make a difference? Changes: Koke, Iniesta, Bellerín and San Jose are on for Thiago, Cesc, Juanfran and Ramos.
45+2 | Well what a turn up. Both teams make their way to the changing rooms and it's Vladimir Weiss' team who are in front. Tornike Okriashvili's opener six minutes before the interval is all that separates the two sides on the whistle - that was his seventh goal at international level. Spain with superior possession struggled to penetrate a two-line Georgia defence. We'd imagine Del Bosque will make changes during the break, perhaps bringing Morata on. Nolito and Aduriz didn't see a great deal of the ball in the first 45 - the Athletic Club forward sent a header wide but apart from that, the best chance fell to Thiago, who struck the woodwork. Georgia held their ground well and exposed Spain's vulnerability on the break.
45 | Two minutes of stoppage time to be added.
39 | Goooaal!! Georgia break and Jigauri squares to Okriashvili who walks the ball into an empty net. Spain protest for offside - it looked marginally on - just. 0-1
36 | Spain seem to be having more joy down the right channel with Juanfran and Lucas Vázquez; Kverkvelia is doing a great job of curbing Thiago and Cesc on the opposite flank.
34 | Kashia receives the ball just outside the area with goal in sight but slices his shot high and wide.
32 | Georgia starting to get a bit more adventurous and whip a ball into the box, easily smothered by De Gea.
30 | Abujarnia is down and rubbing his knee after colliding with Ramos.
27 | Close! Thiago tries his luck from outside the box - canons off the post!
26 | Georgia still pegged back in their own half, but there are no spaces opening up for Spain anywhere near Nukri Revishvili's goal.
22 | Uyy! Best chance so far for the hosts. Lucas Vázquez scampers to the byline and whips in a cross for Aduriz, whose header zips inches wide of the post.
21 | Third corner from the left from Spain - swung in to the back post where Piqué gets his head to it but Georgia clear.
We're approaching the 20-minute mark and Georgia have crossed the halfway line just twice. Spain meanwhile have been playing lots of balls over the top - over two lines of defence, but Georgia are standing their ground.
16 | Thiago chips in his free-kick to Ramos, but the flag's up.
16 | Spain awarded a free-kick, central, 25 yards out, Thiago's standing over the ball...
12 | Free-kick wide on the right, Cesc switches wing to take it.
The first posssession stats have just come through: Spain 81%, Georgia 19%. Make of that what you will.
7 | Spain respond immediately, Cesc ends the move by blasting into the sidenetting.
6 | Georgia manage to break out of their half and ease some of the pressure. Jigauri gets a shot in but doesn't get any power behind it. Easily smothered by De Gea.
5 | Spain win another corner, again on the left. Cesc to take...
2 | Uff! Corner played short to Thiago whose ball is flicked on to Ramos at the back post who, if he were a slightly bigger shoe size, would have poked that in. Close.
2 | Lively start from the hosts, Nolito wins a corner.
0 | And we're off!
Captains Sergio Ramos and Aleksandr Amisulashvili have exchanged pennants and we're ready to go.
Rousing rendition of Tavisupleba (Freedom), the Georgia national anthem.
Out come the teams...
It's a glorious sunny evening in Madrid - around 28 degrees and not a cloud in sight, perfect conditions for Spain's final dress rehearsals for Euro 2016. David de Gea starts which may suggest that he will be Vicente del Bosque's first choice between the posts in France. Real Madrid winger Lucas Vázquez also in the starting XI which has a certain 4-1-3-2 look about it.
Spain: De Gea; Juanfran, Piqué, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets; Lucas Vázquez, Cesc, Thiago, Nolito; Aduriz.
Subs: Casillas, Sergio Rico, Bellerín, Bartra, San José, Azpilicueta, Bruno, Koke, Iniesta, Silva, Morata and Pedro.
Georgia: Revishvili; Lobzhanidze, Kverkvelia, Kashia, Amisulashvili, Abujarnia, Qazaishvili, Dvalishvili, Okriashvili,Jigauri,Navalovskii
Welcome to Spain vs. Georgia live on AS! This pre-Euro 2016 international friendly will take place in Getafe's ground the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in the Madrid region.
Preview of Spain - Georgia: Euro 2016 warm-up
With optimism building around Spain's chances of winning an unprecedented three Euros in-a-row, Del Bosque will be out to test his side tactically and get a look at players, many of whom have returned to the Spain squad after club commitmments.
The last outing for la Roja ended in a 6-1 victory against South Korea in Austria, a Spanish symphony in Salzburg, Nolito and David Silva the stars of the show. There should be a little more atmosphere here in Madrid today, the South Korea match took place in front of a half-empty stadium at 4.30pm. Expect a sea of red as Spain gets a glimpse of the men on their way to try and make history in France.
The final 23-man squad has been selected, and they've even had their official photo taken for the tournament:
Despite the fact that the first team has not been revealed for Spain's opener against the Czech Republic, today's match against Georgia should give a clearer image of how Del Bosque wants to play in the Euros, and who with. "We're going to play a 4-1-4-1 in France", the manager said during the week, but doubts as to who will fill those still abound; Bellerín, for example, trained with the first-eleven this week next to Piqué and Sergio Ramos while Morata worked out with the subs. David de Gea is expected to play from the off today in Getafe, while Casillas started against South Korea.
The last time Spain played against Georgia was in the Brazil World Cup qualifiers, winning both matches, so there shouldn't be any surprises later this evening. It will be interesting to see how Del Bosque sets out his side, and will it be Nolito or Aduriz up front.
Georgia come to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on a poor run of form, losing both of their last two matches 3-1 to Slovakia and shipping 5 against Romania in front of their home crowd. Manager Vladimír Weiss has admitted that he has no hopes of beating the European Championship holders, but just wants to avoid humiliation.
Spain - Georgia Live:
Follow the live coverage match of World Cup Qualifier between: Georgia-Ireland
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