...until Sergio Ramos conceded the penalty

After last night's game in Turin there is a hint of disappointment but we need to remember that Spain did manage a point in possibly the trickiest away trip in the World Cup 2018 qualifying group."La Roja" dominated proceedings and were a shadow of the team who rolled over in Euro 2016 at the Stade de France. Spain bossed the Italian side for over an hour, playing in the opposing half, creating danger but without the breakthrough. Plenty of corners and shots but no end product, a worrying trend with this team.

Lopetegui's men finally secured the lead when Busquets found Vitolo with a long ball, Buffon  mistimed his kick in a an uncharacteristic misjudgment of the situation and despite being fortuitous it was well deserved. It was just a shame Spain didn't have the discipline to see the game out as Italy dug deep and with the introduction of the substitutes (particularly Immobile) they managed to create waves of attack on De Gea's goal. If only Vitolo had taken the chance presented to him near the end of the contest it would have sealed the three points.


Sadly, that's not how things transpired as Morata came on for Diego Costa (who frankly could have been dismissed some moments earlier) and provided a ray of hope. That ray was shortly eclipsed as Sergio Ramos upended Eder to concede yet another penalty (his fourth of the 2016/17 campaign) which was duly dispatched by De Rossi. Worryingly giving away penalty's is becoming a specialty by the defender who is too prone to making rash misjudged tackles in the box. Italy indeed had chances to secure maximum points in the final ten minutes on a night where Spain looked excellent for an hour and lost their way in the final thirty minutes of the tie in Turin.

Sin tituloItaly's midfielder Daniele De Rossi (R) celebrates with teammates Italy's midfielder Alessandro Florenzi and Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) at the end of the WC 2018 football qualification match between Italy and Spain on October 6, 2016 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. The match ended on a 1-1 draw. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE