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Spain off to a good start


The result isn't much to boast about but I enjoyed the game. Spain could have taken more from it. I saw a convincing side, with players who understand each other, were working well together, moving the ball about nicely and, although it wasn't constant, put pressure on their opponents - above all in the first half. It's true that Spain's opponents aren't great shakes, but they are well organised, with that defensive discipline Lagerback works so well at, but they offer nothing more than that. An occasional run from King, the futile elegance of Ödegaard... If Norway ended up threatening us it was because after wasting several golden chances (Lady Luck had turned her back on Morata this evening when it came to converting opportunities) we gifted them a penalty. But that was soon fixed.

And it was fixed by none other than Morata, who forced the penalty with a driving run, which led to only mistake of the match made by the decent Norwegian keeper, who was their best player. Ramos scored the spot-kick, with another Panenka, that style he's turning into a wide-spread practice. We've recently seen Agüero and Messi turn to the method. An elegant way of scoring from the spot, and one that's more secure than we tend to think. The first goal was elegant too, produced by three left-footers: Asensio, Jordi Alba and Rodrigo. A decent move down the left, just as there had been several down the right, the zone where the re-born Navas was operating, having return to the team after years away.

Spain were only lacking a bit of luck or a tad more precision in their shooting. Basically, Morata had two or three that went just wide, but that can happen. Other times it won't, because he's a good striker who combines well with Rodrigo. Parejo and Ceballos kept the rhythm of the match up, the right and left backs made runs, Asensio, despite the somewhat languid approach he's afflicted by, produced some nice moments. The team were professional, came back from the equaliser, an absurd set-back, and worked for each other. We've yet to see them face the bigger challenges, but the team gave the impression of being a solid side and decent representatives for our current football. Right now they've got three points and a great starting point upon which to build the future.