Spain get campaign underway with a victory over Norway
Spain outplayed Norway for much of the match and went ahead through Rodrigo in the first half. Norway levelled from the spot, but a Ramos panenka penalty gave the hosts the win.
Spain 2-1 Norway: match report
Spain kicked off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on Saturday in Valencia with a win over Norway with goals from Rodrigo and Sergio Ramos in either half.
Luis Enrique made a number of changes to the squad and team that he experimented with in the Nations League. Dani Parejo was back and so was Jesus Navas with Asensio, Rodrigo and Morata leading the line in attack.
Luis Enrique said "this is not a place for experiments" ahead of the game but he is so new in the job and with the players he named, there was always going to be an element of experiment.
The movement and some of the fluidity in attack is a testament to Luis Enrique's coaching but while Spain were dominant in possession and had multiple chances, they wasted too much for the manager to be truly happy.
After the opening 15 minutes, it seemed a matter of how many Spain wanted to score. Rodrigo and Morata were buzzing around the penalty area and with Ceballos and Asensio changing their positions frequently, they had Norway at sixes and sevens. Alba on the left and Navas on the right weren't helping matters for the guests as it all felt like a red blur at times.
Rodrigo opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Ceballos spun and sent a pass out to Alba. He connected to Asensio before a return pass sent the left-back free. He clipped it towards goal and Rodrigo was on hand to send the ball into the back of Jarstein's net.
After that, it remained a red blue of movement but with so many wasted chances. Morata tried every header in the book from the bullet header to the glancer and still couldn't find any luck.
The second half continued in the same fashion with some champagne football and some flat ale finishing.
As time ticked by and the chances kept being wasted, it felt inevitable that Norway would get a chance.
They did when Inigo Martinez decided to give second half substitute Stefan Johnsen a bear hug in the penalty area. Josh King stepped up and crowed Spain's wastefulness with the finish.
As if playing to the crowd as the Mestalla, Spain picked it up a gear and when Morata jumped a poor backpass to Jarstein and got hauled down by the keeper, Ramos stepped up and panenkaed his 15th goal of the season down the middle to give Spain back their deserved lead.
They had chances after that too but Asensio chipped over for their best effort even though they didn't need a third. Late on, there were debuts for Sergio Canales and Jaime Mata as he continues to bring this squad through his own stages evolution.
They face another test on Tuesday against Malta and if they can create even half the chances, and convert 5% of them, they should remain on course to finish top of the group after a good start to the qualifying campaign.
Spain vs Norway live online: latest news
90'+5' GAME OVER!
90'+5' Johnsen does get the chance. He's offside and heads wide but that's really close.
90'+4' Johnsen off now with a bandage on his head but he wants to go back on. Ramos wants to go on too. Both allowed to enter.
90'+3' Norway putting on some late pressure. Ball sent in and Ramos down grabbing his head, as is Busquets and so is Johnsen.
90' Asenso sends one over the bar. He stayed onside perfectly and just clips it over the bar.
89' Mata on for Morata.
87' Like a battlefield out there. Alba flung to the ground and Martinez clattered late as he grabs his head too.
83' Spain looking for more. Canales down the left and he flicks it towards Morata.
80' Josh King cleaned out of it by Ramos. Throw. He did get the ball in fairness.
79' Corner comes in and Ramos gets it at the back post. Well, almost. He can't control it and it's a goal kick.
77' Asensio taken out of it just before that.
77' Morata wins a corner. Some really nice moves by the striker.
75' Free for Norway as Johnsen drives it into the side netting. De Gea thinks about touching it but sees it's going wide and he leaves it. Smart choice.
75' Parejo off now for Rodri. He gets a huge round of applause from his 'home' fans.
72' Canales on for Ceballos.
72' Morata with a flick and the Alba with a nutmeg and the cross. Cleared by Norway.
71' Ramos down the middle. GOAL! 2-1.
70' Morata wins the penalty! Jarstein coming barreling out of his goal after a poor pass back and it's a penalty as the keeper cleans him out of it.
66' Morata with the header. Ceballos flicks it in and he misses at the near post.
65' Joshue King to take. He scores! De Gea goes the right way but it's too well hit.
64' Penalty for Norway. Johnsen just on the field and he was grabbed by Martinez.
63' Corner for Norway. Martinez says he was being grabbed around the neck. He might have a point. Another corner it is.
62' Nordveit with the throw. He takes out the towel to dry it and is about to launch before the referee steps in and tells them to cut it out, whatever they were doing. Parejo getting involved in some shouting and pushing.
60' Another chance wasted. This time it's Parejo from distance as he drives it wide. Always moving away from the post.
59' Lovely ball by Ceballos and Ramos sends it wide. How he managed to get that across the goal and wide is baffling.
58' Rodrigo at the back post again. Clips it forward and it's curled wide. Corner.
56' Lagerbaeck empties the bench. Odegaard comes off for Elyounoussi.
56' Norway ready to make another change.
55' Elyounoussi replaced by Johnsen.
54' Rodrigo with a stepover and cross. He pokes it towards the middle but that's cut out. He fouls in an effort to win it back.
53' Ceballos booked along with Johansen. What was that? Terrible challenge on Ceballos and he reacts, in fairness, but the Norway captain threw him to the ground.
52' Rodrigo with the ball through to Morata and he sees his shot saved. Rodrigo follows up on that but can't make it to the ball first. Norway counter and Navas kicks it out to touch!
50' Rodrigo with a flick back to Alba but it's out for a throw.
49' That was very smooth from Spain. Some lovely combinations tonight. The latest involved Asensio, Ceballos, Alba as always and a cross to Rodrigo. He tried to hit it with his back to the player arriving in the box late. Doesn't work out but these combos by Spain are unreal.
49' Rodrigo out to Navas again and this time the cross is cleared out to Ramos.
48' Busquets fouled by Odegaard. He was fouled but he's lucky because he turned into trouble there.
47' Navas with another cross and Morata bundled over. He wins a corner though.
46' And we are back underway!
Rodrigo with a wave to the fans at the Mestalla as he takes his place for the second half.
Teams back in the tunnel. Can't foresee any changes from Luis Enrique as Spain looked awesome at times in that first half. They need another one to kill it off though.
45'+1' Half-time! Spain lead by a goal to nil.
45'+1' So close. Ceballos with the move inside. Perfect pass into his path by Alba and Norway somehow get it away. That was nearly the second.
45'+1' One minute of added time.
44' Alba not happy as Elyounoussi catches him with an elbow on the side of the head. He's right too as replay shows.
43' De Gea with a pass out to Navas and it's almost jumped by the Norway attacker. Poor from the shot-stopper.
43' Corner for Norway.
41' Rodrigo with a high foot on Johansen. Free for Norway. Some nice movement out from the back by Spain again there.
39' Alba with the finish. Asensio with the ball inside but the left-back had strayed offside.
38' Parejo clipped by Johansen as Spain move the ball out from the back.
37' That is fabulous. Asensio with the through ball to Parejo, he flicks on and the Morata flicks on. Just wide! What a move. Spain just a red blue there.
37' Busquets with a lovely looping pass out to Navas.
36' Parejo sends it towards goal and Jarstein saves.
35' Morata fouled by Ajer. Two very high feet and the defender arrives late and Morata is awarded a free.
34' Busquets heads on to Morata and he loops one over.
33' Lovely delivery and Morata heads down but Jarstein saves. Brilliant stop.
32' Free for Spain now as Parejo grabs it to take. Asensio stands over it too.
32' How did he miss? Elyounoussi the man inside. Henriksen with the most perfect pass you'll see into the penalty area. Elyounoussi hits it backwards and De Gea grabs it. What a miss.
31' Long ball down to De Gea is safely cradled by the keeper.
30' Odegaard spins around Busquets and pops one inside. Corner. Nice move from the Real Madrid player.
29' Some really nice football from Spain again but Ceballos' pass out to the right is cut out. Aleesami is fouled by Rodrigo with a push in the back.
28' Rodrigo with the run through the middle. He looks for Morata but it's all a little too tight. Jarstein gathers. He probably should have gone alone.
27' Ceballos with another ball out to Asensio, first time, and it's just a little too far ahead of him.
26' Ceballos with the ball out to Asensio. Cross comes in and it's out for a goal kick.
26' Elyounoussi offside from the ball inside.
24' Odegaard out to the right and it comes back. He whips one in and it's out wide at the far post.
24' He delivers out to the right and it's taken down and crossed. Spain reject it and Norway keep it.
24' Free for Norway now as Ramos is whistled. Selnaes to take out around the middle.
23' Norway have shown nothing going forward so far and Elyounossi the latest to have an attack ended.
22' Morata heads into Jarstein's chest.
20' Alba breaks forward again. he drives one across the box. It beats everyone and makes its way back to Navas at the other post. He sends one in low and Rodrigo clips it towards the keeper, forcing a fine save from him. Corner.
19' Navas with a dangerous cross into the box. Jarstein grabs it with a couple of red jerseys in the vicinity.
17' Martinez' arm pulled back by Josh King as they both go for the ball in the penalty area. Fairly obvious foul and the referee gives it.
15' GOAL! Navas to Ceballos. Ceballos out to the left and Alba clips it inside. Rodrigo finishes. 1-0.
14' Throw for Norway despite Alba's very best efforts.
13' Navas drives a cross in. It catches Morata on the arm and the referee spots it. Free to Norway.
12' Ceballos out to Navas and out wide to Rodrigo.
10' Fabulous flick from Ceballos. Lovely football from Spain so far.
9' Navas crosses and Asensio tries to get a flick but Norway send it out for another corner.
9' Spain have started this one with plenty of intensity. Based on the opening 10, they should be able to create a lot of chances. Another corner.
8' Spain win the ball back high up the field. Morata gets it and Rodrigo drops back looking for it. Morata hesitates, pokes it towards the middle and that's a corner.
7' Didn't take Luis Enrique long to jump off his bench and is out pointing and directing his players.
6' Rodrigo loses out and flicks the hurried pass out to Navas. Throw for Norway. They haven't really had much say in this one so far.
5' Asensio flicks it into the box after a lovely move. Morata heads into the keeper's arms.
3' All happening down the right for them.
3' Ramos through ball. spain with some very slick passing.
2' Navas with three stepovers. They were absolutely pointless but Spain keep the ball. One-two between Rodrigo and Navas can't quite connect. Norway win the throw.
1' Ceballos with a shot from out on the left after cutting in. Well over the bar.
1' We are underway! Spain kick us off.
The Norweigan national anthem it is first then. Spain next! Loads of very concentrated faces in that Spain team. Rodrigo and Parejo in their home stadium.
Iñigo Martínez starts after dropping out of the Spanish squad last time around and being called up by Euskadi. The Spanish FA opened up an investigation but seems all good now. He said he has never given anything less than 100% for the national team.
Spain XI: De Gea, Navas, Ramos, Martínez, Jordi Alba, Parejo, Busquets, Ceballos, Asensio, Morata, Rodrigo.
Odegaard will know that all Spanish eyes will be on him tonight too as he looks to make his way back into Real Madrid's plans.
Jesus Navas makes his comeback. He wins his first cap since 2014 against Italy. At 33, he has been excellent for Sevilla this season.
Norway XI: Jarstein, Aleesami, Ajer, Nordtveit, Elabdellaoui, Odegaard, Henriksen, Selnaes, Johansen, King, Elyounoussi.
...while club managers and fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that none of their stars pick up that dreaded FIFA virus.
There have already been some shocks in this international break, something Luis Enrique cannot afford...
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of tonight's UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Spain and Norway.
Spain vs Norway live online: match preview
Spain's qualifying for Euro 2020 takes centre stage tonight, as the national team welcomes Norway to Valencia's Mestalla stadium. Luis Enrique has some points to prove for a side for whom much is expected, and questions are already being asked about the vast rotation policy seen in the early days of his tenure. The visitors arrive knowing that they will start as underdogs, but are a side that are always capable of causing an upset. They will also have a young man in their ranks who many in Spain will be keeping a close eye on.
The manager who took over following last year's eventful World Cup for Spain has selected 41 players in his six games to date. Of these, 32 have taken to the field. In comparison, his predecessor did not use more that 51, and that was over 20 matches.
The normally reliable Sergio Busquets should take his place in the heart of the midfield and there will be familiarity at the back with the likes of David de Gea, Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba. After that, more experimentation may be in order with the young Real Madrid pair of Ceballos and Asensio pushing for a start. Atlético's Álvaro Morata hasn't been in blistering form but could well be tasked with finding the goals or, at least, causing a nuisance for the Norway backline.
Lars Lagerbäck will aim to use his vast experience to get the better of a more talented opposition. During the Nations League we saw a Norway side focused on a solid defence, managing clean sheets in four of their six matches. Despite less attacking prowess, they did score seven goals in those games, helping them to top spot and promotion to League B. One of their forward thinking players, Martin Odegaard, will be getting plenty attention from the sidelines.
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