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We're through, but doubts remain...


In the end we returned home from Scandinavia with a good result. Last night’s game in Stockholm was drawing to a close and we were thinking about next month’s meeting with Malta when Fabián drilled a low ball across the six-yard box straight to Rodrigo Moreno to tap in an injury-time equaliser. A draw was enough to book our ticket to Euro 2020. Now we have two matchdays left to play and time to prepare to end the qualifying round hopefully as winners of the group which would be a huge help. But the two draws during this international break – one of them gained right at the death, was enough to ensure Spain’s place at the finals. But we return home from our trip north a little rattled. You could even go as far as saying Spain looked more the part before these last two games than after them.

David de Gea saves
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David de Gea savesNils Petter NilssonGetty Images

Spain missed key players

While Robert Moreno says he spoilt for choice when it comes to talent, it doesn’t quite seem that way. For example, we’ve really missed Jordi Alba. Bernat is a long way off bringing what Alba gives the team – so much so that last night we could have done with giving Reguilón a run-out. And another example, Rodrigo Hernández hasn’t got the qualities Sergio Busquets has. You can understand why Busquets was rested – he can’t be expected to play 70 games a season, but Rodrigo Hernández just isn’t as reliable and got himself tangled up in all kinds of problems. And then there’s Thiago – the ‘eternal promise’ who still aiming to lock down a regular place in the slot which Guti left vacant when he retired.

Rodrigo stabs home
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Sweden, tough to crack

It was a thrilling, vibrant game, one in which the keepers were kept busy (De Gea went off injured) and as we expected, Sweden proved more of a challenge than Norway. They were solid at the back – especially when dealing with high balls into the box – a tactic Spain persisted with all night. Sweden were hardly troubled by our midfield who have a tendency to defend with a high line. Spain’s game stuttered. They started really well and looked as though they could have taken the game to Sweden and ended putting pressure on their hosts which resulted in the equaliser. But everything that happened in between leaves us a little worried.