NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Luis Enrique has found what he was looking for


Luis Enrique's Spain brought out their A-game when it was needed, sweeping aside Germany, a team that had not lost in over a year. The plan was the same as always: a 4-3-3 with careful ball management, only this time he added to those principles an energy in the duels and a thirst for goals that had not been present on previous occasions. All added up it produced Spain’s best performance since their most triumphant period, and I could go as far as to say that it probably invoked more enthusiasm among many fans who were getting sick of the very precise and scientific football of that elite champion team, one which also lacked goals and excitement.

Spain's historic humbling of Germany

The result is historic, and today it will reverberate across Europe: after all, Germany had never lost a match by six goals. The achievement came about from the hard work of everyone involved. Rodri commanded in the middle of the park; the vision and skill of Koke and Fabián who were very mobile in the inside channels; Morata dropped back to link up play before returning to finish it off; Ferran destroyed them on his wing, with Olmo doing his bit on the other side; and then the full-backs, Sergi Roberto and, even more so, Gayà, were outstanding. It was a quiet game for the central defenders and for Unai Simón in goal. The only setbacks were the injuries to Canales and Sergio Ramos, which forced them both off early. Neither appear to be too serious though.

Commanding | Spain's Rodri eludes Matthias Ginter and Leroy Sane of Germany
Full screen
Commanding | Spain's Rodri eludes Matthias Ginter and Leroy Sane of GermanyFran SantiagoGetty Images

Luis Enrique's path

Against the enthusiasm, speed and precision of Spain, Germany gradually caved. In their defence they could say that they were missing Kimmich. But they played with the capacity of so many other matches in which they are superior, but yesterday they were not. Spain won every duel, and from that platform launched their attacks and numerous finishes. Imagine how it was that at 5-0 down, Germany threw on an additional centre-back to cover up their embarrassment a little. In summary, it was a very pleasant day, not only because it saw us qualify for the Final Four (which will be played next October), but also as Luis Enrique has shown his sceptics that his path was leading somewhere: a place where they play like they did last night.