Spain still look mediocre in attack and defensively

After the draw at home against Greece, losing to Sweden last night was a bad result as Spain trail the Scandinavian side by two points in group B. The key from the game was not to lose in Solna and despite looking impressive in the central area with the ball, it was a different matter in both boxes. An early goal from in-form Carlos Soler from a Jordi Alba pass was the perfect tonic for Luis Enrique's men who then dominated the game in terms of possession. Despite this domination, La Roja created few clear-cut chances and failed to trouble the Swedish keeper even in the final stages when the side in yellow sat deeper.

Sin tituloSpain's midfielder Carlos Soler (L) celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Spain's midfielder Koke during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group B football match between Sweden and Spain, at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden on September 2, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

Drops in concentration

Things were not so good in Spain's defensive side with Sweden scoring twice with minimum effort. The first of the night for the home side came in the 11th minute. After a mix-up between Koke and Busquets, Real Sociedad striker Isak slotted home with the other Swedish goal being scored by Claesson after some fine work from Kulusevski. The Juve man worked well with Isak in attack and both were a thorn in the side for the Spanish side all night. The Spain defence had a night to forget with Sweden winning back possession from the Spanish rear-guard far too often and causing moments of real tension for Unai Simon in goal.


Play-off path to Qatar

This lack of concentration from the Spanish defence is nothing new and we saw tell-tale signs of this at Euro 2020. Spain proved to be a fine team in the central area with the ball but are far too vulnerable at the back and are also a side that struggles to find the net. Yesterday's showing was well below par from the team we saw at the Euros as Busquets and Koke started badly and failed to improve during the action. Gerard Moreno had a discreet evening and Morata looked lively but never looked like scoring. When Sweden sat deeper, Spain looked to the marauding runs of Adama on the wing but his deliveries into the box never looked like being finished off with Ferran Torres ultimately occupying the central striker role. It was a night to forget for 'La Roja' and the team may now have to look at the play-off as a path to Qatar with three teams progressing with the ten group winners.