Spain 1-2 Switzerland summary: score, goals, highlights, UEFA Nations League
Spain 1-2 Switzerland: as it happened
Spain 1-2 Switzerland: match summary
Spain suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Switzerland as goals from Manuel Akanji and Breel Embolo knocked the hosts off the top of Nations League A-Group 2 on Saturday with one game left to play.
Last year's finalists are now second on eight points having been leapfrogged by Portugal, who breezed past Czech Republic 4-0 away to reach 10 points.
Cristiano Ronaldo's side will reach the final four with at least a home draw in Tuesday's crunch game against Spain, who must win in Braga to qualify for the semi-finals.
Switzerland are third on six points, two above than Czechs who they will face on Tuesday in a battle to avoid relegation.
Akanji opened the scoring with a header from a corner in the 21st minute, but Jordi Alba equalised for the hosts with a cross-shot from a counter-attack 10 minutes after the break.
Three minutes later, however, Embolo got the winner with a close-range strike from a corner. (Reuters)
Confirmation of the day's results. Portugal now lead group A2 on 10 points, Spain are second on eight and Switzerland go into the final game against the Czech Republic with safety in their own hands after tonight's victory, those two sides on six and four repsectively.
And there's the whistle! Switzerland not only avoid relegation but also hand Portugal the advantage in the race for the finals berth, which will now come down to a mouth-watering match in Braga on Tuesday when Cristiano Ronaldo and co host La Roja.
But Switzerland clear and that will be it...
And now a corner... Unai is coming up!
Spain throw out on the right... final roll of the dice for the hosts.
Soler! The Spain sub latches onto a loose ball and draws a fine low save from Sommer, who has been typically brilliant this evening.
Five minutes added in Zaragoza!
A lovely run from Nico Williams is halted on the edge of the box, Spain think unfairly but the ref disagrees, He has been excellent since coming on for his debut, the Athletic winger.
Embolo heads off for the Swiss as veteran Haris Seferovic comes on.
Spain are unhappy as the lino flags Marcos Llorente late. The Atleti midfielder has made a couple of driving runs down the right since coming on.
It looks like Swiss boss Yakin has gone in the book for protesting. He laughs it off though.
Change for Switzerland as Vargas makes way for midfielder Michel Aebischer, Yakin shutting up shop a little with 10 on the clock.
Sommer! Llorente lets fly and it's a decent effort but the Swiss stopper makes a fine flying save to deny the Atleti midfielder.
Yeremy takes and wins a corner as his shot clips the top of the wall.
Spain will have a chance from a free kick as Busquets is clattered by Elvedi.
Another change for Spain as Pedri makes way for Marcos Llorente.
Steffen! Goodness... the Swiss midfielder plays a sloppy back pass to Sommer that narrowly misses the far post!
Nico Williams immediately has the crowd on its feet with some fancy footwork.
Here comes the changes... Nico for Sarabia, Borja Iglesias for Asensio and Yeremy Pino for Ferran Torres.
Unai! The Swiss almost bundle a third over the line but the Spain stopper prevents disaster.
Asensio! The Real Madrid man finally gets a clean run through but hits his effort straight at Sommer.
The hour mark arrives and surely Luis Enrique must be looking to his bench now as he chases another goal.
Asensio pulls the ball down on the far side and cuts in, sending a glorious ball through to Jordi Alba, who picks his spot and tucks home to make it 1.1!
The Spain front three combine with Torres laying off for Asensio, who finds Sarabia on the far side, but the PSG winger's touch deserts him.
A deflected Torres cross loops up dangerously but Sommer is there to claim it.
A huge cheer goes up in the stands as Borja Iglesias and Nico Williams emerge to warm up. Iglesias bagged 22 league goals in the 2017-18 season on loan at Zaragoza from Celta.
We're back underway!
Renato Steffen is on for the Swiss, Rodríguez off. No changes from Luis Enrique.
The teams are coming back out now, let's see if there have been any changes.
As things stand in Group A2, Portugal are now top on 10 points as they lead against the Czechs, Spain are second with 8 and Switzerland third with 6.
And there's the whistle! Switzerland lead at half time against a blunt Spain side who are seeing more of the ball but not doing very much with it.
Akanji goes into the book for protesting and will miss the final game of the group stage against the Czechs.
Unai! The Spain stopper claws a Shaqiri effort away after the Chicago Fire midfielder went past four defenders in a blur.
Luis Enrique looks pensive on the touchline. Surely he has to admit the false nine with Asensio hasn't worked and thrown on a striker after the break?
Spain have had 75% of the ball so far but only two shots to Switzerland's four, and neither of those has bothered Sommer.
And Gavi again clears as Spain finally manage to get the ball upfield and out of the danger area.
Gavi manages to prevent Shaqiri from getting a cross in from the third corner but now it's out again for a fifth...
Switzerland won a corner and try exactly the same thing again. Spain just manage to stop Akanji from getting to it but it's out for another corner. And another, as Eric Garcia clears the second...
A penny for the thoughts of Álvaro Morata and Borja Iglesias, who would love to be on the end of some of these swift passing moves.
Spain are laying siege to the Swiss area but none of their dominance has resulted in a shot on goal.
Jordi Alba gets on the end of a cross and manages to turn a shot on target but it's bread and butter for Sommer. Every Spain attack is side to side at the moment, there is little going through the middle.
Spain are looking to hit back straight away as Torres and Sarabia buzz around on the wings but the lack of a genuine focal point is not working to the home side's advantage as the Swiss central defenders have Asensio firmly under wraps.
Switzerland have been looking the more likely to score and the Manchester City defender rises to meet a corner, hitting a header into the turf that bounces high into the top corner, beyond the grasp of Unai.
Unai! What a stop from the Spain keeper as Embolo is suddenly through on goal but the flag was up anyway, albeit after the save had been made.
Spain feel they should have had a free kick out on the left as Elvedi goes into the back of Torres but the ref waves play on.
Xhaka! A decent effort from the Swiss captain, who has a ferocious shot on him, but it's from a fair way out and straight at Unai.
A loose ball in midfield from Pedri gives the Swiss an opening and they work the ball swiftly to Embolo, but the Monaco forward's progress is blocked by Eric Garcia on the edge of the area,
Spain swarm forward after a clever steal in midfield by Gavi but the Swiss also drop back in numbers and close off the spaces.
Torres gets away on the left and sends a lovely ball towards Sarabia on the far side but the flag is up.
Unai Simón almost gets into a spot of bother as Spain are a little over-elaborate playing it out from the back but Pau Torres mops up.
Switzerland were out of the blocks quickly with a high press that had Spain on the back foot but the hosts have now managed to push out and are settling on the ball.
We're underway in La Romareda!
The teams are out now and the anthems are about to get underway.
The teams have finished their warm-ups and the stadium is packed as we await kick-off in about 10 minutes.
Luis Enrique is out and about greeting some Spain fans who arrived early. La Romareda holds 33,000 spectators and we imagine it'll be full this evening.
Spain vs Switzerland: benches
Having gone for Asensio as a false nine, strikers Álvaro Morata and Borja Iglesias will have to make do with a spot on the bench this evening, as will Nico Williams.
Spain bench: Robert Sánchez, Raya, Gayá, Carvajal, Diego Llorente, Guillamón, Rodri, Koke, M. Llorente, Soler, Williams, Morata, Pino, Borja Iglesias.
Switzerland bench: Omlin, Mbabu, Widmer, Aebischer, Seferovic, Comert, Ndoye, Frei, Jashari, Schär, Steffen.
Switzerland starting XI confirmed
Murat Yakin has named an attacking line-up with Breel Embolo, Xherdan Shaqiri and Ruben Vargas all starting. Mönchengladbach stopper Jann Sommer gets a 75th cap between the sticks and Torino left back Ricardo Rodríguez moves to 99 this evening.
Switzerland XI: Sommer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodríguez; Xhaka, Freuler, Sow, Shaqiri, Embolo, Vargas.
Spain starting XI confirmed
Luis Enrique, who announed his squad while cycling part of the Vuelta a España, is one for surprises and the inclusion of Marco Asensio is certainly one. Asensio can't get a look-in at Madrid this season but starts tonight against the Swiss in the middle of a front three. Barcelona's midfield will be behind that and the defence will be marshalled by the excellent Pau Torres, with Unai Simón in sticks.
Nico Williams to debut for Spain?
It will be interesting to see if Nico Williams earns a first cap this evening. Luis Enrique called the Athletic Bilbao winger up in response to Ghana deciding to cap his older brother Iñaki, to ensure that Nico couldn't also be pinched by the Black Stars ahead of the World Cup. If he doesn't play though, his international registration will still be open. He's also brilliant fun to watch, and as fast as a whippet.
Spain's Swiss record
Spain have a pretty overwhelming record against Switzerland, having only lost once against tonight's opposition in 24 games (at the 2010 World Cup).
Spain struggling for goals
Despite the lofty position of Luis Enrique's side in Group A2, Spain have not really been convincing of late. Other than a 5-0 trouncing of Iceland in a friendly earlier this year, Spain haven't scored more than twice in 10 games. Still, that was also the case at the 2010 World Cup, where La Roja won every knock-out game 1-0 and that worked out pretty well for them.
Still, the doubts that surround Spain going into the 2022 World Cup persist simply because they have so much trouble finishing opponents off.
Spain vs Switzerland: recent head-to-head
Recent meetings between these two sides have tended towards the goal-shy: the 1-0 Spain win in the reverse fixture followed two 1-1 draws at the European Championship in 2021 and in the 2020 Nations League, and the meeting before that, in the Nations League again in October 2020, ended 1-0 to Spain.
Spain vs Switzerland: last meeting
The last time the the sides met, in Geneva in June, Pablo Sarabia’s early goal secured a 1-0 win for Spain, kickstarting La Roja’s Nations League campaign after opening draws with Portugal and the Czech Republic.
For Switzerland, the defeat was their third in three games in the 2022/23 Nations League, but a 1-0 victory over Portugal three days later means they’re still alive going into matchday five on Saturday.
Switzerland looking to avoid drop
Meanwhile, Switzerland sit bottom and could go down to League B today, although it’s also still mathematically possible for them to snatch a finals berth. The visitors will be relegated in Zaragoza if they lose and the Czech Republic defeat Portugal - but were the Swiss to win in Spain, anything other than an away victory in the Czech capital would keep their slim hopes of topping the group alive. It’s worth noting, however, that Switzerland have never beaten Spain on Spanish soil.
After wins over Switzerland and the Czech Republic on matchdays three and four, Spain lead Group A2 and are within sight of a second straight appearance in the Nations League finals. Luis Enrique’s men are one point clear of Portugal, and will guarantee themselves a place in the last four next June if they beat the Swiss and the Portuguese lose to the Czechs in Prague.
Spain vs Switzerland: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS USA's live coverage of the UEFA Nations League game between Spain and Switzerland from La Romareda in Zaraoza. Kick-off is at 8:45pm local time (CEST). In the United States, that’s 2:45pm ET/11:45am PT.