EURO 2020 Highlights: Spain held to goalless draw by rugged Sweden

ESP vs SWE, Euro 2021 LIVE Updates: Presenting the live score, commentary and highlights from the UEFA European Championship Group E match between Spain and Sweden at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla.

Spain football team players

Spain players cheer supporters at the end of the Euro 2020 Group E match against Sweden at the La Cartuja stadium in Seville on Tuesday.   -  AP

Welcome to the highlights of the Euro 2020 game between Spain and Sweden. This was Santadeep Dey, bringing you all the action as it unfurled at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla.

HIGHLIGHTS

FINAL SCORE - ESP 0-0 SWE

FULL-TIME: That is it from Seville! A number of chances were wasted by either side; two big misses from the visitor too. But at the end of the day, isn't this more like a win for Sweden? Seems like it!

This will also come as excellent news for Slovakia, which beat Poland earlier in the day, and now tops Group E!

Well guys, that's it from Europe for the day. Time to head to the Olympic Stadium in Brazil where Messi's Argentina begins its Copa America 2021 campaign tonight.

FOLLOW THE ACTION HERE: Argentina 0 - 0 Chile LIVE: Messi's side begins Copa America campaign

90 + 5' This may well be Spain's last corner-kick of the game. Moreno rises again but heads wide.

90 + 2' BLOCKED. AGAIN. OLSEN! Augustinsson ducks for some unknown reason as Alba slices a fiery cross into the box. Sarabia has been caught napping as a rebound off his legs goes straight to the keeper. Safe as houses.

90' Olsen saves his side again at the death! What a thriller this is turning out to be... Moreno's header has been booted out. We will have six minutes of added time, ladies and gents! Spain is pushing for the winner and the urgency is evident.

88' Alba has been adjudged offside. Well, replays show he wasn't. Where's the VAR?

86' Spain is done with all of its five subs. Koke off. Ruiz on.

85' Another commendable cross from the right from Moreno sees no takers in red.

83' Olsson does walk out finally, not being able to carry on. Gets a pat on the back from Olsen for his services tonight. The FC Krasnodar midfielder has been impressive tonight. Cajuste to take his place. Forsberg also makes way for Bengtsson.

80' Olsson is booed by the crowd as he takes his own sweet time to get back up on his feet after being knocked down by Pedri.

78' Wave after wave after wave... The relentless Reds of Spain have tried pressing but in vain! Olsen beats Moreno to a cross whipped in from the right by Sarabia. Even calling this fantastic will be an understatement.

76' As Lustig receives some medical attention after having pulled, what looks like, a thigh muscle, Spain introduces two more substitues. Out go Olmo and Torres, on come Moreno and Oyarzabal.

Lustig hobbles out too a few seconds later. Emil Krafth will replace him on the pitch.

71' The last time Spain finished with a goalless draw in the Euro group stages was in 1980 against Italy. The side still has 20 minutes to change things though.

68' Quaison comes on for Berg. Wait... whaaaaaat? Claesson replaces Isak. 'But why?', one may wonder...

65' That's it for Enrique... He's having no more of it. Twin changes for Spain as Morata and Rodri are replaced by Sarabia and Thiago.

61' HOW DID THAT NOT END UP HOME? Isak tricks his way past three defenders before threading a pass to Berg, who misfires.

57' A number of players can be seen limbering up. Not long before we see a couple of changes from either sides.

54' First caution of the contest as Lustig goes into the ref's books for slowing play down.

53' Koke whips a searching ball into the Sweden penalty area. However, it dips and ends up in Olsen's arms.

50' C'mon... not again! Morata's right-footed shot goes wide. Olsen is yet to be tested by the Juventus playmaker.

48' Lustig makes a mess of a golden opportunity as Isak wins Sweden a free-kick inside the opposition half! Was almost tackled by an invisible man in the box on that occasion.

45' No changes at half-time for either side as Spain kick-starts proceedings.

HALF-TIME: Sweden survives the first 45 minutes. There were scares alright, but it can safely be said that it was Sweden's Isak, who came the closest to slotting home, less than five minutes earlier.

45' A minute has been added on.

43' An assertive punch from Olsen may have just denied Spain its last chance to register a lead before we head into the break. Sweden hanging on by the skin of its teeth!

40' And right out of the blue, Isak almost breaks the deadlock with a shot into the the post! Serves more like a wake-up call for La Roja.

37' An almighty let-off for Danielson, who somehow misses the ball, as Morata runs into open field and drills off target. Inexcusable.

36' Larsson clips a ball that drifts off the top of the crossbar. Forsberg’s corner has been cleared by Pau.

35' Sweden looks tired. Yes. Already! This can only mean bad news for the visitor. Only a matter of time before Luis Enrique's boys bring about a change in the scoreline if things remain as they are.

32' Llorente dribbles past Danielson but Olsen saves the day once again.

31' Morata stumbles as Alba tries to feed him from the left flank. Olmo gets the last touch before the ball goes out of play.

29' Olmo swipes one in for Koke, who darts in from the midfield but isn't able to keep it down.

25' Torres lays one in Llorente's path. The latter cuts back only for Olsson to stage a crucial intervention.

22' CLOSE! Koke, in a failed attempt at a one-two with Alba on the left, swings hard. The ball rolls out, only inches away from the far post.

21' Lindolef sends in a throw. Rodri drives this out. Although Forsberg hooks it back, the ball sails way over Simon's head.

18' Still pretty much the one-way traffic here in Seville. The host is enjoying a whopping 91% possession.

16' A collective gasp from the crowd as Olsen flings himself to the left to deny Olmo.

12' The referee has a word with Olsson who pulls off a late challenge on Pedri.

11' Olmo takes a tumble as Spain wins a freekick from 25 yards out. A delivery for Rodri has been cleared by the Swedish defence.

9' There has been no real sign of any intent from the visitor, thus far, whatsoever. They have only resorted to chasing their opponents all about the park.

6' Half-a-chance for Spain goes abegging as Olmo shoots into outer space. Had all the time to compose himself into a finish but the midfielder fails miserably.

5' Alba gets to the byline and clips one into the danger zone. Augustinsson panics and turns the ball behind to gift Spain a freebie in the form of a corner.

3' Ferran forces a corner and Rodri's drive, directed at the near post, has been cleared by Larsson.

1' Pedri's first touch is greeted with a round of applause from the stands. The 18-year-old is the youngest Spaniard to have been handed a start for the national side in the European Championship.

12:33 AM IST: KICKOFF! The ref blows the whistle and we are underway. Larsson and Co. get the ball rolling from right to left.

12:31 AM IST: There is a slight delay in kickoff as we wait for a bit of repair work to conclude.

12:25 AM IST: It's time for the national anthems. Sweden up first.

12:23 AM IST: The players are making their way out onto the pitch accompanied by the match officials.

LINEUPS

Spain: Simon; M. Llorente, Laporte, P. Torres, Alba (c); Koke, Rodri, Pedri; F. Torres, Morata, Olmo.

Subs: de Gea, Azpilicueta, D. Llorente, Gerard, Thiago, Garcia, Sanchez, Gaya, Fabian, Traore, Oyarzabal, Sarabia.

Sweden: Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Danielson, Augustinsson; S. Larsson (c), Olsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Berg, Isak.

Subs: Granqvist, Bengtsson, Johnsson, Svensson, Helander, Sema, Krafth, Claesson, Jansson, Quaison, Nordfeldt, J. Larsson, Cajuste.

Referee: Slavko Vincic (Slovenia)

PREDICTED XI

Spain: Simon, Azpilicueta, P. Torres, Laporte, Alba, Rodri, Koke, Thiago, F. Torres, Olmo, Morata.

Sweden: Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Danielson, Augustinsson, Claesson, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg, Berg, Isak.

RECENT FORM

Spain: D-W-W-D-W

Sweden: W-W-W-W-W

100
 

MATCH PREVIEW

It was only a week ago that Spain received some bad news that could have jeopardised its participation in Euro 2020. While captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for the coronavirus, the national team suddenly faced the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Busquets left the team’s training camp and the rest of the squad had to go into isolation. Everyone had to be tested and retested.

Spain coach Luis Enrique had to hastily put together a parallel squad in case more players were infected. Personalised training routines were put into place. The team’s final warm-up match had to be played with an under-21 squad.

READ| Euro 2020: Llorente says Covid chaos will make Spain stronger

Fears increased when a second player, defender Diego Llorente, tested positive a few days later, and Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales said more positive results were likely. More players were pulled away from their vacations to join the parallel training bubble.

It was a grim outlook for La Roja on the eve of the tournament that was delayed for a year because of the pandemic.

Spain

Manager Luis Enrique has had a tough build-up to Spain's EURO 2020 opener.   -  REUTERS

 

But normalcy was somehow restored for Spain ahead of its Group E opener against Sweden today in Seville.

Little by little, the good news started trickling in. Llorente’s test result turned out to be a false-positive. The government rushed in to vaccinate the entire squad. Players were allowed to practise together again after tests kept coming back negative.

ALSO READ| Euro 2020: Spain vaccinates football team after outbreak scare

Spain will be much closer to full strength when it takes on the Swedes at the La Cartuja Stadium.

“We all see this as a ‘glass half-full’ situation,” Llorente said. “It has made us stronger as a group and as a team. It can help us mentally for these upcoming matches. Everything will be okay if we all row in the same direction, and that’s the lesson we need to learn from this week.”

The 39-year-old Ibrahimovic will not be part of EURO 2020.   -  Getty Images

 

Sweden will be without its own veteran star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who ended his five-year international retirement in March but had to rule himself out of Euro 2020 because of a knee injury.

The Swedish attack will likely be led by 21-year-old Alexander Isak, who plays for Real Sociedad in the Spanish league.

“It will be my first final tournament. That’s what I’m most anxious about,” Isak told UEFA.com. “The fact that we start against Spain is a lot of fun since that’s where I play my day-to-day football.”

It was because of the virus that the match will be played in Seville instead of Bilbao, the Spanish city originally picked as host. But the high contagion rate of the virus in the northern part of the country forced UEFA to change venues.

About 16,000 fans will be able to attend matches at La Cartuja in the southern city of Seville, where Spain will also play its other group matches against Poland and Slovakia. A quarterfinal match will also be played at La Cartuja.

ALSO READ| EURO 2020: Sweden keeps Kulusevski and Svanber despite testing positive for Covid-19

Local officials removed the requirement for fans to show a negative test to attend matches after many complained they were not told of the requirement at the time of purchase.

Spain’s squad had its first full practice only on Saturday when Enrique began deciding who will replace Busquets, the only player remaining in the squad that was in Spain's World Cup-winning team in 2010. Manchester City player Rodri Hernandez will be the likely substitute for Busquets in the midfield on Monday.

RELATED| Euro 2020: Sweden squad tightens Covid measures after two cases

This is the third time in a row that Spain faced problems ahead of a major tournament. Days before the 2018 World Cup, Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was fired after taking a job with Real Madrid, and starting goalkeeper David de Gea had his name involved in an investigation into a Spanish pornography filmmaker before Euro 2016. He eventually was fully cleared of any wrongdoing.

Luis Enrique hopes the challenges posed by the coronavirus are in the past.

“I hope there are no more (coronavirus) cases for any team,” Luis Enrique said. “I hope we can see a good spectacle. Fans want to be back in the stadiums and regain some normalcy."

- Associated Press

WHERE TO WATCH UEFA EURO 2020 LIVE IN INDIA?

Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) will telecast UEFA EURO 2020 in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Fans can watch all the action unfold LIVE on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 3, SONY SIX and SONY TEN 4 channels. The matches are available for live streaming on SonyLIV as well.