Luis Enrique’s new stage at the head of the National Team began with a draw ‘in extremis’ against Germany, a powerful team that showed that they are now one point above the Spanish team. Gaya’s goal in injury time served to avoid a defeat in the Nations League premiere and was undoubtedly a reward for La Roja’s perseverance and stubbornness. As the coach wants, La Roja’s style was recognizable. Ball played with criteria, the association between players, good pressure after loss, and a clear offensive vocation. The only thing missing was a little more success in the face of the goal; the same sin of a Germany that could score some more if not for the saves of David De Gea; one of the most outstanding players of the match.
Beyond the result, the meeting will also be remembered by the four debutants yesterday; (Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Mikel Merino, and Oscar Rodriguez), a fact that shows the renewal process that Spain is in right now.
Ferran was headline
Luis Enrique’s first election on his return to the National Team bench was not as revolutionary as could be expected. The Asturian relied on his most ‘veteran’ eleven, led by Sergio Ramos and Busquets and Jesus Navas, and in turn, cleared up the mystery raised by the goal by finally betting on De Gea to the detriment of Kepa.
But the highlight of the lineup was undoubtedly the debut of Ferran Torres. The brand new Manchester City striker made his debut with La Roja forming a trident with Rodrigo and Navas, who left the right side to act as a winger in the absence of Asensio. On the defensive axis, the position where the coach has made the most tests, Pau Torres brought a new air together with the incombustible Ramos. Luis Enrique already warned that Spain would try to be the protagonist from the beginning, but in front, it found a very vertical Germany that knew how to exploit the weak points of the Spanish rear. In fact, the great protagonist of La Roja at the start of the match was De Gea, author of three worthwhile saves in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Teutonic team, thanks to the speed of Sane, found facilities on Gaya’s side, but the shots of Kherer, Draxler, and Sane himself ran into the success and concentration of the Spanish goalkeeper of Manchester United. Before reaching the half-hour of play. There was even a dangerous arrival, especially in a slate action where Busquets put Trapp in trouble. The German goalkeeper later took a foot off Rodrigo’s shot, who initially wasted an unbeatable chance to overtake La Roja in indecision by Germany by taking too long to finish.
The second half started with opposing situations; the joy of the debut of Ansu Fati and Mikel Merino and the blow that Germany struck to get ahead on the scoreboard. Gundogan made a game-changer for Gosens; the full-back cushioned the ball and passed back for Werner; who looked for the gap and ended up hosting the ball in the Spanish goal without De Gea being able to do anything.
With half an hour to go, Spain was forced to come back and quickly established the fence to the opposite goal. Rodrigo aimed too high on a good shot and then Fabian lacked space before Trapp’s exit. Meanwhile, Germany could finish off the match with a counterattack from Sane, but Werner this time crashed the ball against the side of the Spanish goal.
The final stretch of the game was a monologue by La Roja; which bottled up the German team in their area. Luis Enrique’s pupils tried to create spaces; but when there were none, the distant shot was also a good option. Thiago was close to returning the tie to the scoreboard but ended up brushing the stick.
Ansu’s speed generated vertigo and energized the attack of a La Roja penalized by the lack of success. The azulgrana, could even celebrate his debut with a goal, but the referee annulled his target due to a previous foul by Ramos.
With the passage of time, the forces were running out for a Spain that never stopped believing in the tie. Pushed from the side by the screams of Luis Enrique; Spain found what they wanted and got the equalizer with a final goal from Gaya after a cross into the area. His first goal with La Roja allowed him to avoid defeat, which is no small feat.