European Championship - Group E

Spain 0-0 Sweden: Wasteful Spain frustrated by stubborn Swedes in Seville

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport

Spain endured a frustrating opening game in Euro 2020 as they failed to make their near total dominance pay against a rigid and stubborn Sweden in Seville.

Luis Enrique's side had the vast majority of possession - 85% - and territory in the match, which at times resembled a session of attack versus defence, but were unable to take advantage of the good opportunities their build-up play yielded.

The best fell to Alvaro Morata, who was allowed in on goal by a fluffed attempted clearance from Marcus Danielson but side-footed his shot wide.

Dani Olmo also saw a close-range header tipped round the post by Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen, and Koke sliced an effort off target from inside the box.

Sweden's best chance fell to La Liga's young player of the year Alexander Isak, who muscled his way in for a shot that deflected off a Spanish defender, hit the post and looped straight to grateful keeper Unai Simon.

Isak also fashioned a great opportunity for partner Marcus Berg, who somehow managed to steer a shot from near point-blank range wide at the back post.

The result will do little to lift the downbeat mood of some of the Spanish public, who have seen the preparations of their national side overshadowed by the fallout of positive Covid-19 tests for two players and squad selection controversy.

The draw in Seville means Slovakia have the early advantage in Group E courtesy of their surprise 2-1 win over Poland earlier on Monday.

No nation has had the perfect preparation for this tournament as a result of the global pandemic, but few sides' build-up has been quite as problematic and picked apart as that of Spain.

The positive Covid-19 tests for Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente and resulting fallout, along with the omission of any Real Madrid players from the squad, the most notable being Sergio Ramos, left many Spaniards hoping for rather than expecting success.

While not a patch on any of the squads that won three successive major tournaments between 2008 and 2012, this is still a talented group packed full of pace and vision.

This was born out throughout the game, as the side in red and blue shifted their opponent around the pitch, moved intelligently into space and forged openings, with Barcelona teenager Pedri prominent.

In the first-half alone they completed 419 passes - the highest figure in the opening 45 minutes of a European Championship game since data specialists Opta began collecting such information in 1980.

What Luis Enrique's starting XI really lacked was a finisher.

Morata has 19 international goals to his name and a lot of big clubs on his CV but he floated through the contest and spurned his moment when it came.

Gerard Moreno - scorer of 30 goals for Villarreal last season - sat on the bench until the 75th minute and missed his own big chance in injury time with a header saved by Olsen. It was one of only two attempts on target in the second half.

Sweden will be delighted to have frustrated a big side in their own back yard. It wasn't pretty but it was extremely effective and testament to a side with a work ethic and discipline in spades.

Manchester United's Victor Lindelof is an occasionally maligned defender by fans in England, but here he was superb.

On the evidence of the two games we have witnessed so far in Group E, it is going to be fascinating watching it to a conclusion.

What's next?

Sweden are in Saint Petersburg in Russia to face Slovakia, who beat Poland in their first match, at 14:00 BST on Friday 18 June. Spain play the day after, facing the Poles in Seville at 20:00.

Player of the match

OlsenRobin Olsen

with an average of 8.25


  1. Squad number26Player namePedri
    Average rating


  2. Squad number18Player nameAlba
    Average rating


  3. Squad number24Player nameLaporte
    Average rating


  4. Squad number8Player nameKoke
    Average rating


  5. Squad number4Player nameTorres
    Average rating


  6. Squad number10Player nameThiago Alcántara
    Average rating


  7. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating


  8. Squad number6Player nameMarcos Llorente
    Average rating


  9. Squad number23Player nameSimón
    Average rating


  10. Squad number11Player nameTorres
    Average rating


  11. Squad number19Player nameOlmo
    Average rating


  12. Squad number9Player nameMoreno
    Average rating


  13. Squad number21Player nameOyarzabal
    Average rating


  14. Squad number22Player nameSarabia
    Average rating


  15. Squad number17Player nameRuiz
    Average rating


  16. Squad number7Player nameMorata
    Average rating



  1. Squad number1Player nameOlsen
    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameIsak
    Average rating


  3. Squad number3Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating


  4. Squad number24Player nameDanielson
    Average rating


  5. Squad number7Player nameLarsson
    Average rating


  6. Squad number6Player nameAugustinsson
    Average rating


  7. Squad number20Player nameOlsson
    Average rating


  8. Squad number2Player nameLustig
    Average rating


  9. Squad number8Player nameEkdal
    Average rating


  10. Squad number16Player nameKrafth
    Average rating


  11. Squad number5Player nameBengtsson
    Average rating


  12. Squad number17Player nameClaesson
    Average rating


  13. Squad number22Player nameQuaison
    Average rating


  14. Squad number10Player nameForsberg
    Average rating


  15. Squad number26Player nameCajuste
    Average rating


  16. Squad number9Player nameBerg
    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 23Simón
  • 6Llorente
  • 24Laporte
  • 4Torres
  • 18Alba
  • 8KokeSubstituted forRuizat 87'minutes
  • 16RodriSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 65'minutes
  • 26González
  • 11TorresSubstituted forOyarzabalat 74'minutes
  • 7MorataSubstituted forSarabiaat 66'minutes
  • 19OlmoSubstituted forMorenoat 74'minutes


  • 1de Gea
  • 2Azpilicueta
  • 3Llorente
  • 9Moreno
  • 10Thiago Alcántara
  • 12García
  • 13Sánchez
  • 14Gayà
  • 17Ruiz
  • 20Traoré
  • 21Oyarzabal
  • 22Sarabia


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Olsen
  • 2LustigBooked at 55minsSubstituted forKrafthat 75'minutes
  • 3Lindelöf
  • 24Danielson
  • 6Augustinsson
  • 7Larsson
  • 20OlssonSubstituted forCajusteat 84'minutes
  • 8Ekdal
  • 10ForsbergSubstituted forBengtssonat 84'minutes
  • 9BergSubstituted forQuaisonat 69'minutes
  • 11IsakSubstituted forClaessonat 69'minutes


  • 5Bengtsson
  • 12Johnsson
  • 13Svensson
  • 14Helander
  • 15Sema
  • 16Krafth
  • 17Claesson
  • 18Jansson
  • 22Quaison
  • 23Nordfeldt
  • 25Larsson
  • 26Cajuste
Slavko Vincic

Match Stats

Home TeamSpainAway TeamSweden
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Spain 0, Sweden 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Spain 0, Sweden 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gerard Moreno (Spain) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Thiago with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Spain. Conceded by Emil Krafth.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pablo Sarabia (Spain) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gerard Moreno (Spain) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Pablo Sarabia.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gerard Moreno (Spain) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pablo Sarabia with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Spain. Pedri tries a through ball, but Jordi Alba is caught offside.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Spain. Fabián Ruiz replaces Koke.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Sarabia (Spain).

  11. Post update

    Sebastian Larsson (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Pierre Bengtsson replaces Emil Forsberg.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Jens Cajuste replaces Kristoffer Olsson because of an injury.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Emil Krafth replaces Carl Mikael Lustig because of an injury.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Spain. Mikel Oyarzabal replaces Ferran Torres.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Spain. Gerard Moreno replaces Dani Olmo.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dani Olmo (Spain) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcos Llorente.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Dani Olmo (Spain).

  19. Post update

    Albin Ekdal (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ferran Torres (Spain) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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