Written by David Robinson
Gerard Pique’s 87th minute winner has granted Spain a winning start in Euro 2016 with the Barcelona defender scoring from an Iniesta cross against a determined Czech Republic. The current holders dominated in terms of possession and chances but I felt they didn’t fully impose themselves on the game with the Czech Republic comfortable at times. I rate each of the Spanish players individual performances from their 1-o win.
David De Gea – 6/10
Next to nothing to do, De Gea stayed concentrated to make a couple of simple saves.
Juanfran – 7/10
A steady performance, the Atletico Madrid right back overlapped well and produced good delivery at times while nothing got past him defensively.
Gerard Pique – 8/10
The match winner, Pique scored the all important goal with a neat headed finish late on. He had a good game up to that point despite little defending to do. An assured performance but notably did well with his distribution from the back.
Sergio Ramos – 7/10
Little impact on the game with defending few and far between limiting his rating. Like his partner Ramos defended sensibly and picked out some nice passes helping to create wave after wave of attack.
Jordi Alba – 6/10
Bombed on at left back but was often occupied as a left winger. The 27 year old did a solid if not unspectacular job with some poor deliveries being a big example of Spain not making the most of their possession.
Sergio Busquets – 6/10
A very sloppy start by the holding midfielder, Busquets improved snuffing out limited danger on occasions while a more simple passing game made him more effective. Not the most commanding display from deep.
Cesc Fabregas – 6/10
A fantastic goal saving clearance was without doubt the highlight of the Chelsea mans match. A match made for the dictator with plenty of possession but he struggled to make a killer pass despite generally keeping it nice and tidy throughout the match. However Czech Republic were happy to see simple passes made in front of them.
Andres Iniesta – 8/10
Pique goes down as the match winner but really the title should belong to Iniesta. His excellent cross got Spain their crucial goal and it was no surprise that the magician was the man to step up and effectively win the game for his side. With little flair in the game, the 32 year old was by far the most influential and creative on the ball, getting into clever pockets but more importantly willing to take risks and look for incisive balls which more often than not found his man. He chipped in defensively winning the ball back which completed yet another accomplished performance.
David Silva – 6/10
Hit and miss from the Man City player. He occupied the right hand side of midfield as a starting position but of course found himself more centrally trying to be incisive. Unusually Silva was wasteful on occasions and lacked that spark we are used to seeing which certainly was a large contributing factor in Spain’s frustration for not scoring before late on.
Nolito – 5/10
Spain need a winger like Nolito who can go past a man and stretch defences but here he didn’t really deliver. He probably summed up the side best being neat but largely ineffectual. Was needlessly offside frequently.
Alvaro Morata – 5/10
A lack of real cutting edge lead by a largely ineffectual Morata. The Juventus man missed a good chance from a David Silva cross and although he found chances at a premium, he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary with the ball before he was substituted.
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featured image by Nazionale Calcio