Spain beat Norway in a match in which they were far superior during the first 15 minutes due to the position of Mikel Merino. The Real Sociedad player, who was expected to play in the double pivot next to Rodri, had a much more advanced position. From the build-up eh was placed behind the midfielders being a big problem for Norway, as he always received the ball alone. In one of the areas where Mikel Merino did most damage was on the left flank, generating superiority with Balde and Gavi. He also understood when to attack the space, looking for the gap between right back and center back, being in several plays the closest player to Norway’s box.
During the first 15 minutes Spain played at all times in the opponent’s half, having 85% of the possession, scoring the goal in this play in which Mikel Merino wins the ball in the goal line, Morata makes a good play, Balde receives in the edge of the box and his shot is deflected by Dani Olmo, who played with a lot of freedom, for the first one.
From that moment the game changed, Norway began to have possession of the ball by having more players in the middle of the field and with Odegaard at a high level. In the build-up, in transitions and between lines, always receiving with time to control the ball and make the best decision, leaving Spain’s midfielders too much space.
The Arsenal player allowed Norway to reach the box with good chances in which Spain’s defense did a poor job, like this one in which Aursnes finishes the cross alone after Mohamed Elyounoussi dragged the 2 Spain players. Kepa intervened in all the key plays with good saves although he wasn’t comfortable in the set pieces.
In the 58th minute with Norway being superior, Luis de la Fuente brought on Mikel Oyarzabal and Dani Ceballos who was the player that allowed Spain to regain possession of the ball for the last half hour. He was placed in the double pivot with Rodri, being the playmaker of the team, giving good long passess, carrying the ball and with key passes to the back of the Norwegian defense, controlling the pace of the match at all times. A masterclass by the Real midfielder.
With Spain dominating the game, in the 81st minute Joselu Mato came on and scored 2 goals, the first with a header after a cross in which Spain had superiority at the far post and the last of the game after a good press by Yeremi Pino.
With a weak performance of several players but making good decisions in the substitutions Luis de la Fuente made his debut with victory as coach of the Spanish national team.