Report as Spain were left frustrated after being held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden in Seville; Robin Olsen in top form as Sweden held on for valuable point in Group E; Sweden created openings of their own, Alexander Isak's strike blocked onto the post, while Marcus Berg spurned a golden chance
Tuesday 15 June 2021 06:28, UK
Spain were left frustrated by a well-organised Sweden as Luis Enrique's side opened their Euro 2020 campaign with a 0-0 draw in Seville.
Three-time European Championship winners Spain dominated the opening 45 minutes and Sweden needed Robin Olsen to keep out efforts from Dani Olmo.
However, despite Luis Enrique's side's dominance, it was Sweden who arguably created the best two opportunities of the game either side of half time.
Alexander Isak's strike was blocked onto the post by Marcos Llorente towards the end of the first half, while Marcus Berg missed the target after being handed a golden opportunity by Isak.
Marcus Danielson produced a stunning block to deny Olmo as Spain pushed for a winner in the closing stages of the game, but Sweden held on for what could prove to be a valuable point in Group E.
Slovakia currently sit top of the group after their earlier victory over 10-man Poland.
Alvaro Morata spurned the best of a handful of fine chances for Spain, who completed more than 400 passes in a dominant first half from the hosts.
The former Chelsea striker found himself through on goal after Marcus Danielson fluffed what should have been a regulation clearance, but he snatched at his shot, pulling it well wide of the target.
At the other end, Isak almost gave Sweden the lead with their only shot on goal. The Sweden striker's shot was likely straying wide when Marcos Llorente diverted the ball in the opposite direction. The ball then rebounded off the post and straight into the arms of a grateful Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Spain: Simon (6), Marcos Llorente (7), Laporte (6), Pau Torres (6), Jordi Alba (7), Koke (8), Rodri (6), Pedri (7), Ferran Torres (6), Morata (6), Olmo (8).
Subs: Sarabia (6), Thiago (6), Gerard (7), Oyarzabal (6), Fabian Ruiz (n/a).
Sweden: Olsen (8), Lustig (8), Danielson (8), Lindelof (8), Augustinsson (7), Sebastian Larsson (6), Ekdal (6), Olsson (7), Forsberg (6), Berg (5), Isak (7).
Subs: Claesson (6), Quaison (6), Krafth (6), Bengtsson (n/a), Cajuste (84).
Man of the match: Victor Lindelof
Morata then fired wide from another big chance after the interval, as Sweden were let off the hook once more.
But once again, Sweden were left to rue a missed chance of their own as Berg missed a sitter, skying the ball high over the crossbar from mere yards out after being picked out by Isak.
Spain continued to press for a winner as the game wore on, and substitute Gerard Moreno was unable to beat Olsen with a neat header late on from Pablo Sarabia's cross.
Sarabia then had a fine chance to steal the result, only to misread Jordi Alba's cross with the ball deflecting tamely to Olsen as Sweden held on.
Spain boss Luis Enrique: "We faced a rival who decided to defend and base all their hopes on a long ball forward. Even so, they had the chance to win."
Sweden boss Janne Andersson: "To come to Spain, in 32 degrees and against all their skill, to think we'd outplay them would have been naive.
"We created some chances and they created some, so all in all I'm not at all ashamed over this point. If we're to take points or win against this kind of a team, we have to play like this. The loyalty that the players showed to our game plan was fantastic."
It was backs to the wall for Sweden for much of the game in Seville but they kept their concentration for the full 90 minutes with their resolute defensive display, epitomised by Lindelof.
Alongside Marcus Danielson, the Manchester United defender brilliantly marshalled Sweden's defence and shut down numerous Spanish attacks as Janne Andersson's side secured a superb point.
Spain play again on Saturday when they host Poland in Group E; kick-off 8pm. Meanwhile, Sweden will take on Slovakia on Friday at the St Petersburg Stadium; kick-off 2pm.