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.
- Hits and misses: Spain pay price for lack of cutting edge
- Luis Enrique defends Alvaro Morata after missed chances
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.
17 - Spain had 17 shots in tonight's draw against Sweden, their highest tally in a major tournament game (European Championships + World Cup) without scoring since having 25 attempts against Switzerland in a group stage match at the 2010 World Cup. Stalemate. #EURO2020 #ESP #SWE pic.twitter.com/BbvT0vopUn— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 14, 2021
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How Sweden frustrated Spain...
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 were without midfielder Sergio Busquets following his recent positive Covid-19 test. Meanwhile, Man City trio Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Ferran Torres were all handed starts as Gerard Moreno had to settle for a place on the bench.
- In the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who misses this tournament, Alexander Isak was partnered by Marcus Berg in attack. Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof started at the heart of Sweden’s defence.
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.
What the managers said...
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."
Man of the match - Victor Lindelof
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.
Opta stats - Spain fail to make dominance count
- Spain have enjoyed just one victory in their last six opening matches at a major tournament (World Cup & European Championships) via a 1-0 win v Czech Republic at EURO 2016 (D3 L2).
- Spain posted an 85 per cent possession figure, the highest figure for a team in a European Championships fixture since 1980 (when Opta started recording this data).
- Spain attempted 917 passes against Sweden, the biggest tally in a game at the European Championships (since 1980), with 830 of them successful, also a record since 1980.
- Luis Enrique is the first manager to oversee two consecutive 0-0 draws with Spain in all competitions since Javier Clemente in 1992 (3 in a row - v Latvia, Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland in the 1994 World Cup Qualifying campaign).
Spain remaining Euro 2020 Group E fixtures
- Saturday June 19: Spain vs Poland; Kick-off 8pm (Seville)
- Wednesday June 23: Slovakia vs Spain; Kick-off 5pm (Seville)
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.
Sweden's remaining Euro 2020 Group E fixtures
- Friday June 18: Sweden vs Slovakia; Kick-off 2pm (St Petersburg)
- Wednesday June 23: Sweden vs Poland; Kick-off 5pm (St Petersburg)