UEFA Euro 2020

Luis Enrique blames pitch for Spain's 0-0 draw against Sweden

Jamie Spencer
Luis Enrique said Spain players complained about the pitch in Euro 2020 match against Sweden
Luis Enrique said Spain players complained about the pitch in Euro 2020 match against Sweden / David Ramos/Getty Images

Spain coach Luis Enrique has revealed that he and his players were unhappy with the quality of the pitch during Monday night’s 0-0 stalemate against Sweden in their opening game of Euro 2020.

Spain dominated the ball at Estadio La Catuja in Seville. However, other than a glaring Alvaro Morata miss in the first half, real chances were few and far between and the two best opportunities to score on the night fell to Swedish forwards Alexander Isak and Marcus Berg.

Speaking after the game, Enrique took aim at Sweden’s defensive tactics, admitting it was a ‘bad’ result, and revealed what his players thought of the pitch they were playing on.

“It does not leave me feeling different from how the fans do,” Enrique is quoted as saying by AS.

Luis Enrique, Pablo Sarabia, Mikel Oyarzabal
Enrique said he was as disappointed as Spain fans by the result / David Ramos/Getty Images

“We have been superior against an opponent who has decided only to defend. It is a draw that I feel bad for the players and the fans.”

The 51-year-old stressed that his players complained about being able to control the ball on the surface, limiting their ability to make accurate final passes to carve out chances.

“The field did not help much because the players had problems controlling the ball,” Enrique said. “They have complained in the dressing room about this. And football only understands goals. I have lost games like today [in the past].”

Morata’s miss in the first half, which saw him fire wide of the target after the ball came to him following a rare Swedish error, has resulted in much post-game criticism for the striker.

Alvaro Morata
Enrique defended Spain striker Alvaro Morata / Thanassis Stavrakis - Pool/Getty Images

“Morata has done very well in the game,” Enrique insisted.

“But we all want, and he is the first to, the chances to come. But it's not pleasant. We all want the fans to support him. I've seen applause for Morata, which is what I look at.

“Morata is a great player who he does a lot of things well. He hasn't had any luck. But that's how football is and that's life. It's easier to play with the public in favour, and I hope it changes.”

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