Euro 2016: Spain 1-0 Czech Republic - Player Ratings
The defending Champions, Spain started their Euro campaign with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. La Furia Roja dominated the game for majority of the 90 minutes but found it hard to break down a resolute Czech defence, lead by Petr Cech. It was Gerard Pique of all people who broke the deadlock in the 88th minute and gave the Spaniards a winning start to the tournament.
Let’s have a look at how each player fared in the Group D encounter which saw Spain go level on points with Croatia (3 each), who themselves defeated Turkey yesterday.
David de Gea – 6/10
The Manchester United shot-stopper didn’t have much to do in the match except for a regulation save in the first half and a late acrobatic save to deny the Czechs an equaliser.
Juanfran – 6.5/10
The Atletico Madrid fullback partnered up well with David Silva on the right flank. However, he did misplace a couple of passes here and there.
Gerard Pique – 7.5/10
Pique, along with Ramos, played a high line throughout the match and did well to cut out a couple of Czech attacks. He must also be given credited for the equaliser he scored off a header in the 88th minute from an Iniesta cross.
Sergio Ramos – 6.5/10
Ramos combined well with Pique and tried his best to go as further up the pitch as possible. He played a decent cross to Aduriz in the 2nd half, which the forward should have buried in the net.
Jordi Alba – 7.5/10
Alba attacked with ferocity and continuously overlapped Nolito on the left wing. Iniesta, Alba’s Barcelona teammate, picked up the fullback’s run perfectly which left the Czech defence bamboozled on a couple of occasions.
Cesc Fabregas - 6.5/10
The Chelsea player contrasted his midfield partners well and evened up the tempo of the game. He made a brilliant goal-line clearance in the second half before being taken off for Thiago Alcantara in the 70th minute.
Sergio Busquets – 7/10
Busquets was his usual self in the midfield, making some good tackles and interceptions and also helping out in widening up the play.
Andres Iniesta – 8/10
Iniesta saw a lot of ball throughout the match and played some defence-splitting passes which troubled the Czech backline. He orchestrated the flow of the game and ran rings around the opposition. It was the veteran’s cross which led to the goal from Pique late in the match.
David Silva – 7.5/10
The diminutive Spaniard was brilliant on the ball and left the Czech defence puzzled with his trickery on a number of occasions. Along with Juanfran, he wreaked havoc from the right flank, mainly in the first half of the match. He could have done better with the timing of some passes.
Alvaro Morata – 6/10
Morata looked a menace for the Czech defence early on with his perfect-timed runs and was also denied by a brilliant save from Cech early in the match. He was taken off for Aduriz in the 62nd minute of the match after failing to pose any kind of threat in the second half.
Nolito – 6.5/10
The Celta striker was caught offside at least three times in the first half itself. Though, he was busy throughout the game and combined well with Alba. He was taken off for Pedro in the 82nd minute.
Aritz Aduriz – 5/10
Aduriz came on for Morata in the 62nd minute but did not do anything of substance. He also wasted a glorious opportunity to score after he headed wide from a Ramos cross.
Thiago Alcantara – 5.5/10
Alcantara came on for Fabregas in the 70th minute to provide some swiftness to the team.
Pedro – N/A
Pedro was brought on in the 82nd minute for Nolito.