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Georgia 1-2 Spain: Player ratings as Dani Olmo's smash-and-grab winner saves La Roja the blushes | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Spain make a great escape in Georgia to win their first qualifying game of the campaign
Spain make a great escape in Georgia to win their first qualifying game of the campaign
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 29 Mar 2021
Feature

Spain beat Georgia 2-1 at the death in Tibilisi on Sunday to get their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying up and running. Dani Olmo was the hero for La Roja tonight as the RB Leizig star struck a sensational winner in the 92nd minute.

The former world champions were below their best once again and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's first-half strike gave the Crusadors a shock lead.

Luis Enrique's team upped the ante after the break and equalised just over 10 minutes into the second-half through Ferran Torres.

The match was headed for a draw but Spain's relentless pressure finally broke stubborn Georgia when Olmo lifted a wonderful shot into the far post in the second minute of stoppage time.

To rub salt on Georgia's wounds, Levan Shengelia was then sent off for a studs-up challenge on Pedri.

La Roja, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the opening game, were spared the blushes while it was heartbreak for the home side, who deserved to get at least get a point fthethis game.

Here are the player ratings for Spain:


Unai Simon - 7/10

He made a couple of vital blocks in the first-half but was still beaten by Kvaratskhelia. In the second half though, Simon was a mere bystander, with all the goalmouth action occurring at the other end.

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Pedro Porro - 7/10

The 21-year old turned in a great shift at right-back, providing the likes of Morata and Llorente with relentless deliveries, whilst also completing 93% of his passes.

Diego Llorente - 6/10

His passes were excellent and he linked up well with Porro on the right. When the Reds threw bodies forward and upped the ante on Georgia in the second-half, Llorente showed good positional awareness and didn't leave his space unguarded.

Eric Garcia - 7/10

Another colossal defensive performance from the Manchester City star, who also completed the most passes in the game with 131, he won two aerial duels, and made three clearances as well.

Jordi Alba - 9/10

The veteran Spaniard wore the captain's armband on his return to national duty and marshalled his troops like a true leader. He assisted both of his side's goals tonight and reestablished his status as one of the best left-backs in the game.

Sergio Busquets - 7/10

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Another Spanish great who was heavily involved in the proceedings tonight, Busquets was the battering ram which broke Georgia's movements and was also the key to his side's ball progression. He won the most aerial duels in the match with seven and completed all three of his tackles too.

Ferran Torres - 8/10

The young Manchester City fireball was one of the few bright spots in attack for Spain and brought them level with a crucial tap-in in the 56th minute.

Fabian Ruiz - 7/10

The Napoli midfielder always looked to create openings in Georgia's defense with incisive throughballs and laid one key pass as well.

Pedri - 7/10

He linked-up well with his Barcelona teammate Alba on the left and often got into pockets of space to find runners ahead of him.

Bryan Gil - 7/10

Spain's first effort on target tonight came through him in the 11th minute and he also exchanged a few good passes with Alba. He was taken off at half-time for Olmo.

Alvaro Morata - 6/10

Morata was heavily involved in attack but lacked the cutting edge to stamp his authority in the match. Despite playing the entire game, he couldn't muster a single effort on target, and also failed to connect with Alba's cross which was then tapped home by Torres.


Substitutes

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Olmo was the get out of jail free card for Spain tonight!
Olmo was the get out of jail free card for Spain tonight!

Dani Olmo - 7/10

The hero for Spain tonight, Olmo scored a lovely winner in stoppage time to rescue his side.

Inigo Martinez - 7/10

What an inspired substituion this turned out to be! Martinez kept the ball moving without slowing down Spain's tempo, played a good throughball for Pedri, and made two vital interceptions late on too.

Thiago Alcantara - 6/10

He used his wealth of experience to add muscle to Spain's midfield and worked very hard throughout his cameo.

Mikel Oyarzabal - 5/10

The Real Sociedad ace was on the field for about 20 minutes but barely saw the ball as he struggled to get involved for Spain.

Marcos Llorente - 6/10

Llorente too, couldn't produce much in the game, along with a few good passes and runs through Georgia's defense.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 00:48 IST
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