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Spain stutter in World Cup preparation as Switzerland hand La Roja rare home defeat

2:13 AM IST 25/09/22
Gavi Spain Switzerland 2022-23
Spain were handed just their second home defeat in 57 games as Switzerland avoided Nations League relegation with a 2-1 win in Zaragoza.
  • Akanji netted first international goal
  • Alba hammered equaliser into top corner
  • Embolo immediately restored his side's lead

WHAT HAPPENED? The lack of experience in Luis Enrique's side was punished by a seasoned Switzerland outfit. They took advantage of Spain's inability to defend set pieces to pick up a vital victory in the Nations League. Manchester City's Akanji starred with a goal, an assist and a rock-solid defensive performance on a sorry evening for the hosts.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The result means La Roja have been leapfrogged in the top spot by Portugal as both nations hunt a place in next summer's finals. Meanwhile, Switzerland moved off the bottom of the group and were replaced by Czech Republic.

ALL EYES ON: Gavi was the name on everyone's lips once again. The 18-year-old turned in yet another display far beyond his age and could certainly count himself unlucky to be on the losing side.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Spain's last home defeat came all the way back in October 2018 when they were beaten 3-2 by England. Raheem Sterling (two) and Marcus Rashford got the goals for the Three Lions while Paco Alcacer and Sergio Ramos were on the scoresheet for the hosts.
THE VERDICT:

While the first half was rather uneventful, the home fans found a way to entertain themselves.

A second-half equaliser made in El Clasico.

But that equaliser was worthless just moments later.

A scarily accurate guess...

On a disappointing evening, there was a nice moment for the younger of the Williams brothers.


WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? Luis Enrique's side can still earn themselves a place in the Nations League finals next summer. However, they will have to beat Portugal away from home to make that a reality.