Spain Settle for 1-1 Draw vs. Switzerland After David de Gea Error

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2018

VILLAREAL, SPAIN - JUNE 03:  Julen Lopetegui, manager of Spain looks on prior to the International Friendly match between Spain and Switzerland at Estadio de La Ceramica on June 3, 2018 in Villareal, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Switzerland held Spain to a 1-1 draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal on Sunday.

La Roja took the lead in the first half through Alvaro Odriozola's sensational volley, but Ricardo Rodriguez capitalised on a mistake from David de Gea to grab an equaliser in the 62nd minute.

The goalkeeper failed to deal with a routine shot from Stephan Lichtsteiner and spilled the ball into Rodriguez's path.


Don't Put Stock in FIFA Rankings

According to FIFA's official rankings, Switzerland are the sixth-best team in the world, two places ahead of Spain.

While the Swiss may have snatched a draw thanks to De Gea's error, there was a clear gulf in class between the two sides throughout as Spain dominated the possession and chances.

Football writer Simon Harrison wasn't impressed with Switzerland:

Simon Harrison @simonhfootball

Hasn’t been difficult for Spain to outplay this lumbering Switzerland midfield. Dzemaili, Behrami and Zakaria have looked very clumsy.

The visitors only really had any joy later in the second half, when substitutions disrupted the flow of the match, so while they grabbed a draw here, it may not have given them much of a blueprint to work with when they take on Brazil in their first group game at the World Cup.

Spain, meanwhile, will be left to rue the mistake that cost them the win, but on another day, they would have won comfortably.


Spain Will Be Fine if Dani Carvajal Can't Play

Real Madrid fans won't have been the only ones to despair at seeing Dani Carvajal limp out of the UEFA Champions League finalLa Roja boss Julen Lopetegui will also have been upset to see one of his likely starters at the World Cup injured so close to the tournament.

For many, Carvajal would be in Spain's strongest XI and he may yet feature at the World Cup, but Odriozola showed they have a fine replacement to call upon if he can't.

Spain's forward Alvaro Odriozola (front) vies with Switzerland's midfielder Steven Zuber during the international friendly football match between Spain and Switzerland at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on June 3, 2018. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)
JOSE JORDAN/Getty Images

The Real Sociedad star was making just his third appearance for Spain, but he shone in his 70 minutes on the pitch.

Football journalist Rik Sharma delighted in his goal, as he volleyed in a high ball from the edge of the area, as did Carvajal himself:

Rik Sharma @riksharma_

Odriozola? More like Zola, great volley

Dani Carvajal Ramos @DaniCarvajal92

Vamooooooos!!!! 🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸 1-0 grande @alvaroodriozola

The goal capped an excellent performance in which he offered a constant threat on the right flank with his pacey, marauding runs forward and his willingness to burst into the box or get to the byline.

The Independent's Ed Malyon and Bleacher Report's Gianni Verschueren feel he makes a strong fit under Lopetegui:

Ed Malyon @eaamalyon

Odriozola will struggle to beat out Dani Carvajal’s proven class but his quickness/style seems more suited to how Lopetegui’s team plays

Gianni Verschueren @ReverschPass

As for Odriozola's spot under Lopetegui: The kid is just a fantastic fit, even with his flaws. Three caps now for Spain, and every time, it's hard not to like. Carvajal is a more well-rounded player, but Odriozola's fit is just so good

Odriozola's defensive capabilities may not be as reliable as Carvajal's, but with his pace and offensive threat, he'll make a superb alternative.


You Don't Need to Worry About De Gea

Switzerland's defender Ricardo Rodriguez (R) celebrates a goal beside Spain's goalkeeper David de Gea during the international friendly football match between Spain and Switzerland at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on June 3, 2018. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN
JOSE JORDAN/Getty Images

It's hardly ideal for your first-choice goalkeeper to be giving away goals so cheaply ahead of the World Cup.

As ESPN FC's Robbie Dunne and former 'keeper David Preece noted, it is not like De Geato make such mistakes:

Robbie Dunne @robbiejdunne

That goes down as a very rare mistake by De Gea. Maybe the fact there was so little pace on it worked against him. Thought he could catch it.

David Preece @davidpreece12

Very unlike De Gea. Never got his hands behind the ball. Just really sloppy from him.

Sports writer Andy West was concerned:

Andy West @andywest01

Worrying lapse in concentration from De Gea gifts Switzerland a goal. Playing in goal for Spain is very different from what he's used to. He'll have long periods without touching the ball and has to stay alert and mentally switched on.

West raises a fair point—he's called into action much more at Manchester United, and he'll need to get used to a different way of operating with Spain.

De Gea is an elite goalkeeper, though. Even players of his calibre aren't immune to the occasional mistake, but it's unlikely to affect his confidence too much.

If anything, it may only serve to sharpen his focus, and it's better he get it out of his system now than in Russia.


What Next

Spain take on Tunisia on Saturday, June 9, before opening their World Cup campaign against Portugal on June 15.

Meanwhile, Switzerland face Japan on Friday, June 8, ahead of a clash with Brazil in the World Cup on June 17.


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