Spain get their groove back against Georgia

Posted Monday, September 06, 2021 by

Spain get their groove back against Georgia

Spain rebounded from Thursday's loss to Sweden in style by strolling past Georgia 4-0 in Group B of UEFA's World Cup qualifying on Sunday night at the Estadio Nuevo Vivero in Badajoz.

First half goals from Jose Gaya, Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres came before a second half strike from Pablo Sarabia, as La Roja earned a badly needed three points. Spain also got a top performance from Marcos Llorente, who chipped in with two assists on the night.

Spain now sit atop the group with 10 points, one ahead of Sweden, but the Swedes still have two games in hand, which will be made up during the October window.

Luis Enrique made five changes from the side that fell 2-1 to Sweden on Thursday, with Abel Ruiz starting up top in place of Alvaro Morata, plus Gaya for Jordi Alba, Rodri for Sergio Busquets, Llorente for Koke and Sarabia for Gerard Moreno.

It was all Spain at the start and it took only a quarter of an hour for the breakthrough to come when Gaya latched onto a ball and fired a rocket toward goal, with the ball taking a slight deflection off the leg of a Georgia defender and skipping past goalkeeper Loria for a 1-0 Spain lead.

The attack from Spain kept coming in waves and soon enough it was 2-0 when a run from Llorente down the right saw the Atletico Madrid man play a cut-back pass right before the byline and the ball bounced to Soler, who redirected into net for the goal.

Spain were in full flight and they managed to tack on a third before half time thanks to another darting run and cut-back pass from Llorente and this time Ferran Torres connected on the service for a 3-0 lead.

Luis Enrique made one change during the break, sending Raul Albiol on for Aymeric Laporte. Georgia enjoyed their best spell of the match after the re-start, but there was still no way past the La Roja defence for the visitors.

The comfortable advantage on the scoreboard allowed Luis Enrique to make another two switches on the hour mark, with Pablo Fornals and Mikel Merino on for Ferran Torres and Eric Garcia.

Shortly thereafter, it was 4-0 when a Spain counter attack was polished off by a one-two combination between Sarabia and the newly introduced Fornals, with the former handling the scoring duties.

It was a fairly calm evening for Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon, except midway through the second half when he was called upon to make a save off a bullet from Georgia's Mikautadze.

Luis Enrique made his final two changes, as Brais Mendez came on for Gaya and reserve goalkeeper Robert Sanchez got a final 15 minutes in place of Unai Simon. It was essentially a training session for Luis Enrique's men the rest of the way, as they saw things out to nail down the clean sheet.

Match Sheet:

4.- Spain: Unai Simon (Robert Sanchez, min. 74); Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia (Merino, min. 60), Laporte (Albiol, min. 46), Gaya (Brais Mendez, min. 74); Rodri, Llorente, Soler; Ferran Fornals, min. 60), Sarabia, Abel Ruiz

0.- Georgia: Loria; Chabradze, Kashia, Glorbelidze (Kakabadze, min. 76), Azarov (Qazaishvili, min. 57); Kankava, Aburjania (Altunashvili, min. 69); Zaria (Mikautadze, min. 57), Lochoshvili, Mamuchashvili; Lobzhanidze

Goals: 1-0, min. 14: Gaya; 2-0, min. 25: Soler; 3-0, min. 41: Ferran Torres; 4-0, min. 63: Sarabia

Referee: Tiago Martins (Portugal).

Yellow Cards: Kashia (Min. 68) for Georgia, Chabradze (Min. 82) for Georgia

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