If you play beautifully and win, that’s great. If you play beautifully and lose, it should be an eye-opener. Spain is reluctant to let go of the tiki-taka that brought them so much glory. However, in football you’re only as good as your last game. With plenty of passes and combinations, La Roja stayed true to the style, yet once again struggled to beat a good defense. Slovakia was a great squad, very organized in the back and with an excellent shots/goal ratio. Ján Kozák’s men deserved the win and now sit on top of Group C.
GK, Iker Casillas: 4/10
From hero to villain in less than a few minutes. He did a wonderful save in a ball that was a sure goal. Shortly after, he failed inexplicably in a long distance free kick. In the second goal, he was less guilty, but in these games you have to be solid.
DEF, Juanfran: 5/10
He didn’t take advantage of his playing time to prove he deserves to start. His contribution wasn’t important. When the wingers have a bad day, the full backs should step up, and he didn’t.
DEF, Gerard Piqué: 5.5/10
His return wasn’t as sweet as he expected. Not a lot of work overall, still he was slow in the goal that cost them the match. He continues to perform at a low level, which is why he’s not even a starter for Barcelona.
DEF, Raúl Albiol: 5.5/10
Decent game from Ramos’ replacement. He controlled everything in the back, which wasn’t a lot. He had a chance to score and showed why he’s a defender. His performance was average, and he was taken out for Pedro.
DEF, Jordi Alba: 5.5/10
Gave the assist in Spain’s only goal. Nevertheless, he was M.I.A. in Slovakia’s winning goal. He was alright in attack, with a few good plays and runs.
MID, Sergio Busquets: 5.5/10
Not a lot of work in recovering. Mediocre match, with no significant participation. When Del Bosque took out some defenders, he didn’t adjust well and the team conceded the final goal.
MID, Cesc Fàbregas: 5.5/10
A poor match from Chelsea’s star playmaker. His connection with Costa works well in the Premier League and not here. Overall an average match from all the midfielders.
MID, Koke: 5.5/10
He’s very persistent and has a lot of talent. Del Bosque isn’t quite putting him in his ideal position. Because of the priority given to other players, he can’t be as influential as he could.
MID, David Silva: 5/10
It wasn’t his night. Slovakia’s defense was very well organized and made his job difficult. He did connect well with his teammates, still he failed to create great opportunities. When he has an off day, the team notices it.
MID, Andrés Iniesta: 5.5/10
Spain relied a lot on his dribbling and passing, and it made them lose. There were no other alternatives for when he wasn’t at the right level. A lot more is expected from him, yet he can’t do everything by himself.
ATT, Diego Costa: 5.5/10
Worked a lot, fighting every ball and connecting with his teammates. He couldn’t score, even though he had a few chances. He fails to replicate his work at Chelsea. He was extremely hotheaded and could’ve easily been sent off.
ATT, Pedro Rodríguez: 5/10
Null contribution from the Barça player. He couldn’t use his skills to get past Slovakia’s tough defenders.
ATT, Paco Alcácer: 6.5/10
Came in and showed why he deserves to be Spain’s #9. Scored the equalizer (most likely offside) that made Spain go for the win. However, his night turned sour since the goal wasn’t enough to win some points.
MID, Santi Cazorla: N/A
Not enough minutes to rate him, but he got a yellow card and arrived late to Stoch’s goal.