The former Barcelona manager believes the national team is on the right track after a performance he couldn’t fault
Spain coach Luis Enrique would not have his side denied credit for their goal against Switzerland, insisting it came about because of La Roja’s mentality rather than an error by the visitors.
Luis Enrique saw his side claim a slender 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Madrid on Saturday, with Mikel Oyarzabal’s 14th-minute effort ultimately decisive.
The Real Sociedad attacker provided a neat finish after a sloppy pass from Yann Sommer gifted possession back to Spain as Switzerland attempted to play out from the back.
The situation was exacerbated by Granit Xhaka – the intended recipient of the pass – slipping, and Mikel Merino managed to nudge the ball through to his club colleague to add the finish.
While most will likely blame Sommer’s mistake for the goal, Luis Enrique believes it was more down to the success of Spain’s high press.
“It was not their failure, it was a great success from the pressure of Spain,” he told reporters.
“The reward was huge, it is a great win for the team. I remember only one clear chance for Switzerland, whereas we could have finished the game off in several situations, with Ferran [Torres] in the first half and several in the second, but it is not easy.
“There is nothing I did not like about the performance. To pressure a team like Switzerland, who had three centre-backs and two midfield pivots, is complicated.
“I am also proud of the final stages of the game. At other times we would have gone backwards and today we have done the opposite, we continued to go forward so they couldn’t create chances.”
The victory extended Spain’s unbeaten run to 15 games, while they remain top of Nations League Group A4 with seven points – two more than Germany – from three matches.
Spain go to Ukraine next on Tuesday, who gave Germany a scare in a 2-1 defeat on Saturday.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side have been left short of players due to Covid-19 and even had to call-up their 45-year-old assistant coach to the squad last week for a friendly which they unsurprisingly lost 7-1 against World Cup holders France.