Three things from Luis de la Fuente’s first game in charge of Spain

Luis de la Fuente took charge of his first competitive match with Spain since being appointed following Luis Enrique’s post-World Cup sacking. The new La Roja head coach showed a glimpse of what may be in store for the team in a confident 3-0 victory over Norway.

1. Familiar faces return

Having been left out of the squad by Luis Enrique, who was in favour of Eric García at centre-back, Nacho returned to the team, and proved he deserves a starting spot. De la Fuente’s confidence in the centre-back paid off and he delivered a strong defensive display. Similarly, Kepa was given a new opportunity to fight for Spain’s goalkeeper spot, and responded with a reassuring performance.

2. Experiment with new players

De la Fuente trusts Celta Vigo legend Iago Aspas and Real Sociedad creator Mikel Merino, who both started in Málaga in the 3-0 win. Joselu came on for his spectacular debut, scoring a late brace to seal the victory.

3. Game-changing substitutions

Despite Spain controlling the game for the first 75 minutes, little danger was created beyond Dani Olmo’s opening goal in the first half. De la Fuente correctly identified the best way to turn the game on its head, and extended the lead with the inclusion of Dani Ceballos, Fabián Ruiz, and Joselu. The latter’s double put the game to bed, with an assist coming from a precise cross delivered by Fabián Ruiz.

Nicolás Antúnez de Mayolo | GSFN

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