‘What sending off?’ Spain manager Luis Enrique left baffled by journalist’s question after not noticing Nico Elvedi red card in UEFA Nations League draw with Switzerland
Spain manager Luis Enrique was apparently unaware his team had played against 10 men for the final 15 minutes of their UEFA Nations League draw against Switzerland.
His team required an 89th-minute equaliser from Gerard Moreno to snatch a draw in Basel after Sergio Ramos had missed two penalties.
Their cause was helped when Switzerland defender Nico Elvedi was shown a second yellow card for fouling Alvaro Morata in the box – conceding the second penalty Ramos squandered – with 11 minutes left.
Spain coach Luis Enrique was left baffled after not noticing a Switzerland sending off
Nico Elvedi was shown a second yellow card with 11 minutes of the Nations League game left
Elvedi trudges from the field in Basel after earning a second yellow for fouling Alvaro Morata
But his dismissal seemed to evade the attention of Luis Enrique, who looked non-plussed when a Marca journalist asked him about his team’s numerical advantage during the post-match press conference.
Turning to a staff member sat by his side, Luis Enrique asked ‘what sending off?’ before responding to the question with a look of surprise on his face.
The late goal by Villarreal forward Moreno ultimately spared Spain a second consecutive defeat in Nations League Group A4 and kept them in contention to qualify for the tournament finals when they host leaders Germany in Sevilla on Tuesday night.
It came after Real Madrid defender Ramos saw his unblemished record of 25 consecutive scored penalties ended.
Gerard Moreno saved the day with a late goal in what was a frustrating night for the Spaniards
Remo Freuler celebrates after scoring the goal which handed Switzerland a first-half lead
The result means Spain need to beat Germany in order to top Group A4 and reach the finals
His first was drilled low towards the bottom corner and his second was an attempted Panenka, but both were kept out by Swiss keeper Yann Sommer.
Spain lacked a cutting edge in attack, with Switzerland scoring through Atalanta midfielder Remo Freuler after 26 minutes, after Luis Enrique started without a recognised No 9 up front.
‘Soccer can be like this,’ he said. ‘It’s a wonderful game but sometimes it does not do justice. A lot of things happened and we tried to play our style.
‘We felt that a No 9 was not going to be necessary in the first half. We lacked a bit of freshness but I think Switzerland were good.
Sergio Ramos twice had the chance to score from the penalty spot but missed both times
Ramos saw a first spot kick pushed out from the bottom corner before attempting his Panenka
The Panenka effort failed to get off the ground and allowed Yann Sommer to make an easy stop
‘We lacked when it came to the most difficult thing – scoring. On the basis of the first half we deserved to win, and on the basis of the second as well.
‘It is easy to say after the game that Morata had to play or Gerard should have played.’
He added that Spain will treat Tuesday night’s meeting with Germany as though it was a knockout game in a major tournament.
‘I already have a plan for the Germany game. We not know that we need to win or be out, as if it was a knockout game in the European Championship.’