Ian Wright believes Spain made two huge errors with Alvaro Morata which ultimately cost them a place in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.
Luis Enrique opted to leave his most potent striker on the bench against Italy, citing the way in which veteran defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini blunted the threat of Romelu Lukaku during the Azzurri’s quarter-final win over Belgium.
Although Spain posed a threat throughout the contest, it wasn’t until Morata, who scored the equalising goal, was introduced that La Roja began to really take control of the contest and Wright believes it was an error to hold the Juventus forward back.
He told ITV: ‘They (Spain) are fantastic to watch. You look at some of the players like Pedri, Olmo playing great stuff but when you look in the box?
‘When they broke through the Italian midfield there’s nobody in areas. There’s nobody to play it into to put pressure on Chiellini or Bonucci. They were safe all day.
‘But straight away he (Morata) started to cause them problems, he started to run at Chiellini. He was a focal point. I think that was a big miss by them not starting him.’
Despite making an impressive impact off the bench, Morata looked short of confidence as he walked nervously towards the penalty spot during the shootout and his tame spot kick was easily saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
It proved to be the pivotal moment and seconds later, Morata’s former Chelsea teammate Jorginho dispatched the wining penalty.
‘When he walked up to it he was looking down,’ added Wright. ‘When you do that run up, I thought he was too straight on it so when you open your body up there’s only one place he can go.
‘Look at the size of that keeper. You have to literally send him the wrong way to beat him unless you get it right in the side-netting and that’s nowhere near it.
‘You can see when he walked up to it I said I do not fancy him. I would not have had him taking one. I don’t think he’s in the frame of mind to go an take a penalty of that importance at this stage he should not have been taking it.’
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Author: James Goldman