It was a night to forget for Spain as, despite taking the lead after just seven minutes against Croatia tonight, they somehow conspired to lose 2-1 in their final Euro 2016 Group D match in Bordeaux.
The result means that Vicente del Bosque’s side slip to second place in their group. As bad that is in and of itself, it means that they will have to face Group E winners Italy in the last 16 this Sunday, and are now on the same route to the final as Germany, France and England.
Despite Croatia being great value for their win, courtesy of an 87th minute winner from Inter midfielder Ivan Perišić, Spain paid for their complacency and will now have to defend their European Championship title the hard way.
Although defender Sergio Ramos saw a penalty saved in the 72nd minute, much of the fans’ ire was directed at goalkeeper David de Gea. It was the Manchester United stopper’s first time conceding in a competitive fixture, but the nature of the goals conceded, especially the near post effort from Perišić, led to the 25 year old becoming tonight’s scapegoat…
De Gea in front of goal tonight. pic.twitter.com/MljkUbGDhO
— Dami Abisiga (@pharmacistDee) June 21, 2016
Bit of a stinker for De Gea. Conceded from only 2 shots on target (at his near post), flapped at that corner & tackled for Rakitic lob #esp
— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) June 21, 2016
Don’t think a goalkeeper should ever be beaten at his near post. Regardless. So that’s not good from De Gea. Could be crucial for Spain.
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) June 21, 2016
De Gea when a shot isn’t straight at him… pic.twitter.com/4f7XI7gSXY
— Lukita (@ModricEsque) June 21, 2016
De Gea has been very bad.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) June 21, 2016
Casillas is like 87 and basically almost about to die yet would still make a better goalkeeper than De Gea.
— 10 (@Febreezion) June 21, 2016
De Gea getting beat at his near post twice is even better with the Titanic music??????????????????
— Ben (@CriminalCosta) June 21, 2016
De Gea terrible for that goal absolutely terrible.
— Nicky Byrne (@NickyByrne) June 21, 2016
This is the goal in question, and although the initial shot does take a deflection off of Spain defender Gerard Piqué, the criticism of the goalkeeper in this instance does seem warranted, particularly as the near post seems to be something of a problem area for him.
De Gea had already been beaten at his near post for Croatia’s equaliser, scored on the stroke of half time by striker Nikola Kalinić, although the close proximity of the strike would have lessened the blame on De Gea in that instance (though Sergio Ramos should be thoroughly ashamed of himself).
However, had this earlier effort from Ivan Rakitić hit the back of the net instead of the post and crossbar, following another lapse in concentration from De Gea, the reaction would have been even more brutal…
Rakitic so unlucky with a delightful lob over De Gea https://t.co/gZbPByEAK3
— GambleGeek (@Gamble_Geek) June 21, 2016