Croatia 3-5 Spain: Euro 2020 player rating

Spain reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 after an exciting 5-3 victory over Croatia after extra time.

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A frenetic opening to the game was bordered by one of the most bizarre own goals you will ever see from Spain. The impressive Pedri boiled a pass back to Unai Simon, who took his eye off the ball as it spun past his right boot and eventually into the back of the net.

Spain looked shaken out of it, but they recovered well and had the lead within ten minutes of restarting. Pablo Sarabia fired in the equalizer just before the break, before the lively Ferran Torres picked out Cesar Azpilicueta, who arrived with a crashing header on the back post to give his team the lead.

It looked like Spain would go into cruise control mode when Torres struck home a third, but Croatia did not lie down and came back to it when Mislav Orsic hit one over the line to create a nervous finish.

Spain had sweated six minutes of stoppage time, and they had every reason to be when Croatia smelled blood. Orsic caused all sorts of problems, and there were scenes on Croatia’s bench when he picked out second replacement Mario Pasalic, who shot in a dramatic equalizer at the front post.


84th minute: #CRO 1-3 # ESP92th minute: #CRO 3-3 #ESP

✋ No matter what you do, STOP – and get #CROESP on!

?? ? ? @ ITV # ITVFootball | # Euro2020

– ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 28, 2021

The game sank even further into madness when the extension waved, and the Croatians pumped long balls on the Spanish back line in hopes of a famous winner. But eventually Spain’s class came forward, with Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal restoring their two-goal advantage and ensuring that penalties would not be required.

This is how the players went in a breathless last 16 tie.

Livakovic claims an early ball / Wolfgang Rattay – Pool / Getty Images

Dominik Livakovic (GK) – 7/10 – Great rescue to deny Gaya just before Sarabia’s equalization for Spain and kept his side alive during long spells. Shame on the five goals he conceded.

Josip Juranovic (RB) – 5/10 – Struggled to handle double up Gaya and Sarabia and saw panic with the ball at his feet. Sacrificed for Josip Brekalo when Zlatko Dalic rolled the dice.

Domagoj Vida (CB) – 6/10 – A little rash with its positioning a few times, but that can only be due to Croatia’s unnecessarily high line.

Duje Caleta-Car (CB) – 6/10 – Sees a step up on Dejan Lovren anyway. Few fragile moments – hardly surprising given the attacking form Spain was in.

Josko Gvardiol (LB) – 4/10 – His distribution left much to be desired and he was accused of Spain’s second and third.

Modric gets stuck with Pedri / Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Luka Modric (CM) – 6/10 – Found space effectively and saw a lot of the ball but struggled to create many real chances for his side.

Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 5/10 – Very good at polluting people and breaking up the game. Not much beyond that unfortunately.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 6/10 – Possibly Croatia’s best midfielder on a day they really struggled to gain some form of control in the middle of the park. Recalled for the last ten, just as Croatia pulled back into it.

Rebic comes on the ball / Pixsell / MB Media / Getty Images

Nikola Vlasic (RW) – 5/10 – Croatia will need him in the coming years, as more and more of their top stars call it a day. But unfortunately he was not really into this.

Bruno Petkovic (CF) – 4/10 – A bit of a passenger during the first half and went to the more mobile Andrej Kramaric at the break.

Ante Rebic (LW) – 6/10 – Drove the channels well but struggled to give the kind of influence that Covid absent Ivan Perisic normally brings. Off for Mislav Orsic as Croatia chased the game.


79 ‘| 1: 3 | Kovačić and Vlašić off, Pašalić and Budimir on. ? #CROESP | # EURO2020 | #Vatreni?

– HNS (@HNS_CFF) June 28, 2021

Andrej Kramaric (Petkovic, 46) – 6/10 – Looks better for the high-pressure game Croatia tried to play.

Mislav Orsic (Rebic, 67) – 8/10 – Goal and an assist from the bench. You can not ask for much more. Josip Brekalo (Juranovic, 74) – 5/10 – Helped to bring his team to life and get them up in the park.

Mario Pasalic (Vlasic, 78) – 6/10 – Great commitment to get into the box and give a huge dramatic equalizer for his side.

Ante Budmir (Kovacic, 78) – 5/10

Luka Ivanusec (Modric, 114) – Not applicable

? Stop scrolling and watch this! ?

This is one of the most bizarre own goals you will make ???? looks! ? #CROESP | #ITVFotboll | # Euro2020

– ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 28, 2021

Unai Simon (GK) – 6/10 – Oh buddy. Terrible mistake for the opener but recovered with an excellent goalkeeper to keep Spain alive.

Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – 7/10 – Showed some leadership to get his team back for the fight after going 1-0 down to the funniest own goal you will ever see. Good nod to put his team in advance – his first international goal.

Eric Garcia (CB) – 6/10 – Almost flawless in possession of the Barcelona kid. Did not have too much to defend, but was withdrawn in the last 20 minutes – which turned out to be a mistake …

Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 7/10 – Commanded the back line capable and again saw a good addition to Enrique’s defense until they collapsed towards the end of 90.

Jose Gaya (LB) – 6/10 – He’s not Jordi Alba, but when it comes to backups, he’s not the worst option to have. Made an inconvenience with his endless running and handled most of what he had defensively.

Pedri played in midfield for Spain / Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Koke (CM) – 7/10 – Did his job diligently, moving the ball and holding Spain forward when it came to him.

Sergio Busquets (CM) – 6/10 – His return has led to some balance and calm in the Spanish midfield.

Pedri (CM) – 8/10 – Took some dangerous positions and had almost one of the assistants in the tournament with a wonderful early ball for Koke. Put a little too much on the back pass to Simon for the opener, but was involved in moves for the first two goals and enjoyed another hugely productive performance.

Ferran Torres rides his bike / Wolfgang Rattay – Pool / Getty Images

Ferran Torres (RW) – 8/10 – Some light dribbles in the early stages, grew into the game and pulled in all the wires as the final whistle blew. Beautiful cross for the decisive second goal, nice goal for the third.

Alvaro Morata (CF) – 7/10 – Quite important for his team’s build-up game, and while his unpleasantness in front of goal sometimes came out, he saw a spectacular finish to win the match.

Pablo Sarabia (LW) – 6/10 – Instinctive, powerful finish for his second goal of the tournament. However, faded out of the game and rested for the last 20 of normal time.

? Double change in @SeFutbol

? ENTRAN | @JordiAlba y @ FabianRP52

? SALEN | @jose_gaya y @ Koke6 #CRO? #ESP | 1-3 | 78 ‘# SomosEspaña # EURO2020

– Spanish Football Selection (@SeFutbol) June 28, 2021

Pau Torres (Garcia, 71) – 5/10 – Continued to give more of an air presence at the back, so apparently lost her husband in the box and let him go in the equalizer.

Dani Olmo (Sarabia, 71) – 6/10

Fabian Ruiz (Koke, 78) – 5/10

Jordi Alba (Gaya, 78) – 5/10

Mikel Oyarzabal (Torres, 88) – 6/10

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