A Spain that did not resign itself to defeat experienced a drama embodied in the figure of Abel Ruiz, the best in the tournament. The Spanish captain scratched a penalty in the last seconds of added time, when England was already celebrating the title that Palmer’s goal gave them. Abel Ruiz himself executed it, but Trafford guessed the trajectory. Neither Aimar Oroz nor Riquelme managed to hole out the two frank rejections they collected.
James Trafford, James Garner, Maximillian Aarons, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Levi Colwill, Angel Gomes (Oliver Skipp, min. 73), Cole Palmer (Harvey Elliot, min. 82), Emile Smith-Rowe (Nonso Madueke, min. 66 ), Curtis Jones, Morgan Gibbs-White (Cameron Archer, min. 73) and Anthony Gordon (Thomas Doyle, min. 82)
Arnau Tenas, Victor Gomez (Barrenetxea, min. 73), Juan Miranda, Jon Pacheco, Aitor Paredes, Antonio Blanco (Sergio Camello, min. 82), Sergio Gomez, Alex Baena (Aimar Oroz, min. 59), Rodri (Rodrigo Riquelme, min. 59), O. Sancet (Gabriel Veiga, min. 59) and Abel Ruiz
goals 1-0 min. 48: Curtis Jones.
Referee espen eskas
Yellow cards Angel Gomes (min. 23), Alex Baena (min. 33), Antonio Blanco (min. 36), O. Sancet (min. 50), Aimar Oroz (min. 61), Morgan Gibbs-White (min. 69) , James Trafford (min. 73), Denia (min. 76) and Rodrigo Riquelme (min. 85)
Maximum penalty for a generation of footballers who leave with the ticket for the Olympic Games in Paris, but with the disappointment of not having been crowned European champion under-21 and not having taken advantage of that penalty to force extra time. La Rojita fought against another excellent English litter, which leaves without having conceded a bit in the tournament. Spain first competed in a tight game and then used football with more guts than finesse to try to equalize the goal conceded on the brink of halftime. A foretaste of the final misfortune: he entered after hitting the wall the foul executed by the fine left-handed Palmer.
The final started close. With two teams that feared each other as much as they knew each other. Both with the determination to stunt the other’s handling of the ball with slate football. Everything measured in defense, almost everything imprecise when it comes to drawing a clear attack. That landscape only gave for flashes. And it was England that broke loose first. Gordon, a right winger for Newcastle who plays with a different leg, made a diagonal and tested Arnau Tenas with a low curve. Gordon himself took advantage of a through ball from Palmer to break the back of the Spanish defence. The center behind him was half a foot short of Gibbs-White to push him into an empty goal.
The two English sparks alerted Spain, which decided to stick its fang higher. He grew up from Antonio Blanco. The Madrid midfielder became huge in the recoveries and after him the ball began to belong to La Rojita. A slightly poignant possession, only harmful after recoveries in the opposite field that needed little elaboration. Alex Baena drew a good parable that went by a couple of spans and Paredes lacked finesse to direct a good header after a corner.
In the government of the party exercised by the footballers of Santi Denia, the absence of activity by Abel Ruiz creaked. There was no connection to his expansive football that he has generated so much during the tournament. His lack of prominence was an obvious symptom that Spain was not flowing as he wanted. Nor did Rodri appear, very from more to less in the championship, the reliable Sancet and the left-handed connection Miranda-Sergio Gomez. On the English side, after Gordon’s brilliant start, the fanciful Gibbs-White and Smith-Rowe were also missing. From the blackboard, the objective of reducing the virtues of the opponent was impeccable by the two coaches.
There were plenty of sections of excessive tacticalism and ankle fouls to short-circuit the game that forced the referee to pull the card holder. Baena’s revolutions went up a couple of times after having already seen a yellow one.
The game heated up, in the final stretch of the first act it opened. Spain threatened with a couple of quick attacks without precision on the last pass. On the run, the English also deployed sharp. From a counter they took a lateral free kick. Center-back Colwill hit the grass with a chopped head hammer that raised the bounce of the ball to the crosshead. And from another foul born in a transition came the English goal. The left-handed Palmer executed the direct free kick and slipped through the opposite post defended by Arnau Tenas. A slap because there were seconds left to reach the intermission. Palmer’s celebration uncovered the pitfalls of other battles such as the U-17 European final in which Spain won and the World Cup final in the same category, played months later, won by England.
With that goal against hard digestion, Spain returned to the field determined and daring. Willing to take the risks of offering yards of grass to Gordon and Gibbs-White. The footballers of Santi Denia cornered England. They besieged and overwhelmed her. Abel Ruiz, who started working as nine and a half, on a side free kick he hit a clean header that doubled Trafford’s hands. The VAR determined that his shoulder was in advance when Miranda took the center. FIFA is studying a new offside that accepts this type of goal in which one or two centimeters cannot mean any advantage for the forward shooter. We will see if the remedy is not worse than the disease.
Santi Denia’s bet was redoubled with his first changes: he removed the blurred interiors, Sancet and Alex Baena, and brought in Gabri Veiga and Aimar Oroz. Rodri was also relegated, very subdued, by Barrenetxea. A center from Sergio Gomez, Abel Ruiz brushed the equalizer with a header that whistled the post. Another high shot of his and another to the side of the net confirmed that it was not his day or Spain’s.
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Source: EL PAIS