Spain watched in pain as for all their magnetic passing, they could not open the scoring in their opening game in their Euro 2020 campaign against Sweden.

It felt like a win for Sweden who took several minutes before their fans to lap up applause for masterful defending. Their star, their keeper who kept out Sarabia, Olmo, Pedri, Koke.

But if the keeper’s reflexes kept out these star names, Morata was the one who kept himself out in the 38thminute.

A 1v1 with the keeper, his overhit shot rolled away from goal and rolled away his confidence for the rest of the game. He was replaced mid-way through the second-hand, with the camera’s replaying his inglorious miss.

It was hard to spring the offside trap on Spain because their players off-the-ball movement meant they were basically 10 ghosts. On two occasions the Swedish would raise their hands signaling for offside.

It was difficult to dispossess Spain because their passing wide, triangular, was like Biesla’s ‘murderball’sessions with Leeds.

And it was even more difficult for Sweden to keep the ball, losing it under an average 10 seconds as Spain’s counterpress was suffocating.

But Sweden put pressure on Spain by not pressurizing them because with more of the ball, Spain had no excuse not to score.

And to whom much it given much it expected. As Spain had more of the ball without scoring, they grew less convincing with it, their fans impatient with them.

As Sweden had less of the ball, they grew very confident, learning on the job, how to frustrate Spain.Sweden pressed Spain sparingly – in squirts and bursts. And this strategy had the advantage of preserving their energies for decisive moments.

Playing a 4-3-3 that suited vertical passing around and fluid football, Spain. But it was Sweden in their 4-4-2 formation who would find Isak was a rare opportunity to shock the home fans in the 41st minute. But with Llorente, the bulky man worked well to force a shot some two meters away from the goal.

Isak would get another chance in the second half wriggling his way out of three defenders with some audacity and his cross, finding Berg at the near post.

Berg needed a tap-in. He struck the ball awkwardly over the bar. The Swedes would find, after great labour, two more chances but out of all four attempts not a single was goalbound.

Spain would have 17 attempts on goal but find only five were on target, for all the 75% possession they enjoyed.

The Spanish players hurried off the pitch after the game with the same tenacious off the ball movement, some players shaking the head, several of them hanging their heads with one thought most likely to run around their minds.

How are we going back into the dressing room with a goaless results in the midst of abundant talent? A very valid question for the last group game Spain played goalless was in 1980 against Italy.