Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign suffered a blow last night as they were beaten 2-1 by Sweden at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
Despite racing into a one-goal lead after just four minutes through Carlos Soler, Spain were begged back immediately, with Sweden drawing level inside less than a minute through Alexander Isak.
The Swedes, who held Spain to a goalless draw in their opening game of the European Championship back in June, then turned the game on its head 12 minutes into the start of the second half through Viktor Claesson.
Defeat has left Spain second in the group with four matches played, with table-toppers Sweden, who have a game in hand, two points better off as things currently stand.
Although it was a disappointing night for Spain, who made it to the semi-finals of the Euros less than two months ago, it did feature one bright note for Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who continues to be a regular in manager Luis Enrique’s plans.
Starting at centre-back alongside former City defender Eric Garcia, the 27-year-old produced an outstanding tackle to stop Swedish ace Isak from almost certainly scoring his second goal of the night to put the game to bed once and for all.
Getting in behind Spain’s rearguard down Sweden’s left, Isak looked destined to use his pace and athleticism to full effect and get a shot in on goal. However, Laporte, somehow, produced an heroic recovery to intercept the ball cleanly and sent it out for a corner. It was a stunning tackle and one that justified his recent starts at club level for City.
And the tackle most certainly attracted attention from City’s supporters on social media afterwards, with no shortage of them quick to hail the former Athletic Bilbao man. Below, MEN Sport has had a close look at what they have had to say.
As you can see from the messages displayed above, Laporte’s superb tackle certainly attracted plenty of attention from City’s supporters.
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Considering that the Spain international was being heavily linked with an exit from the Etihad Stadium throughout the summer transfer window, his performances in the back-to-back 5-0 wins over Norwich City and Arsenal, plus his tackle for Spain last night, suggest that they were right to keep hold of him.
As well as that, helping City earn back-to-back clean sheets could make John Stones’ challenge of forcing his way back into the team all the more difficult.
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