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Portugal 0-1 Spain: Player ratings as La Roja win Nations League tie in the dying moments

Spain's forward Alvaro Morata (R) celebrates with Spain's midfielder Nico Williams after scoring his team first goal during the UEFA Nations League, league A, group 2 football match between Portugal and Spain, at the Municipal Stadium in Braga on September 27, 2022. - Spain won 0-1

Spain defeated Portugal narrowly in the last game of their Nations League tie to lead their group.

The first half saw both teams feel each other out without particularly creating clear-cut chances. Diogo Jota tested Unai Simon with a decent shot that was easily saved.

Bruno Fernandes got the stadium on its feet when his long-range shot hit the side netting. Spain had plenty of the ball but created nothing of note for Alvaro Morata.

Portugal were the brighter side after the break. However, things quickly settled into the same pattern from the first half, with Spain controlling possession and Portugal looking more dangerous on the counter.

Spain created one clear chance, but they scored with it. In the 88th minute, Dani Carvajal floated a dangerous ball. Nico Williams headed it across the goal for Morata to finish.

Here are the match ratings of all the players

Diogo Costa 6.5 – Costa was untested for much of the game until the goal. His distribution was solid, and his presence was commanding.

Joao Cancelo 6.5 – Cancelo was unusually quiet by his standards. He made a few good runs here and there. However, he was not his most threatening self.


Danilo Pereira 6.5 – The midfielder had a good game in defence, but he was caught out for the goal. It tamed an otherwise brilliant performance.

Ruben Dias 6.0 – The Manchester City midfielder was the main culprit for the goal. He lost Morata in the buildup to the goal.

Nuno Mendes 7.5 – The Paris Saint-Germain left-back was one of the brighter spots in the game. He held his own defensively against Ferran Torres and got forward brilliantly when needed.

William Carvalho 6.0 – He struggled to control proceedings as Spain hogged the ball and made him run around for it. Rafael Leao replaced him as Portugal searched for a winner late on.

Ruben Neves 5.5 – He is an artist with the ball, but Spain made sure they limited his time on it. Like his midfield partner, he was given the runaround. Neves struggled to make any mark on the game.

Bruno Fernandes 6.5 – Fernandes can hit a 35-yard rocket that gets an entire stadium in awe, then misplace a simple five-yard pass later. That sums up his performance today.

Bernardo Silva 6.0 – Another that struggled to make his mark in the game. He carried the ball forward as usual, but no final pass or play that created a big chance.

Diogo Jota 7.5 – Jota was a bright spark in the Portugal side as he initiated counters and worked hard to create openings for his teammates. He was the most impactful attacker for Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo 6.0 – He held the ball up well, won some fouls, and ran the channels for his teammates but ended up on the losing side.

Subs

Rafael Leao 4.0 – Leao was unimpressive in his 12-minute cameo. He lost three ground duels and was easy to smother

Joao Mario 5.0 – He could barely impact the game in 17 minutes.

Vitinha 5.0 – The PSG midfielder came on to add inventiveness but could not do much in his little cameo.

Joao Felix N/A

Unai Simon 6.0 – The 25-year-old looked suspicious on the ball and gave it away cheaply, but he saved what he was tested with. He kept a clean sheet too.

Dani Carvajal 7.0 – Carvajal brought more attacking verve than Cesar Azpilicueta did in the previous game. He had some sketchy moments when he had to deal with Mendes, Jota, and Ronaldo but held his own. He provided the key pass for the winner.

Hugo Guillamon 6.0 – The Valencia midfielder/defender won his few duels in the first half but made way after the halftime whistle.

Jose Gaya 6.0 – The other Valencia player on the pitch was anonymous. He touched the ball severally but didn’t do anything dynamic with it.

Rodri 6.5 – Rodri gave the ball away in some dangerous situations, but Spain held on. He kept things ticking and shielded his defence expertly. He played in central defence in the second half and was solid.

Carlos Soler 5.5 – Soler was anonymous, and it was an uneventful outing. He passed the ball many times without creating any real danger with his passes.

Koke 6.0 – Koke also saw a lot of the ball and played a lot of passes, but they were not adventurous enough to create any openings.

Ferran Torres 5.0 – Torres was shut down by Mendes on the right side of Spain’s attack. He filtered through the game until Luis Enrique put him out of his misery on 73.

Pablo Sarabia 6.0 – He was more lively than Torres, but like his compatriot, they had minimal effect on the game.

Alvaro Morata 7.5 – Morata did not get many good chances during the game, but he took the most important one. He won his team the game today.

Subs

Nico Williams 8.0 – He came on in the dying moments and looked bright for Spain. He put the assist on a plate for Morata’s winner.

Sergio Busquets 7.5 – The Barcelona and Spain legend came on and ran the show as usual in midfield with his metronomic passing.

Gavi 6.0 – He had some bright spots but accomplished nothing of note during his 30 minutes on the pitch.

Pedri 6.0 – He also gave a very subdued 30-minute performance and didn’t affect the game.

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