Gerard Moreno's late strike reprieved Spain after Sergio Ramos missed two second-half penalties.
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Gerard Moreno struck late to earn Spain a point after Yann Sommer saved two Sergio Ramos penalties following Remo Freuler's superb early effort.
Match in brief
On a night when Ramos set a new European men's record with his 177th cap, the Spain captain was at the centre of much of the drama in an enthralling encounter.
Freuler's wonderful first-time finish gave Switzerland a half-time lead, and they could have doubled it via Haris Seferović, only for Ramos to clear his strike off the line. However, the Real Madrid defender was then twice thwarted from the spot, first as Sommer dived low to his right and then when the goalkeeper denied a Panenka attempt.
Nico Elvedi was dismissed for a second booking before the second penalty, and Spain capitalised as substitute Gerard Moreno pounced to convert a Sergio Reguilón cross.
James Thorogood, Switzerland reporter
Just when it looked like they would finally change the narrative with their first win of 2020, Switzerland's story continues to follow the same winless plot line. Sommer should have been the hero after making the first two penalty saves of his international career, but the Nati couldn't survive another costly individual error, with Edimilson Fernandes the latest guilty party. This will feel like two points lost and not one point won.
Graham Hunter, Spain reporter
So that's the second consecutive match during which a supposedly 'lesser’ opponent – certainly one recently beaten by Spain – has produced a crystal clear plan via which they've made life horrible for La Roja. The template consists primarily of working harder than Luis Enrique's side. That's not to say the two-time EURO winners don't work. It's to indicate that with intensely hard pressing, a spirit of one for all and all for one can trouble them.
Vladimir Petković, Switzerland coach: "That was a significant improvement in performance. Yann Sommer made an important contribution with the two penalty saves. I am very satisfied with this point. The team showed the willingness to suffer that I demanded from them."
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland captain: "We delivered. You could see that tonight. It was one of our best matches. We led for a long time and left it all out there. We ticked off our top target which was to prove that we could assert ourselves against elite opposition and stay alive in the group. Now we have to prove it again in our final game against Ukraine."
Luis Enrique, Spain coach: "The last two results could have been better, but I analyse things more deeply than that. I look at things that can tip the balance in our favour. I think we deserved to win today. If there had been a third penalty, [Ramos] would have taken it."
Gerard Moreno, Spain forward: "This team creates chances. That's the road to follow. We really had plenty of goal opportunities here. Now we've got to be better at putting them away. It wasn't to be, but we continue to depend on ourselves to qualify and if we play at a great level on Tuesday against Germany then we can do it."
Sergi Roberto, Spain defender: "Sergio Ramos is a born winner and has all the experience you could dream of. Those misses aren't something to worry about. If he'd taken another penalty, he'd have scored. The important thing is the direction in which this team is heading, the good football we are producing. Tonight the ball just didn't want to go in, but the away wins will come."
• Sergio Ramos has broken Gianluigi Buffon’s record (176) for the most international appearances for a UEFA nation.
• Spain have scored in 45 of their last 47 matches.
• La Roja have conceded the first goal in six of their previous nine UEFA Nations League matches.
• Switzerland have not won in seven matches (D3 L4).
• The Nati have not gone that long without a win since 1998.
• Granit Xhaka has become Switzerland’s joint-sixth most-capped player, moving level with Gökhan Inler (88).
Switzerland: Sommer; Fernandes Elvedi, Akanji, Rodríguez; Shaqiri (Sow 73), Xhaka, Freuler, Zuber (Steffen 73); Embolo (Mehmedi 90+1); Seferović (Omeragic 84)
Spain: Unai Simón; Sergi Roberto, Ramos, Pau Torres, Reguilón; Merino (Gerard Moreno 80), Sergio Busquets (Koke 73); Ferrán Torres, Fabián Ruiz (Morata 56), Olmo (Canales 73); Oyarzabal (Traoré 73)