Pablo Sarabia's early goal gave Spain their first win of their UEFA Nations League campaign.
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Spain claimed their first win of this UEFA Nations League campaign as a first-half goal from Pablo Sarabia was enough to inflict a third straight loss on Switzerland.
13' Sarabia steers Spain into lead
86' Embolo chips wide of open goal
87' Seferović has shot blocked
Match in brief: Sarabia on the spot to see off Swiss
Spain totally dominated the first half, with 76% of possession, but managed only one shot on target. Thankfully for them it counted, Sarabia guiding in Marcos Llorente's cross after the midfielder had skipped past a challenge to burst into the area.
Switzerland improved after the break and Xherdan Shaqiri shot straight at Unai Simón, but Spain remained in the ascendancy, albeit without really testing Yann Sommer.
The home side did fashion two late chances with substitute Haris Seferović heavily involved in both, firstly managing to tee up Breel Embolo to chip just wide of an open goal from 30 metres before the striker's own shot was blocked by César Azpilicueta.
Daniel Thacker, match reporter
Spain's long unbeaten run on Swiss soil continues but this was another tight game between these sides, as has been the case in recent history. Neither was able to fashion much by way of chances after Sarabia's early strike but Spain were never out of control, Llorente's first assist for his country just reward for a driving midfield display alongside the unflappable Sergio Busquets. The 2021 finalists are up and running in this edition of the competition with their first win, while for Switzerland – much improved defensively but lacking a cutting edge – group leaders Portugal await on Sunday.
Luis Enrique, Spain coach: "The result defines everything, that's how professional football works. Switzerland had gone eight years without losing a competitive game at home: 23 games. Today we knew how to impose our style... Switzerland are a top-level team: let's remember the EURO and that they've also reached the World Cup."
Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland forward: "That was definitely an improvement on recent games. In the first half we weren't brave enough. In the second we were more in the game and were able to put Spain under pressure. They have the quality to get themselves out of those situations, though."
Pablo Sarabia, Spain forward: "It was all about winning. They're three important points."
- Switzerland suffered their first home defeat in the UEFA Nations League, and their first competitive home loss since 2014.
- Spain have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 16 international matches against Switzerland.
- Spain have now scored in their last 17 international matches.
- Excluding their 3-0 awarded victory vs Ukraine, Switzerland's last win in the UEFA Nations League was in November 2018 vs Belgium
Switzerland: Sommer; Widmer, Akanji (Frei 79), Cömert, Rodríguez (Sow 89); Xhaka, Aebischer (Okafor 63), Freuler; Shaqiri (Seferović 80), Embolo, Zuber (Steffen 63).
Spain: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Diego Llorente, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba; Marcos Llorente (Soler 80), Sergio Busquets, Gavi (Koke 73); Ferran Torres, Morata (Asensio 73), Sarabia (Olmo 62).
What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?
The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.
The teams finishing fourth in the groups in League A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.