Switzerland v Spain: Euro 2020 quarter-final – live!
35 min: Another Switzerland corner. Shaqiri over-hits his delivery and referee Michael Oliver awards a goal-kick after the ball goes out of play by the far corner flag following a tussle between Pedri and Zubar. I thought it went out off Pedri but I could be mistaken.
34 min: Switzerland corner. On the edge of the six-yard box, Manuel Akanji leaps and gets his head to the ball but is unable to keep his effort down or on target.
33 min: Spain continue to dominate with the Swiss offering very little in the way of a threat. “There’s nobody running in behind the defence,” says Lee Dixon on ITV co-comms.
30 min: Shaqiri plays the ball wide for Steven Zuber, who is unable to get a cross into the penalty area but does win his side a throw-in deep in Spanish territory.
29 min: Shaqiri tries to play Haris Seferovic in behind the Spanish defence but his pass is intercepted.
28 min: Pablo Sarabia goes down holding the outside of his foot after being tackled robustly by Ricardo Rodriguez.
26 min: Cesar Azpilicueta gets a free header from the corner but powers his effort straight at Sommer, who saves comfortably.
24 min: Ferran Torres swings a cross from the right into the path of Morata but the ball is hacked out of play for another corner by Elvedi, who did well to recover after letting the Spain striker get goal side of him.
23 min: Switzerland substitution: Ruben Vargas on for Breel Embolo, who succumbs to a hamstring injury. An evening that started badly for Switzerland is going quickly downhill.
21 min: In bad news for Swiss midfielder Denis Zakiria and Spain full-back Jordi Alba, the goal has now been officially chalked up as an own goal.
21 min: Nothing comes of the Swiss corner, which was taken while Embolo was still receiving treatment off the pitch.
19 min: Unai Simon makes a pig’s ear of a clearance under pressuire from the high Swiss press and Spain concede a corner on the back of his mini-panic. THere’s a break in play as Breel Embolo receives treatment for what looks like a hamstring injury.
17 min: From the free-kick, Koke shoots for goal but his curled effort is too high.
16 min: Zakiria fouls Morata just outside the Swiss penalty area on the left side. Free-kick for Spain.
15 min: Another Spain corner, the ball being put out of play by Nico Elvedi. Sarabia’s outswinger is headed clear.
13 min: Ferran Torres gives the ball away to Steven Zuber after failing to collect a cross-field pass and the Swiss left-back tries to square it for Shaqiri just outside the Spain penalty area. His pass is intercepted and cleared.
11 min: Sarabia and Alvaro Morata combine to good effect just outside the Swiss penalty area but are soon forced backwards.
9 min: That’s rotten luck for the Swiss. From the corner, the ball was cleared as far as Jordi Alba, who sent it goalwards with interest. Yann Sommer almost certainly had his shot covered but the ball took a horrific deflection off Zakiria, leaving the goalkeeper completely wrongfooted and helpless. Alba is credited with the goal, his first for Spain in four years.
GOAL! Switzerland 0-1 Spain (Jordi Alba 8)
The ball breaks to Jordi Alba outside the Swiss penalty area and his shot takes a wicked deflection off Zakaria, leaving Yann Sommer with no chance whatsoever.
7 min: Spain win a corner, Ricardo Rodriguez sliding in to take the ball off the toe of Ferran Torres.
6 min: The Swiss get forward and Widmar squares the ball for Zakiria on the gallop from midfield but his delivery is intercepted. Switzerland look dangerous on the break.
5 min: Spain continue to dominate possession in these early stages, attempting to pass Switzerland into submission. The ball’s played long towards Sarabia in the corner but Ricardo Rodriguez leaps to intercept with a header.
3 min: Spain settle on the ball, pinging it over and back across the field inside their own half. They advance and get the ball into the Swiss penalty area, where Yann Sommer elects to punch it clear rather than catch.
1 min: Pablo Sarabia stumbles down the inside left for Spain but is dispossessed by Switzerland right-back Silvan Widmar. Switzerland break up field and Xherdan Shaqiri tries his luck from distance. Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon saves comfortably.
Switzerland v Spain is go …
1 min: Spain kick off, their players wearing white shirts, shorts and socks. Switzerland’s wear all red.
Not long now: After a two-day Euro 2020 football famine, play is about to get under way again. Led by English referee Michael Oliver and his team of match officials, Switzerland are first out on to the pitch, followed moments later by Spain. It’s time for the national anthems and kick-off is less than five minutes away.
Which begs the question: What was to blame: the moonlight, the good times or the boogie?
Those teams: Luis Enrique makes two changes to the side that beat Croatia, bringing Jordi Alba and Pau Torres into defence in place of Jose Gaya and Eric Garcia.
There’s just one change to the Switzerland team that started against France. As expected, Denis Zakaria comes into midfield in place of Granit Xhaka, who sits this one out on the Uefa-designated Naughty Step.
Switzerland v Spain line-ups
Switzerland: Sommer, Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez, Widmer, Freuler, Zakaria, Zuber, Shaqiri, Embolo, Seferovic.
Subs: Mbabu, Vargas, Mvogo, Sow, Fassnacht, Benito, Gavranovic, Fernandes, Kobel, Schar, Comert, Lotomba.
Spain: Simon, Azpilicueta, Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba, Koke, Busquets, Gonzalez, Ferran Torres, Morata, Sarabia.
Subs: de Gea, Diego Llorente, Marcos Llorente, Gerard, Thiago, Garcia, Sanchez, Gaya, Rodri, Olmo, Traore, Oyarzabal.
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
Some pre-match listening …
Football Weekly: Our chart-topping football podcast has gone daily for the Euros and in the latest instalment, Max Rushden, Jonathan Liew, Barney Ronay and Jordan Jarrett-Bryan preview the four quarter-finals. You can listen here and if you’re not already a subscriber, sign uyp for free in all the usual podcast places. If you like what you hear or already a fan, we’d really appreciate it if you could take a minute to vote for us in the Listeners’ Choice Award category of the British Podcast Awards.
Tonight’s match officials
- Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
- Assistant referees: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett (England)
- Fourth official: Ovidiu Haţegan (Romania)
- Video Assistant Referee: Chris Kavanagh (England)
Vladimir Petkovic speaks
“It’s the same as the game against France,” he said, upon being asked about his squad’s preparation for this game. “We celebrated what we did against France, but now it’s time to move on, create new emotions. We have to believe and show the will that we want to progress tomorrow.”
On Spain. “They’re a technical and hard-working side that we know from recent games against them,” he said. “They’re favourites, but we want to achieve our goals and keep moving forward.”
On the absence of Granit Xhaka. “Of course, when such an influential player like Xhaka is missing, it means each individual on the pitch has to give ten per cent more. They have to run, be combative, and I’m convinced that we’ll see that tomorrow.”
Luis Enrique speaks …
“I don’t know yet,” said Spain’s manager upon asked what he thought the key to tonight’s quarter-final might be. “Whichever team achieves the task of beating the other’s press, because we’ll both play that way, that’s important. Whoever is more decisive in the opposition penalty area will have the bigger options. I think it’s going to be a lovely game for the fans, an intense quarter-final. With goals.”
On the absence of Granit Xhaka. “I guess that he’s the most outstanding international player for Switzerland at the moment,” he said. “Personally, I’d have preferred that he was available. I am quite sure that whoever Switzerland pick will be someone who equals, or betters, what Xhaka would have produced. They’ll still be Switzerland without him.”
Early team news
Switzerland are without the suspended Granit Xhaka, the Arsenal midfielder having picked up his second yellow card of the tournament during what was arguably the performance of his life in victory over France. He is likely to be replace by Denis Zakaria, a 24-year-old defensive midfielder who plies his trade with Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga. Luis Enrique has no reported injury concerns but may recall Jordi Alba at left-back, after picking Jose Gaya ahead of him for Spain’s win over Croatia.
Quarter-final: Spain v Switzerland
There’s a place in the semi-finals against Belgium or Italy up for grabs for whoever triumphs in tonight’s eliminator in St Petersburg between Spain and Switzerland. At this stage of a major competition for the first time in nearly 70 years, Switzerland advanced after beating World Champions France on penalties. Spain arrive high on the hog after seeing off Croatia in a another thriller that went to extra time.
Three times the winners of the European Championship, Luis Enrique’s side go into this game as favourites but come up against a confident Swiss side that has already surpassed expectations and has nothing to lose. Kick-off is at 5pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.