Spain Vs. Serbia: Experimental Lineup Cruises Past Serbia

A depleted Spain playing in a novel (for them) 4-4-2 made light work of Serbia, beating them 2-0 at the AFG Arena in Switzerland. The defending European and World champions were missing their Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao players (those sides having played in the Copa del Rey final on Friday) , and so Vicente del Bosque opted for an experimental shape and lineup.

It didn't work particularly well. Serbia defended very deep against the two strikers of Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado, so basically nothing happened in the first half save for a 60-yard effort from Xabi Alonso and a Serbia goal that was rightly disallowed for offside. Spain reverted to a single striker shape after the break, but they were still failing to get much penetration. Still, a goal eventually came through debutante Adrian, who took advantage of a fast break forward to finish Jesus Navas' sublime cross, nicking between Branislav Ivanovic and Neven Subotic to head off the ground and in. Not classic Spain, but they'll take goals any way they can get them at this point, I'd suspect.

A few minutes later a lovely through ball from Santi Carzola picked out Adrian and the forward took a very suspicious looking tumble in the box under close attention from Ivanovic. The referee bought the dive, however, and Carzola blasted the resultant spot kick down the middle to make it 2-0, Damir Kahriman diving to his right. Some flares greeted that second goal, which wasn't very friendly, but any unrest soon died down. As did the game.

It's impossible to take anything out of this match. Barcelona are the core of this Spain team and Athletic will contribute several players as well. Today was about blooding new players and trying new things, not seeing how the team will actually perform in this summer's Euros. Serbia played creditably enough, I suppose, but never really threatened Iker Casillas' goal.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.