The Gauls only score from own goals and penalties

The Gauls only score from own goals and penalties
The Gauls only score from own goals and penalties

Football, that sport so complex that it always ends up being decided in the simplest way. Whoever scores the most goals wins, there is no more to it. It is of little use to have more possession, to dribble more times, to shoot more at goal… It all comes down to sending the ball into the back of the net.

That’s what they’re going to try. Spain y France in their clash in the semi-finals of the Eurocup. A high-flying duel between two of the most powerful teams on the continent and in which even the smallest detail can be decisive in whether or not they get a ticket to the grand final on July 14 in Berlin.

Both teams have reached the penultimate step, but they have done so in very different ways. The Spanish team has broken all predictions and has surprised with its good football. For its part, the team led by Didier Deschamps He has managed to win his games but with an image that has generated many more doubts than certainties.

But the result has been the same. Each with their own style, the French much more conservative than the Spanish, and by getting through the delicate moments they will face each other in 90 minutes (120 at most) to play another European final. Spain has not done it since 2012 and France since 2016. Both are eager to feel those emotions again.

Note taking machine

Little remains of the Spain of ‘tiki-taka’ that amazed the world just over a decade ago. Luis de la Fuente The Spanish team has adopted a more vertical and fast-paced style of football, a constant exchange of blows in which the players seem to feel comfortable.

They have scored 11 goals in the tournament, more than anyone else. They are also by far the team that has had the most shots. De la Fuente’s men have known how to charge the opposition’s area in matches and have been able to create many clear chances to score. This is shown by the fact that their goals and expected goals are practically the same.

The debut against Croatia already served as an appetizer for what was going to be seen from the National Team in the rest of the tournament. A resounding victory against Croatia in which they shot up to 11 times. Croatia tried more (16), but it was the Spanish who pierced the rival net.

Luis de la Fuente continued to perfect his plan and on the second day against Italia One of the tournament’s greatest displays came. The result was only 1-0, but the sensations and the volume of opportunities generated (20) were enough to see a much bigger win. Against Albania There were 16, against Georgia 35 and against Germany 18.

Most of the shots have come from inside the box. In fact, all the goals have come from there. Dani Olmo y Fabianwho are the team’s top scorers with two goals each, are also those who are trying the most. The former averages 3.5 shots per game while the Andalusian has an average of 3.2.

Lights and shadows

Meanwhile, France have yet to become a formidable team. In fact, they have one of the worst offensive records in the entire championship. They have yet to score a goal other than a penalty in the entire tournament (both of their goals have been own goals). And yes, they are one step away from the Euro final.

The low level of success of the Gauls is mainly due to the bad moment of Kylian Mbappé y Antoine GriezmannThe former is not able to make a difference and it seems that his nose fracture from the first match of the group stage is taking a toll on him. For his part, Griezmann is totally unknown. He hardly comes into play, his contacts are not good and he may even be a substitute against Spain.

In addition to the problem of the two main stars, their companions are not pulling the cart either. Deschamps does not hit the key and Dembele’s, Muani City y Thuram They are unable to establish themselves and establish themselves in the starting eleven.

However, these poor offensive figures are balanced by outstanding defensive work. Creating a chance against France is very difficult and scoring a goal against them is almost impossible. Maignanone of the most positive news for the team, has kept a clean sheet in all matches except the group stage match against Poland where they conceded a penalty.

Solidity is undoubtedly France’s best weapon in this tournament. Given the lack of inspiration from his attacking players, Deschamps has prioritized being a team focused on not conceding a goal rather than on finding the opponent’s goal with ease.

Far from Spain

In fact, the offensive volume of the Spanish team is not something usual. Taking a look at the other semi-final, the one that measures England y Netherlandswe see how both have attack numbers more similar to those of France.

England are having a lot of problems when it comes to creating danger. Southgate has not been able to find the key at any time and his team is going through the rounds in an almost bizarre way. The criticism of the ‘Three Lions‘There are many of them, but they continue to take steps towards the title.

Throughout the Euros they have played half as many times as Spain and have also scored half as many goals. All their goals have come practically from the six-yard box with crosses from the side. The only one that has come from the edge of the box was the one from Bukayo Saka contra Swiss In rooms.

For its part, the Netherlands has reached the semi-finals offering a level that has improved. It struggled in the group stage, leaving a poor performance against Austria which took him to third place and left him on the brink of elimination.

In their case, they have also shot less than Spain, but their success has been greater. They have scored nine goals, three of them from their star player. Steeland they have left very good feelings in the final phase of the tournament.

Those of Koeman They go deep into the area and could have scored more goals if Memphis would have been more accurate. The Dutchman is the team’s top scorer with 3.4 shots per game, but has only scored one goal in the entire tournament. He will have to improve his record if he wants to lead the Netherlands to the title.

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