Scotland claimed their first win against Spain in 39 years with a famous 2-0 victory at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
A brace from Scott McTominay helped Steve Clarke’s men go top of their Euro 2024 qualifying group, securing two wins from their opening two games.
Spain did not look cohesive in Luis de la Fuente’s second game in charge and have real work to do if they’re to reach the finals in Germany next summer, let alone compete for the championship.
With seven minutes on the clock, Scotland took a shock lead with the game’s first chance. Pedro Porro slipped while in possession and gave away the ball to Andy Robetson, who pulled it back for McTominay to fire home.
The hosts went close to adding a second soon after. John McGinn managed to swivel and set Ryan Christie racing away through midfield, poking a shot just wide of the near post.
Spain nearly equalised when a Jose Gaya cross was headed goalwards by Joselu, but it was straight down the throat of Angus Gunn and Scotland survived.
Joselu again rose highest to reach a teasing cross and this time he was only denied by the crossbar, while Rodri headed just over the top from a corner as Spain’s aerial bombardment continued.
Gunn was forced into a save when Porro let fly from 25 yards, pushing his swerving effort over the top, and Yeremy Pino’s half-volley sailed high into the stands from the resulting corner.
La Roja were furious that they weren’t awarded a penalty when Joselu went down under a challenge from Grant Hanley – a decision which was reaffirmed following a VAR check.
With the final opportunity of the first half Lyndon Dykes should have doubled the Scots’ lead. Andy Robertson hoofed the ball upfield for the QPR striker to chase on the counter, but having raced away from the Spanish defence was unable to keep his eventual strike down.
Just after the break, Scotland added a second. Kieran Tierney skipped away from Dani Carvajal and Spain were unable to deal with his cross, allowing McTominay to lash in the loose ball.
A free-kick from McGinn smashed against the crossbar as Scotland looked to put the game out of sight.
Substitutes Nico Williams and Iago Aspas combined with Spain looking to mount a comeback – the Athletic Club winger pulled the ball back for the Celta Vigo forward, directing it narrowly over the top.
Spain failed to carve out a chance in the game’s closing stages as Scotland held on to take three huge points.
GK: Angus Gunn – 7/10 – Made some key saves at crucial times for Scotland.
CB: Ryan Porteous – 7/10 – Shut down Spain’s left side no matter who was there.
CB: Grant Hanley – 7/10 – After Joselu made an early impression, Hanley did well to ease him out of the game.
CB: Kieran Tierney – 8/10 – Outstanding in that centre-back/full-back hybrid role. Won’t get the assist for the second goal but he definitely should receive credit for his responsibility in the move.
RM: Aaron Hickey – 7/10 – Worked well with Porteous in clamping Spain’s left flank down.
CM: Scott McTominay – 9/10 – The man of the moment. Thundered his way into the opposition box and made them pay.
CM: Callum McGregor – 7/10 – Held his own in what could have been a tricky midfield battle.
CM: John McGinn – 8/10 – Like McTominay was able to use his physicality to fluster and overwhelm Spain.
LM: Andy Robertson – 8/10 – A leader in every sense of the word. Won the battle of the dark arts with Porro.
AM: Ryan Christie – 6/10 – More of a contributor off the ball with his pressing and movement than on it.
CF: Lyndon Dykes – 5/10 – A sloppy passer and missed a great chance at the end of the first half.
Kenny McLean (75′ for Christie) – N/A
Liam Cooper (75′ for Tierney) – N/A
Nathan Patterson (82′ for Hickey) – N/A
Lewis Ferguson (83′ for McGinn) – N/A
Lawrence Shankland (90′ for Dykes) – N/A
Steve Clarke – 9/10 – Such a result required some monster performances and Clarke got just that out of his men. Another outstanding display from Scotland.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 4/10 – Didn’t exactly radiate confidence and his kicking was a little wayward.
RB: Pedro Porro – 4/10 – At fault for the opener. Tried his best to get a foothold in the game after but was withdrawn at the break.
CB: David Garcia – 5/10 – Made a few key interceptions but to little avail.
CB: Inigo Martinez – 5/10 – Similarly fine for the most part but this wasn’t enough to save Spain.
LB: Jose Gaya – 5/10 – Provided very little down the left wing. The left-back spot should be Alejandro Balde’s to lose.
CM: Mikel Merino – 4/10 – Technically gifted of course, but sunk in the midfield battle against Scotland’s powerhouses.
CM: Rodri – 5/10 – As calm as usual but was unable to elevate those around him.
RM: Yeremy Pino – 4/10 – Played on the fringes of the game whether coming in from the right or the left.
AM: Dani Ceballos – 4/10 – Started brightly with his usual enthusiasm but this was quickly nullified by Scotland’s own dogged pressing.
LM: Mikel Oyarzabal – 4/10 – Found it hard to break Scotland down and was hooked at the interval.
CF: Joselu – 5/10 – A menace in the first half but didn’t get his own way when the going got tough.
Dani Carvajal (46′ for Porro) – 4/10 – Roasted by Tierney for Scotland’s second, so not really an upgrade on the haphazard Porro.
Nico Williams (46′ for Oyarzabal) – 6/10 – Spain’s most dangerous player by far after coming on, showcasing his pace and electricity in possession. Needed more help to break down a stubborn defence.
Iago Aspas (57′ for Merino) – 5/10
Borja Iglesias (67′ for Joselu) – 5/10
Gavi (79′ for Ceballos) – N/A
Luis de la Fuente – 2/10 – Spain were essentially put in a spin dryer by a pumped up Scotland side. The new manager’s team selection reeked of arrogance after making nine changes.