Santi Denia’s new Under-21 team gets stuck against France

‘La Rojita’ was unable to subdue a French team that looked superior during some sections of the match


The Spanish Under-21 team could not beat France in their second friendly in preparation for the European Championship next June after reaping a creditable draw (0-0), which put an end to their good run of results after chaining eight victories consecutive, in a test theoretically of a higher level, after the comeback against Switzerland last Friday.

The team led by Santi Denia, who debuted as the new Spanish coach with a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the Helvetians in Almería, was unable to prolong their positive inertia against a French team that looked superior in some sections of the match. ‘La Rojita’ was not able to find its best level against a French team that could not make up for it in front of its fans after losing in its friendly last week by a resounding 4-0 against England.

At the La Rabine stadium in the town of Vannes, the initial score for both teams preceded a somewhat bland first half, with hardly any chances for both teams. Although France took the initiative, the lack of success ended up condemning them against a Spanish team with no presence in attack and somewhat hesitant in midfield. Arnau Martínez had the clearest chance after a corner kick, but his shot went high just before the break.

As against Switzerland last Friday, Santi Denia’s side were unable to find their game in the first 45 minutes. Thus, after the restart, ‘La Rojita’ took a step forward to try to impose their game and begin to subdue the French team. Abel Ruiz had the first with a double chance that disrupted the ‘bleu’ goalkeeper, but he soon found the reply in Barcola’s boots, repelled on this occasion by Arnau Tenas.

In this exchange of blows it was the turn of a Spanish team that once again found its great offensive weapon in Arnau Martínez. The Girona player, again at the exit of a corner, crashed his header into the post when he was completely alone. Although Miranda had another clear chance shortly after, the French defensive forcefulness did the rest to finish closing a game that did not move anymore.