Spain player ratings vs Norway: Kepa Arrizabalaga validates David de Gea exclusion as La Roja begin Luis de la Fuente era with win

Comments (0)
Kepa Spain Norway 2023
Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, picked ahead of David de Gea, was one of the standout performers as La Roja got the three points against Norway

Luis de la Fuente's reign as Spain coach got off to a winning start as La Roja ran out 3-0 winners against Norway on Saturday.

It was not the most convincing of performances in their opening game of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign as Norway put La Roja under pressure for large spells after Dani Olmo's early goal gave the hosts the lead.

But the visitors could not find a way through amid the absence of superstar forward Erling Haaland, as Kepa pulled off some strong saves to keep his team in the lead and ensure they did not miss David de Gea.

🏆 TOP STORY: Nagelsmann's girlfriend blamed after sacking

📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Have Bayern made the right call?

🚨 MUST READ: Why PSG will pay for Tuchel miss

Norway were made to pay for their wastefulness as late substitute Joselu struck twice in quick succession in a fantastic debut appearance as De la Fuente's men breathed a sigh of relief.

GOAL rates Spain's players...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
    Getty Images

    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Kepa Arrizabalaga (8/10):

    Made an excellent save in the first half to keep his team in the lead and was generally assured between the posts. Remember when the Chelsea goalkeeper's career seemed on the verge of stalling out? He's come a long way.

    Dani Carvajal (6/10):

    Set up a good chance for Merino but almost gave away a penalty for a needless shove.

    Nacho Fernandez (7/10):

    Did well to block a shot from Odegaard in a solid defensive display from the Real Madrid man.

    Aymeric Laporte (6/10):

    Sound on the ball as he looked to keep things moving against a deep-lying opposition.

    Alejandro Balde (7/10):

    His dangerous ball in was met by Olmo for the opening goal.

  2. Midfield


    Rodri (7/10):

    Made some good defensive interventions as well as neat passes to help create some danger.

    Mikel Merino (6/10):

    A solid display in the midfield as he supported the attack. Had a shot blocked late on.

    Iago Aspas (5/10):

    A tame performance from the veteran, who could not get much time on the ball. His passing was lacking.

  3. Attack


    Dani Olmo (7/10):

    Perfectly placed to divert the ball in to open the scoring and was lively on the ball before his exit after 67 minutes.

    Alvaro Morata (5/10):

    The newly named captain was not enough of a direct threat on goal and struggled to link up with team-mates beyond his hand in the goal.

    Gavi (6/10):

    A decent performance from the Barcelona youngster but was taken off surprisingly early.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Subs & Manager

    Mikel Oyarzabal (6/10):

    Looked lively after coming on in the second half and played a role in the third goal.

    Dani Ceballos (6/10):

    Set up Pino with a good pass, not a bad substitute appearance.

    Yeremy Pino (7/10):

    Conceded a free kick seconds after coming on for Olmo. Sent a shot wide and then had a low cross roll through the box.

    Fabian (6/10):

    A late swap for Merino and sent in the cross for Joselu to double their lead.

    Joselu (8/10):

    Took Morata's place for the last 10 minutes in his senior debut. Completely missed Pino's dangerous cross but made up for it seconds later with a goal from a header and then fired in the third.

    Luis de la Fuente (6/10):

    His team struggled to build on their early lead for much of the game as Norway took control, but his changes proved effective as Joselu, Oyarzabal and Fabian were all involved in the vital late goals.