De Gea among Spain stars TAKING penalties in training

David De Gea among Spain stars practising TAKING penalties in training after keeper missed decider in epic Europa League final shoot-out… as Luis Enrique looks to fix poor record from the spot

  • Spain’s recent record from the penalty spot has been poor, missing their last five
  • Alvaro Morata saw his saved by Slovakian Martin Dubravka in their last match
  • Even Spain’s keepers have been getting involved in taking penalties in practice 
  • David de Gea missed the deciding penalty in the Europa League final shoot-out 

Spain’s shocking recent record from the penalty spot has given them even more reason to practise penalties ahead of the knockout rounds, and that includes goalkeeper David de Gea.

The Manchester United keeper missed from the spot in the Europa League final against Villarreal. He and fellow keepers, first choice Unai Simon and Brighton’s Robert Sanchez have both taken kicks in the mock shoot-outs organised by coach Luis Enrique ahead of the last-16 meeting with Croatia.

That Europa League final in Gdansk saw 21 players score before De Gea’s miss but Spain’s recent form from 12 yards is appalling in contrast. They have missed all five of their last kicks.

David De Gea is among the Spain keeper practising penalties as they aim to fix their weakness

The Manchester United star missed the deciding spot-kick in the Europa League final 

Alvaro Morata had his shot saved by Slovakian keeper Martin Dubravka in Spain’s last group game. Prior to that Gerard Moreno hit the post from the spot against Poland in their second game. And before that Abel Ruiz had missed in Spain’s last friendly before the Euros and Sergio Ramos had missed two consecutive kicks.

Ramos would usually be Spain’s penalty taker and in the absence of the former Real Madrid defender Luis Enrique has identified four takers: Moreno, Morata, Sergio Busquets and Koke.

‘We know there’s a list and we’ve got good penalty takers,’ Busquets told Cadena Ser radio. ‘It’s just that we are on a bad run.’

Morata has already said that he will happily take the next one. The former Chelsea forward has opened up on abuse received from Spain fans during the group stage.

Alvaro Morata missed from the spot in Spain’s defeat to Slovakia, their fifth miss in a row 

But he denied the insults, directed at him and his wife and children attending Spain games, mean he will be glad to move from Seville to Copenhagen where Spain play Croatia and then to St. Petersburg where they will meet France or Switzerland if they progress.

‘It’s impossible that I feel better playing anywhere else,’ Morata said. ‘Spain is my country I wish I could play all our games here.’

Asked about Spain’s rival tomorrow Morata told Spanish radio Cope: ‘They have got one of the best midfields in Europe. Marcelo Brozovic does the running of three players and has a lot of quality. 

And everyone knows about the quality of Luca [Modric] and of Mateo Kovacic. It’s going to be a very physical game in the middle of the pitch.’   

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