Football News

Spain 2-0 Scotland: Player ratings as Tartan Army march to Germany put on hold

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 21:50, 12 October 2023

Scotland were looking to become the first side into next summer’s European Championship when they visited Spain this evening.

Steve Clarke’s men knew they would qualify if they avoided defeat here or if Norway (who are playing in Cyprus) did not win.

In the end, Norway ran out 4-0 winners, Erling Haaland bagging a brace leaving UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Group A poised following Spain’s 2-0 success.

Scott McTominay thought he’d put Scotland in front only for VAR to have a say. This reprieve galvanised the Seville crowd as well as their national team. The in-form Alvaro Morata and debutant Oihan Sancet would net La Roja’s goals in the space of 13 late second-half minutes.

Scotland remains top on 15 points with Spain, having played one game fewer, three back while Norway are third on ten.

Here’s how the players rated at Estadio de La Cartuja:


Unai Simón – 6 – A lucky man to see McTominay’s spectacular free-kick ruled out. There was no fortune involved when he denied Che Adams soon after the Southampton man came on.

Dani Carvajal – 4 – Very fortunate to escape a caution after flooring McGinn just outside Spain’s penalty area. He did eventually receive a yellow card for a poor challenge on Christie.

Robin Le Normand – 6 – Won no fewer than five aerial duels, more than any Spanish player this evening.

Aymeric Laporte – 5.5 – Involved in some contentious incidents but the former Man City centre-back showed he’s still capable at this level.

Alejandro Balde – 5.5 – The energetic Barça full-back was in a marauding mood this evening. It seemed he spent more time in the opposition’s final third than his own.

Gavi – 6.5 – Took up a place between the lines of Spain’s midfield and attack in order to catch Scotland out if they didn’t mark him with great care and perseverance – a task the Barça youngster loves.

Rodri – 7 – Missed the last few games for City through suspension and it has shown. La Roja’s skipper was his usual metronomic self playing in front of the backline.

Mikel Merino – 4 – Saw a first-half effort struck the post. He would go into the referee’s book for a cynical challenge.

Ferran Torres – 5.5 – Missed a golden opportunity to put Spain in front mere seconds into the contest.

Álvaro Morata – 7 – It wasn’t long ago the Atlético Madrid marksman was much-maligned, but he’s a changed man following a lethal spell in front of goal. He finally breached Gunn’s goal after several missed chances. 

Mikel Oyarzabal – 4.5 – Ended a four-game absence from Spain’s team and subsequently enjoyed a fascinating battle with Hickey who superbly blocked an effort of his.


Fran Garcia (for Balde 46) – 5 – Came on to give Spain more attacking thrust which he duly produced.

Bryan Zaragoza (for Oyarzabal 46) – 5 – The exciting Spanish forward came on to make his international after half-time. Heading into this game no one in La Liga had completed more take-ons than him.

Jesus Navas (for Carvajal 67) – 6 – Age is but a number, forget being Spain’s oldest international the dynamic full-back remains a presence. His well-timed cross allowed Morata to put Spain in front.

Oihan Sancet (for Merino 67) – 5.5 – A goal on debut is no more than you could ask of the Athletic Bilbao attacking midfielder.

Joselu (for Morata 85) – N/A – A late sub.

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Angus Gunn – 5.5 – Despite the dominance of La Roja he wasn’t truly worked until he had to pick the ball out of his net.

Ryan Porteous – 6.5 – Put in a colossus defensive performance. The 6 ft 2 in centre-back marshalled Scotland’s backline like a man possessed but cruelly kicked the ball onto Sancet to double Spain’s lead.

Jack Hendry – 5 – It was him being in an offside position that led to McTominay’s incredible free-kick being chalked off by VAR.

Scott McKenna – 6.5 – Tonight marked his first start of the campaign. McKenna was naturally kept busy though gave as good as he got. He won five aerial duels – more than anyone who started this game.

Aaron Hickey – 5 – A very energetic performance from the Brentford full-back who made numerous key interventions though crucially slipped at the wrong moment.

Callum McGregor – 4 – Ineffective as the game seemingly passed him by in Scotland’s midfield.

Scott McTominay – 6 – The man of the moment. Thought he put Scotland in front with a sublime free-kick from a seemingly impossible angle.

Andrew Robertson – 5 – A key moment for the visitors when their skipper was taken off minutes before half-time following a 50-50 with Spain goalkeeper Simon from Hickey’s ball forward. Potentially a huge blow for Liverpool with Robertson seemingly dislocating his shoulder.

John McGinn – 5 – Created one goalscoring opportunity for the visitors who seldom held possession.

Ryan Christie – 5 – Made it count whenever he received possession which proved to be few and far between.

Lyndon Dykes – 4.5 – The first man into Serdar Gözübüyük’s book after being deemed to lead with an elbow while contesting with Laporte in the air.


Nathan Patterson (for Robertson 43) – 4.5 – It’s one thing coming on to replace Robertson’s attacking input, which no one expected from Patterson, instead the Everton man was focused on his defensive duties which became arduous once Zaragoza came on.

Che Adams (for Dykes 80) – N/A – A late sub.

Stuart Armstrong (for Christie 80) – N/A – A late sub.

Billy Gilmour (for Porteous 87) – N/A – A late sub.

Kenny McLean (for McGregor 87) – N/A – A late sub.