Spain boss offers verdict on De Gea, Kepa’s competition

Matt Stead

Spain coach Robert Moreno paid tribute to goalkeeper David De Gea after watching his side ease to a 4-0 victory over the Faroe Islands in Euro 2021 qualifying Group F.

De Gea was handed his first start in four games after being usurped as first choice by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga since Moreno replaced Luis Enrique as national coach.

And the Manchester United player got a surprise chance to prove his worth as the Faroes created a number of opportunities, including a 73rd-minute effort from Joannes Bjartalid which De Gea saved well.

Moreno told Spanish media: “We must all celebrate De Gea’s big save, just as we celebrated Kepa’s in Romania the other day. It raises competition and is very good.

“We trust David a lot. We always say that players in their careers go through good and bad moments.

“The other day Kepa did very well, and today it was David’s turn. This will be the case for the national team – sometimes it will be one and sometimes it will be the other.”

Moreno was pleased with a win which maintained Spain’s 100 per cent record in the group, despite gloss being added to the scoreline by two late goals from Paco Alcacer following Rodrigo’s early double.

Moreno added: “This has been a good week because we have increased competition in the squad, we have full points and we have scored four goals, so I am happy.

“It is extremely difficult to play against teams like the Faroe Islands, with 11 players in the area, but in the end we were pretty good.

“The objective is almost achieved. You have to keep growing as a group and today was a match to show you want to be a part of the national team – and the players have shown it.”