Spain’s 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign took a turn for the worse on Thursday evening.
Luis Enrique’s side were beaten 2-1 by Sweden, meaning they’re now two points behind the Scandinavian outfit having played a game more.
Valencia’s Carlos Soler opened the scoring on the night in the fifth-minute, before Alexander Isak equalised around 30 seconds later.
Viktor Claesson then grabbed Sweden’s winner just after the half-time break, with Juventus starlet Dejan Kulusevski assisting the goal in a very stylish manner.
La Roja’s defeat in Stockholm means that they cannot afford another slip-up in their remaining four qualifiers.
But while Spain’s chances of topping their group and automatically qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar look now look slim, there were a few positives to take from the game versus Sweden.
Soler grabbed a goal on his debut and Aymeric Laporte also produced one of the best tackles we’ve seen in years towards the end of the second half.
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In the 78th-minute of the game, Isak was put through on goal and it looked for all the world that he’d charge into the penalty area and beat Unai Simon to make it 3-1.
Laporte had other ideas, though.
The Manchester City defender showed an incredible turn of pace to make up ground on Isak and then performed the most perfectly-timed slide tackle near the six-yard box.
Take a look at Laporte’s moment of pragmatic genius here…
Video: Laporte stops Isak with incredible last-ditch tackle
That is absolutely magnificent.
Both players were going at somewhere close to full speed, but Laporte’s tackle was so clean and precise that Isak wasn’t even sent tumbling to the turf.
It’s not often you see that…
Laporte really has continued the bright form he showed at Euro 2020 this season. The former Athletic Bilbao has started City’s first three Premier League games in 2021/22.
He even scored in the 5-0 thrashing of Norwich City at the Etihad and John Stones may find reclaiming his spot in Pep Guardiola‘s starting XI rather tough.