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Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal shines again as Spain dominate Georgia, advance to Euro 2024 quarter-finals

Barcelona’s largest contingent at Euro 2024 has booked a place in the quarter-finals as Lamine Yamal and Pedri took part in Spain’s dominant 4-1 win over Georgia in Sunday’s Round of 16 clash in Cologne, with Ferran Torres and Fermín López watching from the bench as their teammates put on a show from beginning to end. After going behind early La Roja staged a furious comeback with fantastic attacking play, and Yamal once again was one of the stars of the show as Spain have set up a monster Last Eight clash against Germany.

Spain made a dominant start to the game, owning possession and moving the ball quickly from side to side to find spaces inside a tight 5-3-2 structure from the Georgians. Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams saw the ball early and often and created plenty of trouble on the wings, and La Roja made some real chances that forced goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili into a couple of excellent saves.

Despite their total domination in the first 20 minutes, however, Spain somehow found themselves behind: Georgia scored with their very first meaningful attack of the game as Robin Le Normand deflected a cross from the right wing against his own net to score an unfortunate own goal and give the underdogs a shocking lead.

But Spain didn’t seem too bothered about going behind and continued to play the same way, kept creating danger on the wings and fired several shots on goal that Mamardashvili saved time after time. Georgia offered quite a bit of threat on the counter but never created a real chance, and Spain’s equalizer seemed like a matter of time.

And with five minutes to go in the half La Roja finally scored the goal they deserved as Williams found Rodri at the edge of the box and the Manchester City man used his weaker left foot to find the bottom corner and tie things up in Cologne. The halftime whistle came shortly after to end a brilliant first half of football, and we were setup for a fantastic final period.

Spain continued to pile up the pressure to start the second half, and they completed the comeback just five minutes in: after winning a free-kick and having it saved by the keeper, Yamal kept his concentration and turned provider just a few seconds later with an amazing cross to find Fabián Ruiz at the far post for an easy header and La Roja’s second goal.

Pedri’s quietly excellent night ended right after the goal when he was replaced by Dani Olmo in the 52nd minute, and Spain continued to dominate the ball and look for a third goal while Georgia slowly began defending higher up the pitch to try and force mistakes and score an unlikely equalizer.

La Roja were in the mood and created several good chances, with Yamal missing perhaps the best of them with a shot that went agonizingly wide just a few minutes after the hour mark. Spain almost sealed the victory with just under 20 minutes to go when Lamine made a wonderful one-two with Olmo inside the box and forced an own goal, but the Barça teenager was narrowly offside and the goal was ruled out.

A couple of minutes later came a third goal that did count as La Roja went on a devastating counter and Williams scored a wonderful solo goal, which doubled the Spanish lead and pretty much ended any Georgian hope on the night. Spain never stopped attacking and Yamal was clearly very hungry to finally score his first of the tournament, and his teammates kept feeding him the ball.

The teenager had quite a few chances but was perhaps too anxious and missed all of them, but one of his teammates did find the back of the net as Olmo scored yet another brilliant solo effort with a world-class touch and finish to triple the Spain advantage and make the victory a certainty.

The final whistle came to end a brilliant night for Spain, who dominated from start to finish and showed their superiority. They will be considered the favorites to win it all considering just how well they’ve played so far, but their side of the draw is brutal and their next match is against Germany.

But with Yamal in such incredible form and the rest of the team looking so solid with and without the ball, it’s hard not to see Spain playing for the trophy in Berlin in two weeks the way things stand right now.

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