Del Bosque Defends De Gea After Mistakes During Croatia Defeat

Spanish manager Vicente Del Bosque has defended David De Gea following Spain’s 2-1 defeat to Croatia, refusing to blame his first choice goalkeeper for the loss.

La Roja opened the scoring after just eight minutes when Cesc Fabregas chipped the ball over an onrushing Subasic and Alvaro Morata made sure by tapping the ball over the line. Croatia equalised just before half-time when Kalinic converted a superb Perisic cross.

Sergio Ramos missed a penalty after David Silva was brought down within the area before Ivan Perisic ended a sumptuous Croatia counter attack with a goal late on in Bordeaux. The scoreline results in a second place finish in Group D for Spain, which will now face the winner of Group E in the Round of 16.

Manchester United ‘keeper De Gea was beaten low at his near post for the deciding goal on Wednesday night - this coming after the 25-year-old misplaced a pass that subsequently allowed Rakatic a shot that hit the crossbar.

Del Bosque ‘painfully’ dropped veteran Iker Casillas, who has been the nation’s first choice goalkeeper since 2002, for David De Gea and the former Real Madrid boss was quick to support the latter.

“He didn’t have too much work to do, we can’t blame him for the goals,” Del Bosque proclaimed. “The first was a counter-attack and the second was as well. Everyone is culpable.”

The holders will now face Italy in the next round. Under the management of Antonio Conte, the Azzurri are yet to concede a goal during the 15th edition of the European Championships and convincingly defeated supposed dark horses Belgium on Matchday One.

“It wasn’t the path we wanted to take, it’s true, but that’s football,” said Del Bosque.

“It was a game that looked like we had controlled, but we’ll try now to recuperate as quickly as possible from this set-back and be in the best possible condition on Monday.” He continued.

“Italy are playing well, and we were playing well until today. We didn’t play badly but that’s the result so we have to prepare to play against them.”