Jordi Alba hopes Spain can show more solidity defensively to complement their attacking panache as Fernando Hierro's side aim to seal a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup against Morocco.
The 2010 winners battled to a 1-0 victory over Iran's massed defensive ranks in Kazan on Wednesday after playing out a 3-3 thriller with Group B leaders Portugal in their opening game.
Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning hat-trick in Sochi came despite Spain controlling long passages of play and when Iran emerged from their shell there were some nervous moments, including an equaliser ruled out for offside.
"I think we controlled the match [against Iran], but it is true they generated danger with the play of the disallowed goal and a header at the far post," Barcelona left-back Alba told Marca.
"In that respect I can understand how those doubts that are so much talked about are generated.
"Honestly, inside the dressing room we did not see it that way. But all opinions are respectable."
Surprisingly, Alba claimed Iran proved to be tougher opponents than a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal.
"Portugal came to us three times: a dubious penalty, a foul that Cristiano put away incredibly and a mistake [by goalkeeper David de Gea]," he added.
"We were totally superior to Portugal and we deserved much more than them. But this is a World Cup.
"People may think that Iran are not at that level, but they made life more complicated for us than Portugal.
"We have four points, which is the important thing we have to look at. You always have to correct things, but this is a World Cup and we are seeing what happens every day in almost every game."
Morocco have only pride to play for and Herve Renard's side have every reason to feel aggrieved over their early exit, having created ample chances during each of their 1-0 losses - failing to turn them into goals.
"We know we are eliminated but, well, we will try to stay with a good taste in our mouths for all the people who are supporting us, not only here but throughout the world," Real Madrid full-back Achraf Hakimi told reporters.
"We will try to do our best and give a joy to the fans."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Spain – Diego Costa
Following a nightmare campaign in 2014 and watching Euro 2016 from the outside looking in, powerhouse striker Costa has finally established himself as the leader of La Roja's attack and has three goals from his first two outings at Russia 2018.
Morocco – Ayoub El Kaabi
A prolific goalscorer who has enjoyed a rapid rise from Morocco's lower leagues over the past couple of years, El Kaabi has one more chance to bring his finishing prowess to the biggest stage having failed to fire in one start and a substitute appearance.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Spain have won three of their four World Cup matches against African opponents (L1), scoring 11 goals and never fewer than two per game.
- Morocco have now been eliminated at the group stage in four of their five World Cup campaigns, only progressing in the 1986 tournament.
- The Atlas Lions have fired in more shots than their opposition in each of their last six World Cup defeats (v Portugal and Iran in 2018; Brazil in 1998; Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Belgium in 1994).
- Diego Costa has scored nine goals in his last nine international starts for Spain.
15 de noviembre 2018
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
14 de noviembre 2018
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|
|Claudio Ranieri´s managerial career in Opta numbers|
|Mahmudullah´s first century in eight years boosts Bangladesh|
|Fellaini gets the chop ahead of 31st birthday|
|Maradona: Solari will not last at Real Madrid|
|Molinari: Race to Dubai success would not surpass Ryder Cup glory with Fleetwood|