Barcelona sensation nets winning goal against Norway to secure qualification!

The cheers stretched from Andalusia to Aberdeen as Spain’s victory over Norway put both themselves and Scotland into the Euro 2024 finals next summer.

It was a tale of two VAR checks in Oslo on Sunday night as interpretations of the offside law became the main focus of proceedings in an otherwise uneventful encounter.

Alvaro Morata thought he had put Spain ahead in the first half when he tapped home Stefan Strandberg’s sliced clearance. But a VAR review deemed that his striker’s instinct had worked against him with his hunger to finish an opportunity that would have crossed the line anyway, instead making him guilty of offside.

Morata was again the main point of scrutiny in the VAR room in the second half. But this time, somehow, he was deemed not to have interfered before and after Gavi steered a loose ball in to the Norway net for the only goal.

THE MVP: Crashing around the field, bootlaces undone, in an unfamiliar No. 9 shirt, Gavi, was his usual frenetic self. But with the ball pin-balling around the Norwegian area, it was the young Barcelona midfielder who provided the moment of composure. He guided the ball into the bottom corner for what became –– after a four-and-a-half minute VAR check –– the goal that sent Spain and Scotland to Germany next summer.

THE BIG LOSER: Erling Haaland certainly gave Spain’s French-born centre-backing pairing a tough first half. Indeed, Robin Le Normand was hooked at half-time after picking up a yellow card for dragging down the Norwegian. But Haaland caused none of the havoc we’ve come to expect from him as Spain saw out the game comfortably against a remarkably flat home team and crowd.

WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? It’s mission accomplished for Spain though they and Scotland will both be keen to chase down top spot in the group and a potential place as top seeds for next summer’s finals over the remaining group fixtures.

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