11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 3
Game Details
Game Details
Game Details

Vincente del Bosque: David De Gea not to blame for Spain vs. Croatia loss

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea was not to blame for Spain's 2-1 loss against Croatia in the European Championship on Tuesday, according to the defeated side's head coach Vicente del Bosque.

Spain's De Gea allowed the ball to squeeze past him, as Ivan Perisic scored the late winning goal for Croatia, although the strike was slightly deflected by Gerard Pique.

Earlier, there had been a first-half let-off for the United goalkeeper when he cleared the ball into the path of Ivan Rakitic, whose resulting 20-yard strike hit the bar.

De Gea, 25, had been picked ahead of veteran Iker Casillas, 35, and had not conceded a goal in his five competitive matches for Spain before playing against Croatia.

It has been a difficult time for him off the field too, as he was implicated in a sexual assault case on June 10 but dismissed the allegations as false.

Nikola Kalinic
David De Gea conceded in the 87th minute for Spain to finish as runners-up of Group D.

Speaking in his postmatch news conference, Del Bosque said: "We can't blame De Gea. If we lose we are all guilty. He didn't have too much work to do. The first was a counter-attack and the second was as well. Everyone is culpable."

It was a costly defeat for Spain, who surrendered a 1-0 lead, as Croatia leapfrogged them to finish as Group D winners. A draw would have been enough for Spain to be top, but their second-placed finish means that they are set to face Italy in the round of 16 on June 27.

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.


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