Gary Neville insists David de Gea wouldn’t have conceded Japan’s first goal against Spain, due to an error by first-choice goalkeeper Unai Simon.
The 2010 World Cup winners were given a scare as they qualified for the knockout stages in second place, having led the group at kick-off.
Japan came from behind to beat Luis Enrique’s side 2-1 to take top spot in Group E, meaning they face Croatia on Monday, while the Spaniards take on Morocco.
Spain were dominating early on but were overtaken by quick goals early in the second half from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka.
Simon was responsible for Doan’s equalizer when he appeared to misjudge the ball’s flight after the Japanese striker unleashed a 20-yard effort.
The Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper then put the ball into his own net, which became the catalyst for Spain’s subsequent collapse.
Neville slammed Simon’s role in the Japan leveler during his post-match analysis for ITV and questioned his starting spot for the rest of the World Cup.
“The big decision for the game is whether [Spain] stick with the goalie,” Neville said.
“[Simon] It’s the only part of their game that looks like a real weak point and I have to say it’s off to a bad start. We know they like to play at the back, we know they like to take risks and we want them to keep doing that, we’re not trying to change that.
“He has to save this [Doan’s goal]. They have Raya on the bench and they have Sanchez.
Neville then insisted that Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea would have comfortably handled Doan’s effort.
He added: “They still have De Gea at home. I know he hasn’t been brilliant the past few years, but I can’t think he’d let that one in! It’s a very bad one. In a knockout match, this is fatal for you.
De Gea, has been left out of Luis Enrique’s 26-man World Cup squad despite amassing 45 caps for Spain.
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