The last two games of the first round of games are done.
Nothing #awesome in the first game. Chile worthy winners. All that can be said of Honduras recently is that it was their first world cup finals game since 1982, which was of course MY first world cup finals. A Baby in 1974 and too young in 1978.
Spain and Switzerland was a perfect example of the modern game.
Spain left Torres on the bench, and probably suffered for that. When he came on they were lively but also a goal down.
The Swiss Coach, Hitzfeld, a legend in European Football, knew his teams strengths and limitations very well. Utilised the same structure favoured much too often by Rafa Benitez at Liverpool and which worked well for Paraguay yesterday, he was able to stultify the attacking instincts of the Spanish.
Too often teams who come up against that 4+4 defence seem to lack the patience required to get through it. Back in the 80’s Liverpool used to just pass it around at the back and tease the defensive scum out, but these days it all seems to be about balls over the top.
That’s rarely going to work. You need to get the defenders out to allow the ball over the top to have enough space behind to work or you need to get wide and provide good regular crosses putting pressure on the defence.
Spain did neither and their defence, as I wrote on Twitter, was like Muppetry of the Penises. Three times they were ripped to shreds on the break – I never fancied Puyol – once nothing, twice a myriad of last gasp saves, three times a goal.