In a game that that promised to be dour, entertainment and effort ruled supreme in a fantastic game at
The spectre of a tartan covered bus parked in front of the Scottish goal loomed large before this match and a Spanish team without Xavi and Torres looked like they would have a hard time picking the locks.
The game started out a feverish pace as any Spanish turnover was instantly countered by the Scots at breakneck speed. While
The second half saw
The crowd raised the noise level again and
A couple of notes on the Spanish players:
Silva was active but his crossing was poor, and he didn’t get a touch when he was open in front of goal. He had another half chance that was scuffed early in the second half. He made way for Lllorente with about 15 minutes to go.
Villa got lots of touches and played centrally, flanked by Silva and Cazorla. Overhit several shots and was offsides quite often (shocker!).
Defense got exposed early especially as Ramos was an extra midfielder. Pique and Puyol were just too physical for the straight up counter, but they were undone when
Pablo Hernandez, who had a great game against United in the Champions League, was absolute pants in his 20 minutes or so. Those doing the SWP play by play in the UF Bootroom could have basically inserted Hernandez’s name for the same effect. He had several misplaced passes and looked out of sorts. He did not bring value at all.
Busquets had a poor game. Several turnovers, followed by crunching tackles, followed by whining. He has regressed since the World Cup for club and country.
Special props to Scottish GK McGregor. He made several great saves and did what he could in goal against the onslaught. And he almost saved the PK.
Now here’s my question going forward: Does Spain need Torres? I say no. There is a front line of Villa, Pedro and Lllorente, with Cazorla and Silva for depth and changes of pace. If Krkic if ever gets his act together, he could be an impact sub. I suppose they could bring Torres and use him as a sub if he doesn’t cause a distraction. He was abject in the World Cup, devoid of confidence and team awareness. It may be that his time has already passed.