Spain 4-1 Wales: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis
Spain had an arguably easy outing against Wales as they scored thrice in the first half to settle the proceedings in the early stages of the game. A brace from Paco Alcacer, coupled with goals from Sergio Ramos and Marc Bartra meant that Luis Enrique’s team led by four goals until Sam Vokes notched a consolation goal in the 89th minute.
Ryan Giggs’ side has a lot to learn from this match where they were dismantled by a Spaniard side, which did not even play their full-strength XI. Here, are the five major talking points and tactical analysis from the match.
#5: Spain seize early control through tactical variations
The Spanish side under the tutelage of Luis Enrique has shown more tactical variations and patterns of play than the one that was playing in the World Cup a few months ago. Despite not lining up his full-strength side, Enrique embedded his team with a specific pattern that could be associated with the Spanish sides of the past.
His team maintained possession and pressed the opponents in a structured way to recover the possession. From there on, they controlled the game and frustrated the Welshmen with a patient style of play.
They switched the play, formed passing triangles to move the ball up in wider areas and even Alvaro Morata dropped deeper to collect and run ahead with the ball. However, the uniqueness about this Spanish side is that they aren’t afraid to try out a different tactic if the initial plan does not materialize.
When they realized quite early on that Ethan Ampadu and Joe Allen were providing decent cover, the midfielders worked the ball to Suso on the right wing. The winger, from just his second cross in the opening seven minutes effectively found Jose Gaya inside the box.
The Valencia left-back laid the ball and Paco Alcacer absolutely buried the ball at the top corner to gain an early lead.
The Spaniards were keen to look out for other options to gain a control over the score line and hence Suso undertook a more direct approach to mix things up and destabilize a comfortable looking Welsh backline. Accordingly, the Spaniards went ahead quite early in the match.