Spain 4-1 Wales: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis
#4: Wales’ backline creates absolute chaos; properly exposed
Wales lined up with a 3-4-2-1 with the two wingbacks looking to provide more defensive cover to the backline. However, there was absolute lack of cohesion and communication at the back as the Spaniards easily scored their equalizer through a well-taken header from captain Sergio Ramos.
The free kick from some yards outside the box was delivered perfectly to Ramos, who nodded the ball in without any resistance from the Welsh defenders. Ashley Williams was marking Alvaro Morata and Ramos was left unmarked despite the known fact that the centre-back is a major aerial threat from such situations.
The only other player defending from the set-piece was Aaron Ramsey, who himself did not do anything to prevent this situation. Wayne Hennessey cut out a frustrated figure too as none of the players from Giggs’ side were vocal enough to arrange the backline in set-pieces.
Ben Davies, who is quite tall could have been the one marking Ramos but the Tottenham Hotspur defender was not doing so. This lack of arrangement is a worrying factor as plugging the gaps during free-kicks and corners should have been one of the priorities ahead of this fixture.
Ramos doubled the lead very easily and Spain gained a complete control over the proceedings. Alcacer yet again scored in the 28th minute when he was unmarked inside the box as he pounced on the loose ball and none of the Welsh defenders were aware enough to close him down.
Suso’s lateral deliveries certainly added a new, exciting element to Spain’s pattern of play and they managed to expose Wales’ fragilities at the centre of defence.