There is nothing of tactical interest to be said about this game. It looked exactly like it was; one of the best teams in world football against the worst team in the tournament. Ireland had only one chance – keep it at 0-0 for as long as possible, hope Spain descended into the sideways passing they had exhibited against Italy, reducing the threat on the Irish goal, then hope for a quick break against an overcommitted side, or a set piece. This plan went out the window as they conceded at the start of the first half, and the game was over at that point.
There wasn’t even much to be drawn from Spain starting with Torres up front instead of no striker. He scored two goals, but Fabregas came on for him in the second half and scored himself, so it’s hard to draw any conclusions from that switch. All in all, a pointless game.
Euro 2016 is expanding to 24 teams. This match is a demonstration that 16 is enough. Expect more of these pointless matches in four years’ time.
Site Twitter: @footballistix | Author Twitter: @footballistnick
Chalkboards provided by the brilliant Stats Zone iPhone app.