"I've been wonderful," said Luis Enrique, explaining his performance in the dressing room, when Benito Villamarín's partial score it indicated the 0-3 of England on Spain. "The normal thing in these cases is to kill the players. I supported them and we have done a great second part. "
It usually happens to coaches who have lived under the pressure of the highest demand since late childhood. They spend their lives subjected to a daily injection of adrenaline, they retire, they go out of the competition, and the day that everything turns upside down instead of being downcast, they look luminous. The Spanish coach came out sparkling from the field and when he found the TVE microphones he chose to respond to the drama of 2-3 with a bit of Asturian irony.
"Sometimes you have to kick a table and shit on everything and sometimes not," he said. "But my team, with the attitude that has shown me in these months did not need a kick, or a criticism, or make three changes. Just reinforce them. Make some tactical nuance as the exit of the ball and try to get into a positive dynamic. If we had scored the second a little earlier, I am sure that Villamarín would have scored the 3-3. But things did not change for me. The merit of having been about to turn the situation around was the players. "
The English coach, Gareth Southgate, argued his tactic. "Spain is a team that makes a very high pressure," he said, "so we prepared our goalkeeper to skip the lines with long balls. With those plays it was how we managed to put the 0-1. With courage and a lot of quality. "
With the help of Harry Kane, generator of the three goals scored by his team, Southgate will be pleased to have achieved a surgical success. England only fired five times. Of those five shots, three were between the three clubs and ended in goal. Spain finished 23 times, five between the three clubs, and could not scratch more than a 2-3. Spain did not lose at home since 2003 and never in its history had suffered three goals against in official match. The result leaves her exposed to be out of the final four the League of Nations. To avoid this, he must defeat Croatia in Zagreb on November 15.
"When we put six in Croatia nobody told us we gave too many passes, "said Ceballos, asked about the convenience of modifying the style of touch for a more direct game. The midfielder quickly dispatched the ideological debate and admitted that the team played badly. "In the first part we have been a bit of a disaster," he said, in a show of apology. Ceballos was not a starter against England and only entered the game after the hour of competition.
"We made mistakes that penalized us with a goal," said Ramos. The captain signed one of his less successful nights since playing in the national team. His goal, the 2-3 at the last minute, at the exit of a corner, barely sidestepped the collective defensive imbalances that left him particularly exposed. "In the end, the best thing is the reaction of the team with a second part that we knew little. We did a lot of things well, we put them back, we dominated the game. It was a shame not to win and qualify for the final four. We have one game left and now we must pay attention. "
Luis Enrique listed the problems he detected in the first part. "It has been difficult for us to put pressure on them," he said. "They have generated many transitions. We have been imprecise. The start of the game has also cost us. From there we have made individual mistakes. They made the goal for not pressuring them well. The goal has been medicine for them and poison for us and the first part has been very painful. They have defended well within their terrain and have come out on the counterattack. Rashford, Kane and Sterling are great players worldwide, especially with spaces. "
The key was the wrong pressure. Luis Enrique pointed out to the anonymous culprit that he should put pressure on Kane and he did not do it with enough application. Busquets? Saul? Ramos?