Lopetegui: No tactical lesson

Julen Lopetegui insists Spain were not taught “a tactical lesson” via their switch to a 3-4-3 formation in Sunday’s 2-0 win against Albania.

Lopetegui sprang a surprise by starting with three centre-backs in Shkoder, yet while Spain emerged victorious thanks to two second-half goals, the Coach felt patience played a more important role in the result than any tactical experiment.

“Pique? Calm, quiet… we’ll leave him alone and not draw too many conclusions,” he said after the 2018 World Cup qualifier.

“We had patience to wait for our moment, work it and then take it. It wouldn’t have been the first time we controlled a game but that at the end we were wrong, that we didn’t do what we needed to do and didn’t win. The objective was to win and I think we had a good match.

“We worked for our moment on this pitch, where few teams go with no chances. Here, France lost and it went very badly for Portugal.

“We did things right and were lucky to have had success early in the second half and thus play with more serenity.

“Before his mistake, the goalkeeper had been very important because he managed to save three or four very good chances.

“There was no tactical lesson. The protagonists are the players and I tried to help them, nothing more than that.

“We came through two extremely difficult games, showing how difficult it is to win anywhere. It’ll be a tough and very tight qualification.”

Tags 2018 World Cup Albania Julen Lopetegui Spain