‘Tunisia a World Cup game’

Spain boss Julen Lopetegui saw one redeeming positive from his side’s narrow win against Tunisia. “It was a World Cup match.”

Spain needed a late Iago Aspas goal to beat Tunisia 1-0 in their final warm-up friendly for the Russian showpiece, giving a performance that drew criticism for lacking in penetration.

“It’s true that the game was very difficult,” the Coach said after the game.

“We didn’t achieve the rhythm we wanted in the first half and kept losing the ball. It was a World Cup match, but we grew against a team with plenty of rhythm, who drew with Portugal and went nine games without losing.

“The best thing is that the pace of the game was so high that it forced us to give Tunisia a game.

“It’s good to get used to it and we managed to win despite the difficulties. We distributed minutes in the way we wanted so our players could go to the World Cup with as much balance as possible.

“There have been difficulties, but the team showed they were prepared to overcome them. Strikers? We gave similar minutes to the three strikers.

“In our last match, Iago and Diego started and Rodrigo entered later, while here it was the other way around.

“We wanted to give everyone a few minutes so that they’d arrive as well as possible. Pairing two of them was a solution in the final stretch of the match, when we switched to a back three, and it’s an option for tacking the difficulties we’re going to face.

“We understood what the game asked of us and it went well. It also gave us an outlet on the wings, and it’s another option we can consider.

“The most important thing is that there were no injuries.  Now we have to fine-tune for our first game against Portugal.

“We have to draw conclusions from situations in the first half, which are going to reappear in the World Cup. Rarely will a team win by three or four goals

“Busquets? He’s been through some delicate moments and we had to decide whether he had the 90 minutes that he needed in him.

“They’ll be perfect for the first game at the World Cup. He suffered to the end and these minutes will be good for the World Cup.”

Tags 2018 World Cup Julen Lopetegui Spain Tunisia