Wood test

The crossbar saves the National Team twice in Lisbon. Luis Enrique's team dominated but had no hit and was only agitated by the entrance of Adama Traoré.


We promised ourselves very happy before a duel that sounded like a great game but that finally ended up in what it was, a friendly, a simple laboratory with which to prepare greater challenges such as the Nations League. The debuts of Campaña, Adama ... and little else. And two scares in which the crossbar played in favor of La Roja. Luis Enrique will have filled out the notebook for future battles, it is logical, he is the boss, but the menu knew us little, especially after a good first part. Luckily the thing about Switzerland next Saturday is serious.

The coach praised Ansu Fati after Ukraine 4-0, remember, that of "I have not seen anything like it", but did not hesitate to stop euphoria over the azulgrana in the previous game: "He needs patience, tranquility and a climate of calm that we will try to give ". It is his way of taking care of a boy who for a few weeks now we have loaded him with the heavy suit of reactivating Barça and the Spanish National Team. Thus, as if nothing, like someone who goes down to buy bread. This Tuesday, the coach also said that "we don't have Van Basten, but we have a goal." And in the end, between some sentences and others, the facts: Ansu was not a starter in Lisbon and La Roja was left unmarked.

Fernando Santos must have thought the same as Lucho because he left João Félix on the bench, another of the pearls on which the pulse revolved between the two teams that have shared the last three European Championship titles: Spain, in 2008 and 2012 ; Portugal, in 2016.

It was ventured that Kepa was a starter as a way to charge him with confidence in the face of the bad drink that he is experiencing at Chelsea. The one from Ondarroa lived a placid first half, but a heart attack ending with wood as a great ally. And it was also expected that the Moreno, that is, Gerard and Rodrigo, would re-form in La Roja's attack. So it was, in a bet that is detrimental to the overflow provided by players like Ansu, Ferran Torres or Adama Traoré. These are two ways of understanding the offense that may alternate depending on the rivals.

With the initial whistle a question arose. It was necessary to see who was the owner of the ball, if Portugal decided to give up command to take advantage of the speed to the counter. Santos opted for a defense with a starting varnish and Cristiano at the attack point, which means yesterday, today and tomorrow a declaration of intent. Well, five minutes were enough to verify that possession was a matter for La Roja United, that eleven made up of six Premier League players (Kepa, Llorente, Eric García, Reguilón, Ceballos and Rodrigo Moreno) by the four from LaLiga (Sergi Roberto , Busquets, Canales and Gerard Moreno) and one from the Bundesliga (Olmo) .

Spain had the ball and also had scoring chances. First, with an internship by Olmo and shortly after, in the 10th minute, with a shot by Rodrigo. The Leipzig footballer was the main headache for the Portuguese defense due to his great mobility. At 15 minutes we had no bad news and we did have good, very good news: Cristiano did not touch a ball. And so it would continue throughout that first half to the despair of the Juventus forward.

Another of the Portuguese dangers, Trincão, did not come into play much, although as the minutes went by he turned to the right wing and from there he had a greater weight in the game. But not even with him in action, Portugal made noise. What did sound like a blessing was the boo from the stands for not signaling the Italian Paolo Valeri a foul on the Barcelona player.

In these times of COVID we come to miss fans even to that extent, showing their discontent. It is part of football, season the same sauce.

After the 0-0 in the first half and football idling, it was time to make changes and shake the shaker. Luis Enrique did it with the two interiors, Merino and Campaña, this newcomer. On the other side of the mirror was Moutinho who went to the bench, while the Betic William Carvalho entered to put kilos and push the Portuguese midfield.

In the middle of that dance came the thunder in the form of Cristiano, who caressed his 102nd goal in the Seleçao with a left foot that crashed into the crossbar of the goal defended by Kepa. The ball bounced before the line and returned to the penalty spot for relief from Eric García and company. It was Portugal's biggest warning until Renato Sanches starred in his replay. Cristiano's center and right hand from the Lille midfielder in which the ball was repelled again by the crossbar, bounced on the line and was cleared by Llorente. Five minutes later the Spanish reply would arrive with a shot from Olmo after Adama's pass (which debuted with a note) that Rui Patricio deflected with his foot. They were twenty minutes of heart attack, from 51 to 71, which did not help, however, to avoid the 0-0. Not even the entry of João Félix could move the marker. It was seen that yesterday ...

Photos from as.com
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