Although we inevitably look at these games with the World Cup in mind, as the days go by the immediate benefit of reaching the Nations League finals is gaining more and more traction. And in that sense we can be pleased: an away win, three points in the bag - making it five in three games - and now we have to wait for the Czech Republic in Málaga, hopeful of finishing off the group well. Portugal are doing better: they have seven points and they drew with us in Spain, but nothing is decided yet. We will probably have to go there and take the points from them, but there’s plenty time to think about that. For the moment, yesterday’s test in Geneva was passed. No flying colours, but passed nonetheless.
With some good players but poor results, Switzerland is a little strange. They appear to be losing their golden generation (Xhaka, Shaqiri, Rodriguez...), and are on the decline. Or maybe it’s that the coach is not doing what he should. In the first half he had the team sitting too deep and partly thanks to that we saw the best of Spain. With Gavi and Llorente very active on the inside, the great sacrifice of Morata regressing to receive the pass from his centre-backs as Akanji bit at his ankles, and there was a generally good attitude... That only provided the single goal, though, perhaps because neither Sarabia nor Ferran Torres look sharp. Especially the latter.
The second half was in stark contrast, with Switzerland more daring, taking advantage of Gavi and Llorente’s tiredness, they pushed us back. The defence held up well, with Diego Llorente and Pau as centre-backs, and it was a pity that very late the former tarnished his good image with a silly error. A greater scare came after an even bigger one, when Unai (who’d already gone on a bit of an adventure at the start of the game) went wide in search of a ball that was too far out. Both times he was like a fish out of water. Big man that he is, he lacks the speed to take risks like that. Those mistakes by both Llorente and Unai left us with a somewhat uneasy feeling.