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Rodri: ‘The grass was too long, and that cost us’

The Manchester City midfielder described Scotland’s play as ‘rubbish’ after Spain’s humbling 2-0 defeat at Hampden Park.

Rodri complains about Scottish playing style
Robert PerryEFE

Due to the absence of Alvaro Morata from the Spain starting XI, Manchester City midfielder Rodri took the armband for Tuesday night’s fixture against Scotland.

Spain may have been expecting a comfortable win but they faced a Scotland side intent on making the evening as uncomfortable as possible. Steve Clarke’s side ran out 2-0 winners in front of a feverish crowd at Hampden Park, thanks to two goals from Manchester United’s Scott McTominay.

But Spain skipper Rodri was not happy with the playing surface in Glasgow.

After the game he said: “We already saw that the grass was too long, and that cost us. We can’t make excuses for that, we have to look at ourselves and fix what we did wrong today.”

Spain came crashing back down to earth after a 3-0 win over Norway in new coach Luis de la Fuente’s first game in charge. Defeat to Scotland means that the March international break ends in embarrassment for the new-look Spanish team, who were eliminated from last year’s World Cup by Morocco.

Rodri slams Scotland’s “rubbish” style of play

The Spain side that took to the field on Tuesday featured eight changes from the team that beat Norway in Malaga. The intimidating Hampden Park atmosphere and home side’s uncompromising approach proved too much for Spain, but Rodri was unimpressed with Scotland’s play.

It’s the way they play, but for me it’s rubbish, always wasting time,” he said.

“Provoking you, always they fall. For me, this is not football. The referee has to take on this, but he says nothing.”

“We will learn for the next time. We want to go for duels, for battles - we always fight, but this is not about fighting. It’s about wasting time - four, five players on the floor, but this depends on the referee, not on us.”

After that chastening defeat Spain’s next international fixture will be a Nations League semi-final clash with European champions Italy in June. Their next clash with Scotland will take place in Spain on 12 October 2023, giving them a chance for revenge over Steve Clarke’s men.


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