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Euro2008: Spain v Russia

It looks like Senna and Capdevila are getting the start against Russia in today's Euro2008 match. This means Cazorla will be available off the bench. I will add my player ratings later.


1) I am very confident that the long ball to Torres on the first goal was Capdevila's doing, but I could not tell live or with the replay. The ESPN announcer said it was Xavi, but I think he is off on that one. I am giving credit to Capdevila until someone corrects me!

2) The second goal was all Iniesta and Villa, but Capdevila again was superbly involved with a long run down the left after the Russian turnover. Capdevila is not getting the credit, but he has been tremendously involved in Spain's offensive success.

3) Well, the halftime commentators also say it was Xavi sending the ball down the field on that first goal. I do not know if anyone watching a television could tell, though, as the announcers and commentators were doing. Regardless, Capdevila is still doing well.

4) Senna has played a good but quiet match. He has been almost a withdrawn midfielder throughout the match, playing a very defensive role, but he has been accurate with his passes.

5) Cazorla comes on in the 63'!

6) In the 66th, Cazorla starts a great run which leads to a good whot blocked out for a corner. On the corner, Senna has a sparkling header on goal, which is saved.

7) And now I have to go back to work. :(


8) Vindication! It was Capdevila with the initial pass that allowed Torres and Villa to open the scoring against Russia! says so, at least, and I'll take it!

So, I walked back to work right as Villa scored his third, and missed the last two goals of the match. But, from what I saw, I can give my own rankings. Below I have also added in's rankings of the Villarreal players.

Capdevila: 8. The first two goals - the two that decided the match - were scored because of Capdevila's push from the back. His defense was consistent (not sure if he was the victim on the lone goal or not), and he played a big role in the offense. He is a very reliable leftback, and did not disappoint today.

Senna: 6. Senna did not have a bad match. He did not have a great match. It was pretty average. He played a lot of defense, pushing back into central defense when the central defenders were pulled over to cover spots where Capdevila or Ramos were pushing forward. His passes were generally on target, and he had one spectacular shot, but otherwise he often disappeared for long stretches of the match.

Cazorla: 6.5. Santi did not have an entire match to prove his worth, but he did create a noticeable spark when he came in, nearly setting up a couple of goal-mouth opportunities. For the time he was on the pitch, he provided exactly what Spain needed - control and continued pressure, which prevented Russia from gaining momentum. rates the three as follows:

Capdevila 7.5: Let himself down badly by sleeping at the far post during the Russian goal. Other than that he was impressive: he was only caught out once in defence. Masterful going forward as usual: his through ball to Torres for the first goal was a delight.

Senna 6.5: Great passing range as usual, but a little bit hesitant in defending. Granted he has a lot to do as the sole true defensive midfielder in the side, but he can do better than this.

Cazorla 6.5: Didn't have too much opportunity to stamp his unique brand of wing play on the game, but what he did he did well.