Scotland 2-0 Spain: Steve Clarke praises performance as Rodri fumes at Scots’ tactics

Scotland earned a memorable win over Spain at Hampden Park, defeating the 2010 World Champions 2-0 in a stunning performance.

In front of an energetic Tartan Army, Scotland got off to the perfect start via a goal within the first ten minutes. After pressuring Pedro Porro in the corner, Andrew Robertson’s cutback found Scott McTominay who swept the ball into the net.

Spain grew back into the game following the early setback. They controlled possession – typical of the Spanish style – and even hit the bar via a Joselu header. However, the home side still threatened on the counter, with Lyndon Dykes spurning a good opportunity just before the break.

Scotland doubled their advantage minutes into the second half. Kieran Tierney’s marauding run ultimately saw him put a tantalising cross into the box which Spain could only partially clear. The loose ball went to McTominay, who lashed home his second goal of the night – and fourth in two games.

With the two-goal cushion, they were able to hold firm and claim an unlikely victory. Scotland boss Steve Clarke lauded his team’s effort to take a big three points for EURO 2024 qualification.

Steve Clarke hails “step forward” from team

In a post-match interview, the victorious coach was pleased – but warned that Scotland’s work was not finished yet.

“It’s a big night, it feels like a step forward,” said Clarke, via BBC Sport. “But it’s only six points and you don’t qualify with six points. I’ll have a couple of quiet days to calm down, then we start preparing for two big games. June could be a pivotal month for us.”

Despite criticism from the opposition – in particular from Spain captain, Rodri – the Scotland boss was happy with his side’s performance.

“I thought the players were outstanding from the first minute to last,” concluded Clarke. “We didn’t have an awful lot of possession, but what we did have, we used very well.

“When you look at the shots on goal, shots on target, it’s almost equal. It means we utilised the ball very well when we had it.”

 Meanwhile, the captain of the opposing team was less impressed by Scotland.

Spain captain blasts “rubbish” Scotland playstyle

Speaking to Viaplay Sports after the game, Rodri was left frustrated at the Scottish tactics. When asked for reasons why Scotland managed to annoy Spain so much, the skipper was brutally honest.

“It’s the way they play,” said the Man City midfielder. “You have to respect it. But for me, it’s a bit rubbish because it’s always wasting time. They provoke you, and they always fall [over]. This, for me, is not football.

“The referee has to take on this, but he says nothing. It’s a bit frustrating because we want to win and it’s difficult because [they] waste time. But it is what it is. They have their weapons; we have to use our weapons – we’ll know that for next time.”

This is not the first time that Rodri has criticised an opponent’s style of play that has beaten Spain. For example, following La Furia Roja’s World Cup elimination against Morocco, he was negative about the North African side.

He said that Morocco offered “absolutely nothing” during the knockout match before beating Spain on penalties.

Featured image credit: Getty