Spain’s Cesc Fàbregas critical of ‘defensive’ England

Cesc Fàbregas felt England were too defensive-minded as they condemned Spain to their second defeat of 2011

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
cesc fabregas
Cesc Fàbregas claimed England "defended the whole game" Photo: The Sport Review

cesc fabregas

Cesc Fàbregas has criticised England’s “defensive” tactics during their 1-0 victory over Spain at Wembley on Saturday.

The former Arsenal captain claimed Fabio Capello’s side were happy to defend for the entire 90 minutes as Frank Lampard grabbed the winner in the second half.

“At the end of the day, you want teams to have a go at you and test you and see what happens,” Fàbregas said after the game.

“We knew, especially after we saw the first XI that they put in, that they were going to defend basically the whole game.

“Even when they were winning, they had [Danny] Welbeck up front alone and everyone just defending. But this is the way they want to play and it worked for them.”

Despite suffering their second defeat in five games, Fàbregas was pleased with Spain’s performance after they enjoyed over 70 per cent of the possession on Saturday.

england spain

England wore poppies on their black armbands and held a minute’s silence before the game to remember those who died in the two world wars

And the Barcelona midfielder felt the only way the home team could have scored was through a set-piece – as they did when Lampard bundled home James Milner’s free-kick early into the second half.

“We dominated the game and we made England defend nearly the whole 90 minutes,” he continued. “We played two completely different styles of football.

“The more defensive one won but we know that the only way they could score was from a free-kick or a corner and we conceded a not very intelligent free-kick there.

“We paid for it but, basically, we are happy because we played very well.”

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