Italy-Portugal, Portugal boss Santos heaps praise on Azzurri

santos, portogallo, conferenza, 2018
17 November at 23:35
Portugal managed to overcome the odds and hold Italy to a 0-0 draw at San Siro this evening, as a wasteful Azzurri miss out on their chance to qualify for the UEFA Nations League semi-final this time round; with Portugal the club through to the final four from their group. Speaking to Sport TV after the game, Portugal boss Fernando Santos summed up his feelings:
“The first half was very complicated. Italy played very well and we did not do so well. Naturally there is merit of the Italian team, as it had already done with Poland. Good dynamics, good ball movement. We knew that. I do not think we can adapt. If you do not defend well, then everything is more difficult. They push you back. Cancelo was too open, not closing in the center. Reuben had to go down. The team, when they had the ball, did not know what to do. I could not go out to play: When you're over, the head does not think well. When we got three or four successful passes we were able to create chances.
“The truth is that we can not do this many times. At halftime I explained to the players what was wrong, it was necessary to have a ball. Bernardo had to play ahead. When we had to put the ball in the midfield, we had no one to play. Then we took the possibility of the Italian team to play as they wanted. They had to walk behind the ball and our team started to grow. With the entry of João Mário we were even better.”
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