Villa H Sat 10 Aug 17:30 BST

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His passing. We've lacked someone in midfield who can spray the ball out wide (usually comes from our centre halves) and he was doing that effortlessly. Basically helped us run the game.

Plus:.


It was as close to Modric-lite that I've ever seen from him, if i am honest with you. The way he would control, spray it outwide with quick accuracy as well as defend relatively well.
Another aspect of his play that often gets overlooked is how frequently he finds an extra yard of space for himself when he receives the ball. It's something thats drilled into midfielders in Spain, which leads people to moan that players in La Liga have more time on the ball - very often it's because they've made it for themselves. In the 1990s, Guardiola was the master of it, then it was Xavi. Neither of them would ever be described as "beasts" who "give 110%", who "sweat the shirt" with pashun and such but they were the absolute key to Barcelona's success.

It's a skill that's always been hugely valued here, which is why Madrid were so keen on Modric. They hadn't really had that kind of player since Fernando Redondo, who was RM's Pep in the 90s. And of course, like Winks now, while in England Luka had to suffer the jibes of "what exactly does he do?"
 
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Utter bollocks, we WERE NOT outplayed in the first half at all. Their goal was a hoofball foot race and was well taken, not great defending but these things happen. We played the half at 60% pace and they just about kept their head above water by defending in depth and relying on the occasional breakout.
Second half was about moving through the gears and restructuring the formation. Eriksen made a difference and looked like the Eriksen of 2 seasons ago, but the tide was well on the turn when he came on.
Saying they were dominant or on top is hogwash, they only played as well as we allowed them to.
Sorry. I don't agree.
 
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