Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli says he 'takes the blame' for Spain defeat
Last Updated: 28/03/18 8:51am
Jorge Sampaoli says he "takes the blame" for Argentina's 6-1 thrashing by Spain, whose manager Julen Lopetegui believes they should not take the result for granted.
Spain cruised to victory during an international friendly at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, with Diego Costa firing the hosts ahead in the 13th minute, before Isco struck either side of a header from Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi.
Thiago Alcantara added a fourth, with substitute Iago Aspas also on the scoresheet before Isco netted his third with 16 minutes left and Argentina manager Sampaoli says he takes responsibility for the defeat.
"I take the blame for the goals, don't point to the players," he said. "The difference [between the sides] in the game wasn't as large as the result.
"Lionel Messi trained with us, but then he felt tired and couldn't play. He was with the group all the time because he is very involved for the World Cup. He has kept close proximity to the national team, helping the new guys out."
Despite the positive result - one that sees Spain unbeaten in 18 matches under Lopetegui - the manager is not letting the game affect their preparations for the World Cup in June.
"I am very satisfied with a win against the finalists of the previous World Cup," he said. "It is an opponent that has a fantastic history, but nothing else.
"It does not change anything. We are happy, but the World Cup has not started yet and we have to start the World Cup with zero points.
"Another thing is how we manage this euphoria. We know where we are, which is going calmly because we know what a World Cup is about."
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