Ruthless Rodri crushes Georgia’s fairytale and keeps Spain on track | Jonathan Wilson

Midfielder is as close to a footballing certainty as you can get, ensuring Luis de la Fuente’s side broke Georgia’s hearts

Nothing in football is certain, but Rodri is perhaps as close as it’s possible to get. There are times when it seems he is the teacher stepping in to a kids’ game to make sure it doesn’t become too one-sided, the grown-up who doesn’t have to bother with the things like running. He just strolls about, delivering accurate pass after accurate pass and, occasionally, scoring vital goals.

This was Rodri’s 89th game since Manchester City lost 1-0 at Tottenham in the Premier League on 5 February 2023. Since then he has lost only twice. If you take out games in which Scott McTominay was on the opposing side, he hasn’t lost at all. Quite why McTominay should be his kryptonite is unclear, but rivals should as a matter of urgency isolate whatever the active component is and start trying to manufacture it synthetically. Until Georgia’s legs went in the second half, they were excellent on Sunday but for that one vital absence: they lacked a McTominay.

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