Dejan Lovren reveals key behind silencing Lionel Messi, Argentina in impressive Croatia win

Posted by

For all the focus on Argentina, Croatia deserve a great deal of credit for their performance in the 3-0 win over their group rivals on Thursday night.

The failures of Lionel Messi and Jorge Sampaoli were highlighted after the game, but with a silky midfield to dictate the game and some fine finishing, Croatia were well worth their victory and look a potential dark horse in Russia.

SEE MORE: Liverpool fans are all saying same thing after star impresses in World Cup outing

However, the key to that victory was undoubtedly keeping Messi’s influence under control, and they did that brilliantly as a collective to cut off the supply line to the Barcelona superstar while ensuring that he didn’t have the time and space on the ball to be a threat.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has been discussing the strategy behind keeping Messi quiet, insisting that it ultimately came down to a strong team effort and discipline to nullify him as best as possible.

“When we are really like a defending bloc, together, they didn’t have big opportunities to be honest,” he is quoted as saying by The Guardian. “When we defend together, like a team, we will always have our chances.

“Of course we respect Messi, because he’s the greatest player in the world, but he’s also stoppable. But not against one player. We defended like a team and this is how we did it. Together. You saw it. He didn’t have many chances, and it was, I would say, brilliant defending.”

Croatia have safely booked their spot in the last-16, while Argentina were handed a lifeline on Friday after Nigeria’s win over Iceland, which means that Messi and Co. have a crunch clash with the Super Eagles ahead to potentially determine who advances.

If Nigeria’s coaching staff are on the ball, they will undoubtedly examine and analyse footage of the Croatia win over Argentina and take a leaf out of their book on how to best limit Messi which could give them a great chance to progress.

More Stories Argentina football Croatia Football Dejan Lovren Lionel Messi