World Cup 2014: Spain v Netherlands

SPA 1 – 5 NED: This could easily be summed up in one word…speechless! What a fantastic game of football! You can predict and preview all you like (and I have!!) but this is what the World Cup is all about. The first half was a great battle between two philosophies, systems and styles. The Spanish employed their famous tiki-taka skills and went ahead after Diego Costa was judged to have been fouled in the box and Xabi Alonso scored from the spot. By contrast the Netherlands looked to be aggressive on the run at the Spanish and use the width to cross the ball and probe the space between the two Spanish centre backs. They got their reward just before half time when a sublime ball from Blind release Van Persie to acrobatically place a diving header past Casillas. After half time the desire and confidence of the Dutch took over. The stand out player for me was Daley Blind. Son of legendary Dutch defender Danny Blind, the left midfielder was instrumental in exploiting the width on the flanks and delivering world class balls into the forward line. A measured pass found Robben who twisted and turned and blasted the ball past the hapless Casillas to put the Dutch ahead. De Vrij bundled in a third from a Sneijder set piece before Van Persie seized upon a horrible Casillas touch to poke in a fourth. The excellent Robben burst past Ramos before humiliating Casillas further by waltzing the ball past him and drilling in a deserved fifth goal. It could have been more. The Dutch were outstanding and gained confidence as this remarkable game progressed. They will look to the games against Chile and Australia and expect to top the group. The Spanish have to pick themselves up quickly before a tricky tie against Chile on Thursday. For me they need to redeploy Fabregas as a false nine and bring in Koke to add some youth into the inside forwards. Casillas will also be lucky to keep his place. Wow, just wow!

RVP head the Dutch past Spain.
RVP head the Dutch past Spain.

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