The Spanish Coach Del Bosque decided to skip "experiments" this time & started with a true forward upfront as a clear reference in the name of FERNANDO TORRES. This would prove to be important in the final result & proved that the "false forward" idea against Italy was an error in strategy. But with this win tonight all that is now Football History.
The Irish started strong the first couple of minutes but were totally halted when a 4th min "cracker" from FERNANDO TORRES found the back of the net & put Spain in-front. The Chelsea FC forward took a heavy load off his shoulders as this goal was the remedy he needed to shield the criticism & lift his confidence.
From this point Spain dominated, totally, with Silva & Iniesta on riot, along with Xavi as the baton man of the band. The flanks worked tonight with Alba & Arbeloa mobile & causing danger & Xabi Alonso with partner in crime Busquets solid. It was good to see Gerard Pique "forget" his "Waka Waka" ( bad joke from me ) & watch the man play some excellent Football tonight. This and the whole Spanish Football Team, as they were playing touch ball & causing many chances.
So much were the opportunities that Torres failed a few & showed his confidence level is on the rise but not optimum, while at the same time the Irish denfenders & goalkeeper worked hard to keep the Spaniards out.
The second half saw Spain lift a gear or two & simply own the ball for most of the half. Playing this way, the Irish ran & ran & the spaces appeared. In one of those spaces - small at that - Silva found a rebound ball off the Irish goalie & did his "cool as a cucumber" piece dribbling on a coin to find the angle & score in the 49th min. Magic!
The third goal came in the 70 th min when FERNANDO TORRES broke the Irish defensive line & in a one on one with the Irish goalkeeper slammed his second for the night to further lift his confidence levels, this is the real good news.
With the match totally under control & Spain owing the ball, Coach Del Bosque took off Xabi Alonso & Iniesta to give a run to Cazorla & CESC FABREGAS. The later scored an excellent control piece in the 83rd min to shut all the doors & put Spain on top of the Group C table.
While Spanish improved markedly & found itself as a team exhibiting its trademark style, I would like to just add that the opponents was Ireland, with all the maximum respect that they deserve. Spain still has a way to go, starting with Croatia next Monday with a victory result a must. A loss against Croatia or a 0 - 0 draw may send Spain home depending on the result achieved by Italy. The message here is "cautious optimism".
Said this, good game from Spain tonight & things are now looking more positive & vibrating good sensations. This victory should ease & lift the pressure of the Spanish players & help concentrate the mind on what's ahead. The only negative point that perhaps the Spanish Football Team may need to work on is the final finish opportunities, they needed to be nailed. If Spain continues on the road to the Euro Final every National Team on the way won´t be so benevolent with missed chances.