Objective achieved. The current World & European Champions Spain managed the three points to take the top spot of Group I from France. The final result in tonight's World Cup 2014 qualifier was 0 - 1 in favour of the Spanish Football National Team in a worked, difficult but deserved victory.

Two distinct style with Spain true to its ball possession philosophy & France with tight defending complemented with dangerous counter-attacks that needed severe attention & concentration by all the Spanish defence.

Spain Soccer 2013

Spain started with a "number 9" this time in David Villa & regained two pivotal elements that were the key in tonight's victory; midfielders Xavi Hernandez & the all present Xabi Alonso. Both of these exceptional players gave Spain a more vertical direction that pushed the balance towards the Spaniards in the end.

Spain Soccer 2013

The French started strong on a terrible playing field which was uneven & not favourable to the Spanish style of Football. Slowly Spain regained composure & Xavi missed a sitter in the small goal square area that signed the sides recovery. Then in the 32nd min the most controversial moment of the match came when French goalkeeper Loris fouled Spanish forward Pedro in the goal square. To the disbelief of all the Spanish Squad & most observers the referee failed to call a clear penalty & perhaps a red card to Loris.

Spain Soccer 2013

Things see-sawed as a grand match of Football was unfolding between two great sides playing intense Soccer. Spain decided to make a change to freshen up the forward line & inject new ideas. Jesus Navas came on for Villa who was silent up to this point & the Sevilla FC winger revolutionized the right wing. From Navas started a play that defender Monreal found on the left wing to control, look up & see Pedro running into the space were he connected with the ball to push into the goal. This was the 58th min & Spain had broken through to be finally be rewarded for all their earlier efforts.

Spain Soccer 2013

Naturally France had to go for it & made the changes to become more offensive, but found tonight a superb Spanish goalkeeper in Victor Valdes who make three-four match saving stops that put him as one of the main protagonists of the night. The French had their chances but failed to convert & to make things more difficult lost Pogba in the 78th min to a red card ( second yellow ).

Spain Soccer 2013

With France down to 10 men Spain looked to "kill off" their rivals but the French looked more dangerous with one less. Spanish Coach Del Bosque decided to secure the midfield with Cesc Fabregas & preserve the result with more ball control which further wore down the French team.

As expected tense & close shaves for the Spaniards in the last 5 minutes as France attacked & attacked, but important interventions from defender Monreal , Pique & Valdes managed to conserve the result, & most importantly defeat France at home to take the three points & the Group I top position. 

Special mention to Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso who was superb & the "man of the match". The contribution of Xavi Hernandez was outstanding & guiding, defender Monreal was excellent substituting the injured Jordi Alba & Andres Iniesta showed why some call him a Football magician. The Spanish Football side played tonight as a solid team & this made them stronger & more determined in the objective. There was some luck as well as in every game of Football, but also some uncalled decisions - like the clear penalty on Pedro - that were not enforced & could have reinforced the result.

Great match of Football. Thanks to France & of course Spain.

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