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Free-scoring Spain show off their title credentials

Spain severely punished opponents who tried to copy the Czechs by playing deep but lacked discipline

Published: Updated:

If there were fears among Spain’s fans about the side’s ability to score goals after a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in their Group D opener, they were allayed against Turkey on Friday.

The approach that mesmerizes with a version of the beautiful game based on pinpoint passing to carve up defenses, and which saw Spain claim two straight European titles and a World Cup, re-emerged in a one-sided 3-0 triumph against the hapless Turks.

Spain severely punished opponents who tried to copy the Czechs by playing deep but lacked discipline and had plenty of holes. The passing was sublime and resulted in three fine goals in the most comprehensive victory at the tournament so far.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who believed he had the right tactics against the Czechs despite the narrow victory, named an unchanged side and lavished praise on the team after the 3-0 win. “Frankly, we are playing really well,” he said.

Spain had a passing accuracy rate of 92 percent and they completed 619 passes with midfield maestros Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets outstanding on the night.

He did not have to wait until the 87th minute to celebrate this time, as had been the case on Monday when Iniesta set up Gerard Pique for the only goal against the Czechs.

Turkey’s defence failed to cope with Spain’s fast and incisive passing. Iniesta, voted Man of the Match for a second straight game, created Spain’s second goal when his pass to an unmarked Jordi Alba cut Turkey’s defence wide open.

Alba then fed the predatory Alvaro Morata, who fired into an empty net having already put Spain ahead.