Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal has hailed the tactics of his Dutch side as the main catalyst for their demolition of sorry world champions Spain, Sky
The Netherlands usually adopt a 4-3-3 system but instead opted to play with a back three in a 3-5-2 – a risk that more than paid off for Van Gaal’s men as they dismantled reigning world champions Spain 5-1.
And the incoming Manchester United manager believes that had he used their usual format his side would have lost the game, and also thought the importance of Robin Van Persie’s spectacular equaliser cannot be played down.
“If Van Persie wouldn’t have scored the 1-1 before half-time, I would’ve switched back to the 4-3-3 formation,” Van Gaal said.
“If I played with three attackers, my wingers would have chased down the Spain backs too much, that would be a waste.
“I played this system because I believe that we are not good enough to beat Spain with our normal 4-3-3 formation.”
While Spain enjoyed total dominance when it came to possession – 64% after the 90 minutes – they were unable to stem the attacking flow of a rampant Dutch side who racked up 10 shots on target, scoring four of those in the second half alone.
Van Persie and Arjen Robben ended the game both with a brace, taking their personal tallies to an impressive e10 goals in the last nine and seven in seven respectively.
The night represented only the second time Spain have conceded five or more goals at a World Cup, having lost 6-1 to Brazil all the way back in 1950.