Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hiddink - Fabregas is Like Torres+Villa

Guus Hiddink pinpointed the introduction of Cesc Fabregas as the moment when Thursday’s Euro 2008 semi-final slipped away from Russia.

Spain beat Russia 3-0 thanks to goals from Xavi, Daniel Guiza and David Silva, two of which were created superbly by Fabregas.

The Arsenal man arrived as a first half substitute for David Villa, who misses Sunday’s final due to injury, and Hiddink admits his team could not handle his creativity.

"We could handle Torres and Villa in the first half okay, but with the change to a midfielder in there came more mobility," he said.

"It is difficult to play that and control it. They also do it at a rather quick pace. You can feel it and it's a matter of time, that's their class.”

Russia’s story is nevertheless one of the talking points of a marvellous tournament, and Hiddink remained proud of his side’s achievements.

"The disappointment of tonight is in our head, but when our emotions calm down we are very proud, not just the results but the way they have played.

"Of course after a game where we are defeated we are disappointed, that is logical. We could play with Spain for the first half and part of the second, there was still a game, but their plan to tire us led to our marking being loose in midfield so we had to run a lot.

"That is the moment they had the quality to strike. It is a very deserved win - it's very difficult to play against a team like that who can play one-touch football. I hope they play a good final."

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