Updated: 24/06/2012 13:50 | By pa.press.net

Del Bosque hails defensive display

Vicente del Bosque was delighted with how Spain restricted the French to just one shot on target

Vicente del Bosque was delighted with how Spain restricted the French to just one shot on target

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque praised the control shown by his side after two goals from Xabi Alonso secured a 2-0 victory over France and a place in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.

Alonso, winning his 100th cap, put the defending champions in front with a fine header from Jordi Alba's cross after 19 minutes. The midfielder then made the game safe in stoppage time from the penalty spot after Laurent Koscielny had upended Pedro Rodriguez inside the area.

Despite not hitting their top form, Del Bosque was delighted with how his side restricted the French to just one shot on target, and he said: "The truth is we did well and controlled the game. (Goalkeeper) Iker (Casillas) hardly had anything to do and that speaks of the good defensive performance of the team."

He added: "If our defenders are good then we will be closer to winning the tournament because we will always create a chance."

The former Real Madrid boss was particularly pleased with Alonso's determination to make the run into the box that resulted in the first goal, and reiterated his belief that both he and Sergio Busquets offer important options going forward.

"Alonso is one of the players that has scored most in my time as manager," said the coach. "I already know that he and Busquets are a controversial pairing but I always defend that these are more attacking footballers than defensive ones. They have an extraordinary awareness of the team."

Del Bosque voiced concerns about having less time off than Portugal ahead of Wednesday's semi-final, though, and hinted he could be forced to freshen his side up if the heat in Donetsk is as severe as it was here.

"We have two less days to rest than them and I am thinking about this," he said. "It is a small handicap. We have arrived very drained because the heat we suffered tonight was cruel on the players."

Alonso himself was delighted to mark his century of caps with two goals, but was just as satisfied with how Spain controlled the game throughout.

"We are very happy because we knew it was a game where we had to slog and we have done that," he said. "We had control of the game from start to finish despite having only a few chances. Personally I had satisfaction for the game we have played and to have scored two goals, but the most important thing is that we are in the semi-finals."

24/06/2012 11:04
If we were to devy the odds and win this competition, what a way to do it. Italy, Germany then Spain, it would be the perfect way to win it, unlikely i know but to be the best you have to beat the best and we can beat anyone on our day.
24/06/2012 10:28
France hardly tried to get a goal in that game, they were awful and never looked like scoring. I don't think it was a great defensive display from Spain, Pique i thought was Spain's worst player, very reckless in his passing. The 6 midfielders passed it around France relatively unchallenged.
24/06/2012 13:52
24/06/2012 09:17
It's not as if France posed much of a threat or a challenge really!

If this guy EVER says he wants to come back, lets get him eh?


24/06/2012 11:07
Living in France I saw a good deal of excitement in the bars yesterday, but I shall have to keep my head well down if England win tonight !!!   If anything, the French are even more fanatical than the English about their football, and the French Team let their people down last night, so that the mood this morning is, to say the least, sombre !
24/06/2012 10:59
the worst match  so far france didnt even try   even spain misplaced a lot of passes  with ther tip tap football  why dont they play any strikers   not a lot to fear   hope portugal beat them   teams like holland n france full of talented players but no teamwork  no backbone at least england have that in there favour  with a bit of luck they may win  COME ON ENGLAND
24/06/2012 11:16
YKT Seeing the news this morning, it seems the French people also let down their country with their reaction in the streets of Paris. Yeah if i were you, i wouldn't run through the French streets with only your England top on ;) haha
24/06/2012 14:37
meya want france 2 win meya nar want sh1tty spain 2 win foolz dem nar hav respect--------YES 2 labour NoO  2 tory-----peace 2 all----repect da rudeboy$$$£££
24/06/2012 11:22

it was an object lesson of defending from the front with the whole team working hard to regain possession as soon as france got the ball, normally in the french half.

far better than watching any team with 9 or ten men within 10 m of their own penalty box for 85mins then hoping to get a lucky break

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Get the Bing Sports App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

latest football news