Spain 1 Netherlands 5: 'We can get even better,' warns coach Louis van Gaal after destroying Spain

Van Gaal's side thrashed the reigning champions in Salvador

After stunning the watching world by routing holders Spain 5-1 in their opening Group B game in Salvador, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal promised that there was even more to come from his rejuvenated team.

Van Gaal’s new-look side featured seven World Cup debutants and they were second-best in the first half but after the turning point of a Robin van Persie equaliser on the stroke of half-time, they destroyed reigning world and European champions Spain in the second period.

A delighted Van Gaal said: “Yes, we can get better, without a shadow of a doubt. You could see this in the last 20 minutes when we started to play the ball around with confidence. Then you could see how good these players can be. This result gives them confidence and I expect them to get better.”

Read more: Costa booed by Brazil fans
Van Gaal's calm authority gives United fans something to cheer

The Oranje victory was a tactical masterstroke by Van Gaal who, in a change from his customary 4-3-3 formation, chose to play five at the back and hit Spain with speed on the counterattack. As if to underline the wisdom of his decision, Daley Blind, operating at left wing-back, set up the two opening Dutch goals with passes for Van Persie and Arjen Robben, who each scored twice.

 

Van Gaal’s team had struggled with the new system in their warm-up games but he said it paid off perfectly thanks to the quality of their forwards: “The Dutch team played in a fantastic way, compact football. We used our centre-forwards perfectly. Things can happen when you have Van Persie, and Robben and Sneijder behind them.”

Read more: Spain 1 Netherlands 5 - as it happened
Was RVP's goal his best ever?

His Spain counterpart, Vicente del Bosque, conceded that Spain had no answer to Holland’s attacking power as they succumbed to their heaviest World Cup finals defeat since 1950. “I don’t have words to explain it,” he said. “We have never been a very defensive team, but today we were very weak and we have to recognise the ability of Van Persie and Robben.”

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
football
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?