Spain 1-5 Holland: Dutch Stun World Cup Holders

Tiki Taka 1-5 Total Football: 5 Talking Points From Holland's Evisceration Of Spain

Holland eviscerated world champions Spain 5-1 in Salvador to record one of the most stunning World Cup victories in the tournament's history.

Here are five talking points...


Iker Casillas has not been the best goalkeeper at his club for 18 months, let alone the national side, and weeks after he almost left Real Madrid decimated in their quest for la décima he was culpable in Spanish colours. This time, he did not have Sergio Ramos to spare his blushes and Spain's humiliation could also spell the end for Casillas as their No.1 goalkeeper.

Feeble in the challenge for Stefan de Vrij's tap in and calamitous on the ball when Robin van Persie pickpocketed him, he looks sluggish and, peculiarly for a 'keeper, short of match fitness. His body language did not breed confidence and despite having an 18-yard home, Casillas looked forlorn in Salvador.

In the 18 months he has spent as Real Madrid's No.2, in La Liga at least, David de Gea has emerged as the finest Spanish stopper in club football and, despite his international inexperience, merits a starting berth.

Holland celebrate their fifth goal, scored by Arjen Robben


The thought of five defenders will not have heartened Manchester United supporters reeling from David Moyes' reign, yet Louis van Gaal would be affronted by the comparison. Van Gaal promised a 5-3-2 formation in the warm-up matches, and however much Spain prepared for the adaptive Dutchman they seemed taken aback by how flexible Holland were four years on from their bruising World Cup final. Holland's Total Football style returned to the World Cup, and the "Olé"s that were hollered inside the Arena Fonte Nova greeted Dutch showboating, rather than Tiki Taka.


Diego Costa's quality is not in doubt, but his temperament is. From the moment Ron Vlaar slid in to execute an uncompromising challenge on the Brazilian-born striker in the opening stages, Costa looked rattled. It takes little to rattle him, and the dubious penalty he procured in the first-half preceded a characteristic headbutt on Bruno Martins Indi. It was a red card offence and shortly after that incident Vicente del Bosque withdrew him for Fernando Torres.

Fifa are not as potent when it comes to retrospective action as the Football Association, although Costa will be fortunate if he is not suspended for the pivotal Chile clash at least. Del Bosque might not risk him, though, after an irascible showing in which the natives booed Costa unremittingly, reminding him of his ostensible treachery for representing Spain rather than the Seleção. For a 25-year-old journeyman, Costa played like a teenager and trust could be an issue. The caveat is, in Fernando Llorente and Álvaro Negredo, Del Bosque has left his best two alternatives behind in Europe.

Off his head: Costa was lucky not to be sent off in the second-half


Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben's braces - and their headline-happy names - will dominate the back pages, however Daley Blind, the marauding left wing-back, was arguably the standout performer. Composed and coruscating, his vision which assisted Van Persie's sensational equaliser and then he sliced open a seasoned and reputable defence with alarming ease to assist Robben's first. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Piqué both looked fatigued, however Blind's merciless passing ridiculed them and belied their world and European champion status at international level.

Daryl Janmaat performed quietly on the other wing, and the duo's presence was crucial beside a suspect Dutch defence that buzzed off their vibrancy and selflessness.


Casillas should not be the only victim of a Spanish cull following this chastening defeat. Xavi was slow and laboured in midfield, and calls for Koke's promotion at his expense are bound to intensify, while Xabi Alonso was unusually wasteful in possession, too. Del Bosque won't panic, yet there were signs he had been lulled into a false sense of security by loyal, serial, yet ageing, winners. Del Bosque might cite two of Holland's three 30-somethings were matchwinners Van Persie and Robben, however they are indispensable and Louis van Gaal does not have an enviable array of options to select from.

Spain need more dynamism in midfield. Andrés Iniesta provided a magnificent pass for Silva at 1-0 which the Manchester City playmaker should have finished, yet La Roja rarely penetrated an undistinguished Dutch rearguard. Cesc Fàbregas is accused of lacking pace, but he would energise this Spain side.

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