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Grounded Aragonés takes win in stride

Published: Monday 23 June 2008, 0.40CET
If Luis Aragonés's glass was "half-full" before the game, it was pretty much filled to the brim after his Spain team held their nerve to reach the semi-finals.
by John Atkin
from Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Grounded Aragonés takes win in stride
Luis Aragonés delivers instructions to his players from the touchline ©Getty Images

Match statistics

SpainItaly

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
5
Attempts off target15
 
5
Corners8
 
3
Fouls committed26
 
25
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Monday 23 June 2008, 0.40CET

Grounded Aragonés takes win in stride

If Luis Aragonés's glass was "half-full" before the game, it was pretty much filled to the brim after his Spain team held their nerve to reach the semi-finals.

If Luis Aragonés's glass was "half-full" beforehand, it was pretty much at the brim as the Spain coach savoured his side's penalty shoot-out victory against Italy. But while hundreds of his compatriots delivered a chorus of "¡Viva España!", Aragonés already had an eye on a UEFA EURO 2008™ semi-final rematch with Russia, admitting Thursday's showdown in Vienna would be "much more complicated" than the first-round encounter that Spain won 4-1.

Luis Aragonés, Spain coach
We won through but we have only won a small battle. I think we deserved to win. We didn't play great, but nor did Italy. We should have used more pace. The tempo was rather slow and if we'd played the ball quicker we'd have created more chances. But we had chances anyway, as did Italy. We were a little fresher, but lacked speed with the ball, to carry it quicker and at times we lost possession. We got into the Italian lines but couldn't complete our link play. We lost quite a bit of possession though the team were in a good physical shape and Italy could only use the high ball against us. We created three or four clear chances. We tried yesterday to see who was the best [at penalties] and those that were the best took them today.

I'm doing my job – as a coach I'm here to win. For Spain, it's important. We have struggled to get past the quarters before but now we've done that so lets see if we can get to the final. I'm not depressed when I lose, I'm not euphoric when I win. I'm happy for my country, happy for my players and also for me – this is my profession. This team wants to go to the final and win. It's now more difficult [against Russia] than at the beginning. This is a great time for Russian football, because at this stage of their season they are at their peak. Many say we've beaten them before so it will be easy but it's much more complicated.

Roberto Donadoni, Italy coach
The players gave it their all, they gave it their best. I'm proud of their effort, of the football they produced. They didn't have a drop of energy left - those that played and those that didn't. I am very sorry, very sad for them because they didn't go through. I'm proud, though – the result doesn't matter. I couldn't care less when we leave. They could go out after the first round, the quarter-finals or semis. It's up to others to decide what we've done. I'm just proud.

Last updated: 23/06/08 10.49CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=723038.html#grounded+aragones+takes+stride

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