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'Today you saw a great Spain'

Spain midfielder Xavi Hernández hailed an "excellent" performance by the holders who sounded a note of intent with their biggest win on the EURO stage against the Republic of Ireland.

Fernando Torres is mobbed by his Spain team-mates after scoring his second goal of the night
Fernando Torres is mobbed by his Spain team-mates after scoring his second goal of the night ©AFP/Getty Images

Xavi Hernández, Spain midfielder
We played well, it was a good game for the confidence of the group and we all did well. We scored goals, it was a good result; it's good for all of us, for the forwards, for 'El Niño' [Fernando Torres]. Looking at the Italy game we played well but it was a battle between the two last world champions. It's difficult against Italy but we were not bad. The thing is, today we were excellent.

Our philosophy is not negotiable. We play good football, we don't give the ball away, we're able to open up the pitch, and today you saw a great Spain. Now it is in our own hands and a win against Croatia would take us through. A draw also might be good enough [so] we are happy and a bit more relaxed to have taken a step forward like this.

Fernando Torres, Spain forward
We needed to win this game and from the beginning, we showed the character and determination needed. The early goal made it easier and the performance was great tonight. We're on our way to qualifying, we need one more point against Croatia and our minds are now on that game.

I was not dismayed [to be on the bench against Italy]. I know the team we have here, we are playing in the best team in the world – we won the World Cup and EURO – and anyone can play. I'm not disappointed to be on the bench with these kind of players in the team. Against Italy it was not a good start for us but the performance of the team was good.

Sergio Ramos, Spain defender
It's always important to win and even more so now as we drew our first game. We were really eager to return with a win and to return to feeling comfortable with our philosophy of how we like to play. We are feeling more and more comfortable. Tonight's result is fantastic in terms of us continuing on the path we want to be on.

I am proud of our fans but I would also like to congratulate the Irish supporters who were incredible. After a negative result like that it's impressive to hear fans continuing to make the stadium vibrate as they did.