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Spain reign against Denmark once more in EURO 1988 Group 1

Denmark 2-3 Spain
Spain once again proved too good for the Danes in their Group 1 opener.

Emilio Butragueño in action against Denmark
Emilio Butragueño in action against Denmark Getty Images

Denmark's vanquishers at both the last UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup, Spain once again proved too good in both teams' opening fixture of EURO '88.

A hat-trick of major tournament triumphs rarely looked in doubt in Hannover. Denmark coach Josef Piontek put Jan Heintze on Míchel but was unable to prevent the Spanish schemer from scoring the first goal and running the game. Though Denmark drew level, Emilio Butragueño and Rafael Gordillo gave Spain a two-goal lead before Flemming Povlsen halved the arrears eight minutes from time.

EURO 1988: All you need to know

It took just five minutes for Míchel to find his stride, trading passes with Butragueño and Ricardo Gallego before shooting across goalkeeper Troels Rasmussen. Michael Laudrup's sleight of foot and firm drive levelled the scores, but Spain were in control throughout and could even afford for Míchel's penalty to be saved by Rasmussen.

Miguel Muñoz's charges duly restored their advantage eight minutes into the second half, however, Butragueño turning in José María Bakero's pass. With Frank Arnesen out injured and Preben Elkjær deployed too far forward to make the most of his powerful surges, Denmark were constantly on the defensive. Rafael Gordillo's free-kick doubled their deficit and though Povlsen's header gave Denmark a sniff, Spain had done enough.

EURO 1988: Team of the Tournament


Denmark line up ahead of the game in Hannover
Denmark line up ahead of the game in HannoverGetty Images

Denmark: Rasmussen; Nielsen, Morten Olsen (c) (Lars Olsen 74), Busk; Heintze, Lerby, Laudrup, Helt (Jensen 46), Sivebæk; Povlsen, Elkjær
Substitutes: Jesper Olsen, Schmeichel, Eriksen
Coach: Sepp Piontek

Spain: Zubizarreta; Camacho (c) (Soler 46), Andrinúa, Sanchís, Tomás; Gordillo (Martín Vázquez 81), Víctor, Gallego, Míchel; Bakero, Butragueño
Substitutes: Calderé, Salnas, Buyo
Coach: Miguel Muñoz

Referee: Bep Thomas (Netherlands)