UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Scoreline not whole story in Innsbruck

Luis Aragonés would have liked Spain "to have scored a couple more" after their 4-1 defeat of Russia, whose coach Guus Hiddink said that his side lacked maturity.

Luis Aragonés believes his side can still improve
Luis Aragonés believes his side can still improve ©Getty Images

Spain coach Luis Aragonés was only relatively pleased with his team after what looked an authoritative 4-1 victory over Russia thanks to a hat-trick and inspired display from David Villa. The demanding 69-year-old said he always believed his side had such a performance in their boots, but added that he would have liked them to convert one or two more chances. Russia coach Guus Hiddink was neither utterly dispirited with his team, nor excessively impressed by the side which imposed such a firm scoreline on Group D's first match.

Luis Aragonés, Spain coach
David Villa is a born goalscorer and he's in form – it's as simple as that. We like to counterattack and when we control the ball with such purpose then we'll score goals and make life difficult for any team. Of course a result like this will help our confidence and help in the process of changing our reputation. But more than a big score like this, it is the daily work and how much the players understand the message I'm giving them, which will determine our passage in this tournament. Today I would have liked us to score a couple more because the chances were there. When you are on top you must take advantage, and up until 3-0 we did that.

The scoreline is not the tale of the game. It's clear that at 1-0 we might have conceded a goal to level the scores, but instead it was great to suddenly be 2-0 up. I'm not saying we totally lost our shape, but my view is we might have been a little more compact at times as Hiddink has a very powerful and physically impressive side. Theirs was a team effort, but [Sergei] Semak and [Konstantin] Zyryanov in particular caused us some problems. Regarding [the substitution of Fernando] Torres, I want it to be clear there was no injury – it was just that he's an important player for us and he's had a long, demanding season. I simply wanted to give him a little rest and to get another body in midfield in order to block off any problems.

Guus Hiddink, Russia coach
I worry that people will see the result and, if they haven't watched the game, think it's all about a powerful Spain and a Russia team that created no chances. But analysis without emotion tells you that this is a very inexperienced group and we have been our own worst enemies, particularly in key moments. Before Spain's first goal we were playing well and when it was 1-0, Zyryanov hit the post instead of scoring. I genuinely believed, even at 2-0, that if we got a goal then the result might turn as in our qualifying match against England where we overhauled a deficit to win. But we learned a lesson in defeat and we weren't very streetwise. To lose the second goal a minute before half-time, and then to get caught again for 3-0, these are the errors of the naïve.

We only have three days to mature and that is a tough task. It's also true that this is a big, big scoreline to come back from. My team face two difficult matches but if we can at least learn to be more streetwise then there are positives to take out of our display – rather than simply looking at the 4-1 scoreline. Spain? Well, I wish them well, of course, and they are indeed a team which is good at playing on the counter. But I'll wait to see how they perform when they come up against a side which knows the A to Z of international competition – that will be their real test.