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Lopetegui reserves special praise for De Gea

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui hailed the "sensational" David de Gea after he kept a third consecutive clean sheet in the 3-0 win against the Netherlands that tied up top spot in Group B.

Lopetegui reserves special praise for De Gea
Lopetegui reserves special praise for De Gea ©UEFA.com

Julen Lopetegui, Spain coach
It would be a lack of respect for Norway [to say Spain would prefer not to face Italy]. We're pleased to be in the semi-final and have an opportunity to get to the final. We know both Italy and Norway will be a maximum test and in a semi-final it can only be that way.

We try to keep the ball and defend and attack with it, and also to get the ball back when we lose it. We're happy not to have conceded but apart from the quality of the team overall, David [de Gea] was sensational in two or three incidents, we have to recognise that. The whole team has a brilliant attitude when we don't have the ball but I'm only moderately happy as the next game will be completely different.

I'm satisfied with the effort, the character, the attitude of our whole group. We had seven changes today, and were lucky to be able to give other players a game. It was 3-0 but they had chances and had good players across the pitch.

This tournament is very hard, each match is different I am sure we'll not have it easy in the next game. I think Norway have a very strong team, they are physically and tactically [strong] and technically too they're good players. We played them in March [when we won 5-2] but I think this match will be very difficult. For me it's no surprise [they've been successful] as France are a big team and they managed a very good result against them. They've got three or four very good players.

Cor Pot, Netherlands coach
If we look at the game in phases, the first part was really good but after that Spain were much, much better and speaking honestly I liked Spain a lot. In the second half we were a little bit better, the game was more even and we had four chances. I still think the decision to change the whole team was the right one. We chose to give the first team a rest because otherwise we would have had one day less than Italy or Norway. Unfortunately, it was 3-0 – a big defeat. A 1-0 or 2-0 would have been better but we're not too down.

Our doctor and physio said you need three days to recover fully from playing and that's why I changed all 11 players, to make sure we're ready for the semi-final. We knew what we were doing. I was very happy to see how those players played against a top team.

Football-wise I think Spain deserved to win, I don't have doubts about that. But chances-wise we had four very, very good chances, which could have changed the match. Every time we had a chance they scored one minute after it. We had a chance at 1-0, then they scored for 2-0. In the second half at 2-0 we had a couple of chances, then they made it 3-0.

[On how the Dutch team has changed since losing 3-0 to Italy last year] I think about eight or nine players. Italy are a strong team and it'll be an interesting game but we'll see – I'm not afraid of Italy.