Iniesta scored Spain's first goal in Málaga / PHOTO: fifa.com

Andrés Iniesta took hold of the Spanish national side’s rudder and steered the side to a smashing 5-0 victory over Venezuela. The Azulgrana midfielder was simply brilliant for the 45 minutes he was on the pitch. In fact, he opened up the scoring on 37 minutes with a great right-footed shot.

Four Barça players in the starting XI

Del Bosque sent out four Azulgranas in the starting line-up: Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta and Cesc. Busquets and Piqué had little trouble sorting the very few attacks from the South American side, while Iniesta and Cesc, along with Silva, gelled perfectly on offence. The three attack-minded players controlled the match for Spain with spectacular passing and positioning.

It was Silva who scored the second goal for Spain after receiving a back-heel pass from Cesc. In the second half, Soldado wracked up a hat-trick. Soldado, who was the main protagonist in the second half, was merciless in front of goal. Iker Muniain, who also played a magnificent game, made his debut with the Spanish national side.

Puyol and Xavi played for 30 minutes

Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández, who rested on Monday, played the last half hour of the match. The Barça captain led a three-man defence composed of Piqué and Arbeloa. Xavi picked up where Iniesta and Cesc left off in the midfield.

Piqué and Busquets were the only Azulgranas that played the full 90 minutes. Cesc played 75; Iniesta, 45; and Puyol and Xavi, 30. Valdés and Thiago didn’t play. Spain, after poor showings against Argentina, Portugal, Italy and Costa Rica, seems to be back on track just in time for the EURO championship this summer.

Back to top