DEVASTATING: Spaniard's double sinks Ireland
GDANSK(POLAND): TWO-GOAL hero Fernando Torres said Spain were back on track after thrashing Ireland 4-0 to close in on the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
"We really were champing at the bit ahead of this game to shake off the (1-1) draw against Italy and we saw the old Spain" of 2008, when his goal won them the title, and 2010, when they lifted the World Cup, said Torres.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque restored him to the starting line-up after eschewing a proper striker in the 1-1 opener with Italy, when Cesc Fabregas scored.
On Thursday, Fabregas scored again -- after replacing Torres -- but only after the Chelsea star had scored with two fine finishes that suggested he is back to his best form after a difficult season at Stamford Bridge even if it ended with Champions League success.
"The debate about a number nine will continue," Torres told Telecinco television.
"This system worked today and worked the other day with Cesc. The good thing is Spain have many players who can fill many positions," he went on.
Del Bosque said for his part: "Torres knows how to find the spaces, it was the perfect match, a lot of people think he could have played in the first match, but that wasn't the point.
"We have a system and we showed it works.
"People think it is important to have a striker and it is important for us as well, but it is more important to win.
"We have been criticised for using this system, but now we have shown that it works.
"We have 23 players who play regularly for their clubs and we have lots of alternatives, we had 65 percent possession of the ball," added Del Bosque.
"I don't think you can keep calm in any competition, but this result takes us forward.
"We had some dangerous situations, but the team played well, we are getting stronger.
"The Irish defended very well, but we showed we are very secure with the ball, we can score and shoot and it showed in our play.
Spanish defender Gerard Pique said the manner of the win was pleasing -- but no more important than the result itself.
"The three points from today are very important for us," said the Barcelona stopper.
Even so, looking back to the Italian match, he lamented that with Spain having with their 2008 success ditched their perennial bridesmaids status it was increasingly difficult to keep the pundits happy.
"Four years ago, a draw with Italy would have been considered a good result.
"Today it seems people have no patience." AFP