SPAIN coach Vicente Del Bosque felt his decision to start with Cesc Fabregas rather than a recognised centre-forward was justified by the Barcelona midfielder's goal in last night's 1-1 draw against Italy.
Del Bosque deployed a surprising 4-6-0 formation, preferring to select a raft of attacking midfielders rather than a striker but Fabregas, who played the 'false number nine' role, got a 64th-minute equaliser to cancel out Antonio Di Natale's opener.
Fernando Torres was brought on for the closing stages but fluffed two late chances to hand the defending European and world champions a late winner in their Group C clash in Gdansk.
Del Bosque was, nevertheless, satisfied with how the formation had worked.
He said: "We wanted to have superiority in the midfield so that we could have possession and arrive higher up the pitch. David Silva, Cesc and Andres Iniesta arrived very well from the second line of attack and I think they did very well in a lot of moments.
"The plan didn't go badly, Cesc did very well in this position. When Fernando Torres came on the match was much more open. We had more chances to score, but so did they and we can't forget that."
Veteran Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo was delighted with the way the Azzurri had played against the tournament favourites.
The Juventus man said: "I think we played a very good game but we knew we could do it, the result is good because we were facing a very strong team even if I think we did enough to win it.
"It's a pity we conceded the equaliser so soon after taking the lead, otherwise it could have been a different result."
Pirlo created Di Natale's goal with a wonderful through ball.
"It was a good pass (for the goal) but Di Natale made a great move so it made everything easier for me," he added.
"Now we have to keep working hard because we have two other important and difficult games in just a few days."