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FIFA World Cup: How Louis van Gaal plotted Spain's end

After Netherlands demolished Spain, we look at the Dutch manager's tactics

> Despite attracting criticism back in The Netherlands for abandoning more attacking formations in favour of a more solid 5-3-2 formation, Louis van Gaal showed on Saturday how readily that can switch to 3-5-2 — with surging wing-backs stretching the midfield. In the second half (where his side scored four goals), Daley Blind was a standout performer marauding down the left, a tactic that drew the focus away from Spain's strong suit in the central areas and simultaneously targeted their potential weak link Cesar Azpilicueta on the overlap.

> Van Gaal also empowered his side to do the obvious — give Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie almost free reign to control the forward areas. The duo were deadly against the defending champions and justified Van Gaal's faith that given enough ball they would hurt Spain.

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal 

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