Villa brace keeps Spain on track

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A second half brace from David Villa helped Spain maintain their 100% record and place at the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group I.

The Barcelona striker became his nation’s top goalscorer of all-time in the process, overtaking Real Madrid legend Raul and moving to 46 goals for the country.

It hadn’t started so well for the hosts though, who were playing in the unusual surroundings of Granada for the clash against their strongest rivals in the group.

The Czech Republic set their stall out to defend from the off, but a rare foray into Spanish territory provided the opener with winger Plasil firing low past Iker Casillas.

Petr Cech was by far the busier of the two keepers though, keeping out Villa on a couple of occasions in the first period to give the visitors a half-time lead.

Vicente del Bosque responded by bringing on Fernando Torres for Xabi Alonso during the break, with the Chelsea forward providing a change of formation and a strike partner for Villa.


The move had the desired impact, with the former Valencia man latching onto a pass from Barca teammate Iniesta and firing low past Cech midway through the period.

Minutes later and the holders win in-front via the penalty spot, with Villa converting from 12 yards after Iniesta had been brought down in the box.

It was no more than the World Cup holders deserved on a night when Xavi won his 100th cap for Spain, and while Torres was unable to put the seal on the victory when missing a good chance late in proceedings, it was a comfortable win in the end for the hosts.

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