After a solid if unspectacular victory over Serbia at the weekend, Spain took their Euro 2012 preparations to the next level last night with a comfortable 4-1 win over South Korea.
Vicente del Bosque’s side are out to defend their crown after glory four years ago in Austria and Switzerland, and stand on the cusp of history as the first side to win a trophy ‘treble’ following success at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago.
Performances like this will go someway to cementing this Spanish side’s legacy as one of the greatest international sides of all-time, and if they can repeat the trick in Poland and Ukraine this summer, few will be able to stop them.
Fernando Torres opened the scoring with a cheeky back-header on 11 minutes. The Chelsea striker was a long shot to make the squad a few months back, but appears to have his swagger back after a decent finish to the season at Stamford Bridge.
The starting spot up-front in this side appears up for grabs after David Villa failed to recover from a leg break, and Roberto Soldado also missed out. That means Torres has a realistic chance of starting against Italy in the first game of Group C on June 10th.
His competition for that spot will be Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo, with the likes of Juan Mata, Jesus Navas and Pedro Rodriguez all vying for wide spots in a 4-3-3 formation.
Back to this game in Bern though, and it was South Korea who pulled level with the next goal, as Kim Do-Heon fired past Pepe Reina from distance with a fine right-foot strike.
Xabi Alonso restored the advantage six minutes into the second-half, tucking away a penalty after Cho Yong-Hyung was adjudged to have handled a long-range effort from Raul Albiol.
It was 3-1 just four minutes later, as Santi Cazorla made no mistake from a 20-yard free-kick, firing low past Kim Jin-Hyun to put the result beyond doubt.
Negredo put a gloss on the result with an 80th minute finish through the legs of the keeper – his sixth goal in nine games ahead of this summer’s tournament.
With players from Barcelona still to join the squad, this is a side that is only going to get better ahead of their final friendly against China on Sunday. Watch out Europe.