Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has insisted that Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal deserves all the credit for a quite astounding annihilation of defending champions Spain in last night's Group B opener, thanks to meticulous preparation and planning.
Van Persie lead the line as Holland came from a goal down to destroy Spain 5-1 in a result that will send shockwaves across the competition, with Salvador proving the place a new-look Dutch side finally exacted sweet revenge for defeat in the 2010 World Cup final.
Holland switched to a 5-3-2 formation that allowed Van Persie and Arjen Robben to brutally expose Spain's defensive deficiencies in ruthless, breathtaking fashion, particularly when Man United's main man leapt to meet Daley Blind's cross and send a gravity-defying header beyond Iker Casillas just before half-tme.
Van Gaal took a gamble and introduced a string of talented Dutch youngster into the fold to accommodate the system, but that bold move has paid off handsomely and produced a result that will live long in the memory whatever happens in the remainder of the tournament.
In the immediate aftermath of that success Van Persie was glowing about his new boss for club and country, quoted by SportingLife as telling Voetball International: "This is incredible and inexplicable.
"For us, this is a dream come true and we have to enjoy it - everyone in Holland must too.
"This is because of the coach. He has prepared us great and he predicted how the game would go. It's incredible, because it was exactly as he and the staff predicted for us."
United fans will be delighted to see the pair working in harmony and also desperate for a similar chemistry to be on show at Old Trafford next term, but first there'll be plenty of chances to see how Holland and their talented young side develop.
Holland will be riding the crest of a wave into the second World Cup clash against Australia on Wednesday night, in search of three points that will keep them on track for qualification after a truly astounding start.
Tactically it now looks very hard to fault Van Gaal's approach to a wonderful World Cup clash, although hindsight is a wonderful thing.
His decision to move Robben further forward and closer to Van Persie in particular was a masterstroke, allowing the Bayern Munich maestro to create havoc with pace any dynamism in the final third, a mix that Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas simply couldn't handle.
Van Persie's brace meanwhile also showed both sides of his game, clinical to maximise a small opening for his first, while absolutely predatory to expose Casillas and tap home a simple second later in the match.
The 30-year-old has now scored in five successive major international tournaments while also registering seven goals in 12 matches in 2014, all statistics to give both Dutch and Man United fanatics plenty to smile about over the next few days.
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