Van Gaal thinks new system helped Netherlands crush Spain

Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal celebrates the first goal with Robin van Persie.

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Louis van Gaal believes the decision to adopt a new formation helped Holland to their 5-1 thrashing of Spain in Group B of the World Cup.

A breath-taking second half saw Holland fire four goals past Vicente del Bosque’€™s men -€“ with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie finishing the game with a brace apiece, having led the line superbly.

Van Gaal hailed the importance of Van Persie’€™s superbly headed equaliser before half-time and admits that he is glad he kept faith with their new 3-5-2 formation -€“ saying that his side would have lost had he reverted to their usual 4-3-3.

"If Van Persie wouldn’t have scored the 1-1 before half-time, I would’ve switched back to the 4-3-3 formation," he told Dutch television. 

"If I played with three attackers, my wingers would have chased down the Spain backs too much, that would be a waste. 

"I played this system because I believe that we are not good enough to beat Spain with our normal 4-3-3 formation,"€ he added.

"We still have to beat Australia to make this victory count." 

Manchester United’€™s Van Persie was in inspired form throughout the encounter, and believes that the win came as a result of hard work on the training pitch.

€œ"This is inexplicable," Van Persie said"We have trained all those weeks for this. The match has gone exactly as the coaching staff predicted. 

"That (first) goal came at a good time. Our second goal then came as a blow to Spain. After that we continued. Often, you quit after two or three goals. But we went on, and on, and on."