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Favourites Spain sent off in style

Fernando Torres made a scoring return from injury as Spain thrashed Poland in their last warm-up match before departing for the World Cup.

Torres came on after 66 minutes and showed no ill-effects from the injury which had seen him miss the end of the season with Liverpool, but Andres Iniesta went off with a thigh problem, the Barcelona midfielder's fitness was the only concern for coach Vicente del Bosque.

Iniesta was involved as Spain cruised to a 2-0 lead at half-time. The Barcelona star brilliantly set up Spain's first two goals in the opening 15 minutes for David Villa and David Silva, and was in a class of his own for much of the first half, but was forced to depart before the interval after feeling a tweak in his thigh. It looked to be just a precaution, but with just over a week until Spain's opening game, Del Bosque was not prepared to take any risks.

Xabi Alonso scored a third for Spain with a deflected effort early in the second half, before further strikes from Cesc Fabregas, Torres and Pedro rounded off an impressive victory late on.

Murcia's La Condomina stadium enjoyed a carnival atmosphere as Spain's fans came to bid farewell to their side ahead of the World Cup.

Del Bosque opted for a dynamic 4-3-3 formation, with Villa up front, flanked by Iniesta on the left and David Silva on the right. Liverpool striker Torres, still recovering from a knee injury which required surgery in April, was kept in reserve, but the attacking quality on display was still impressive.


Iniesta was the man to inspire Spain early on. The Barca midfielder missed much of the season with a thigh problem, but was back to his very best in the opening stages of this match. The 26 year-old escaped down the left flank after 12 minutes, beat his marker and sent in an inviting cross for the advancing Villa, who slid in to turn the ball in from close range, although the last touch may have come off a Poland defender.

However, there was no doubting the second goal, which was created by a moment of genius from Iniesta. He took up possession on the edge of the box, looked up and, crowded out by four Poland defenders, scooped an extraordinary pass over them all to Barca team-mate Xavi, who squared for the unmarked Silva to slot home with ease.

Iniesta continued to look lively, but was feeling his thigh in the lead-up to half-time and departed shortly before the interval.

The second half was an even more one-sided affair. Alonso made it three with a deflected low drive after Xavi had squared a well-worked free-kick seven minutes into the second period.

Del Bosque rang the changes after that, with Jesus Navas, Sergio Ramos and Fabregas all coming on. And Fabregas was quickly involved, slotting home the fourth two minutes later with an angled drive past Tomasz Kuszczak.

Torres then came on to huge cheers and was also on the scoresheet within nine minutes, slotting home Pedro's low cross from close range to make it 5-0.

Pedro made it six with a lobbed effort with nine minutes left which Kuszczak tried to palm away but the ball had already crossed the line. The Manchester United keeper denied Navas a seventh Spain goal shortly afterwards.