Euro 2012: Spain complain about pitch after opening draw with Italy

• Cesc Fábregas described the surface as 'a disaster'
• Pitch 'affected' Spain's passing, says Xavi Hernández

Spain's opening game against Italy ended in a pitch battle. The suspicion was that it had started with one too.

One member of the Spain side departed Gdansk muttering about the dry, slow surface on which Spain had played, calling it a "disgrace". The suspicion was that there may have been a reason why the pitch was not in the kind of condition that would have suited Spain's play, why it appeared not to have been watered before the game as is usually the case.

When even Vicente del Bosque speaks out, you know that the discontent is significant. He was measured as always but his remarks were entirely unprompted. This was a statement he wanted to make. "It is a pity," he said, "to play on a dry pitch. For us, for Italy and for the fans. I am sure we would have seen a better game if the pitch had not been so dry."

Cesc Fábregas was rather more direct. "The pitch is a disaster. It's lamentable to play on a pitch like that," he said. "I can't complain but we deserved a lot more. It's lamentable that we still have to play on pitches like that."

Xavi Hernández said: "The fact they didn't water the pitch affected us and our passing." And Andrés Iniesta added: "To see the pitch in this condition was a disaster. It was super dry and that makes passing the ball difficult."

"It is the same for both teams," Andrea Pirlo replied.

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