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Full match report

Superb Arshavin earns praise

22 Jun 2008 - 11:16:13

Russia coach Guus Hiddink paid special tribute to Andrei Arshavin as his side reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008 with an impressive 3-1 win over Netherlands.

The influential midfielder had been suspended for the first two matches of the tournament but produced an outstanding display against the Dutch.

"I don't want to use big words but it is almost a miracle," said Hiddink.

"I'm so proud of these guys. Physically, technically and tactically we outplayed the Dutch and it is a huge achievement for us.

"Arshavin did very well but needs assist of other ones. But he did a big job.

"He has tremendous skills. He knows how to dribble in defence. Defenders can run with him but they cannot really attack him. It is what nature gave him.

"The Dutch were just dangerous at set-pieces and it was a blow to concede the equaliser but more of an achievement after conceding this goal.

"In extra-time I told the players to go and look forward for a goal as they were as tired as we were. I also told them to have mental strength and they responded perfectly.

"We did not talk a lot about it in the preview of the game but we had just two days to recover and prepare after a tough Sweden match."


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