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'Go to penalties and pray' - Fabregas 'speechless' following Russia's upset of Spain

20:15 EAT 01/07/2018
Spain Russia
The Chelsea star was shocked to see his country bounced from the World Cup by the host nation, who he claims had prayer as part of their gameplan

Cesc Fabregas was among the those stunned by Spain's World Cup exit at the hands of Russia

The 2010 World Cup champions were held to a 1-1 draw through regular time, scoring only from a Russian own goal before being pegged back from the penalty spot. 

Thirty minutes of extra time couldn't do anything to separate the sides, and the host nation managed to find their way to the quarter-finals through penalties. 

Fabregas, who at half-time had claimed that Spain's passing - which set World Cup records against Russia - was pointless , was still stunned by the final outcome. 

"I am speechless because I expected a different game today," the 31-year-old said on BBC

"I think Spain is a much better side than Russia.

"Russia had a plan which was to go to penalties and pray, and it paid off for them."

The former Barcelona man was also gutted to see Spanish legend Andres Iniesta's career with the national side come to such a disappointing end. 

"Andres Iniesta doesn't deserve to go out like this, in what could be his last game for Spain," he said. 

Russia's progression has taken another favourite out of a World Cup that had already seen 2014 champions Germany, Lionel Messi's Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal sides bounced. 

Spain's exit means one of Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, England or Colombia will be playing in the World Cup final. 

Russia will take on either Croatia or Denmark in the quarter-finals.