Outpassed and outclassed throughout the game by Spain, Ireland succumbed to its heaviest defeat under Giovanni Trapattoni.
Neither team did anything out of the ordinary tactically, and Trapattoni's game-plan, in particular, was simple: crowd the midfield and stifle Spain's creativity.
With the usual two banks of four, the Ireland coach replaced Kevin Doyle with Simon Cox for the fifth midfielder's slot in a bid for greater stability.
The defenders were asked to stay tight and this seemed to frustrate the Spaniards. To counter it, the Spanish full-backs Jordi Alba and Alvaro Arbeloa moved upfield.
Spain was in the comfort zone quite early when Fernando Torres's strike sent Trapattoni's tactical plans haywire. The Chelsea striker made amends for the misses against Italy and justified his selection, ahead of Cesc Fabregas, with a fantastic finish.
After seizing the initiative, the Spanish midfielders, with their relentless pressing and passing, controlled possession deep inside the opposition half. For the majority of the match, the Irish players were left chasing their opponents' shadows.
The Irish players also erred in failing to spread the game to the flanks and were often caught in possession within their own third.
Spain's combination passing got only better in the second half, a period in which it pumped in three more goals.