Jose Mourinho has told Spain they are “sterile” without a striker.
But Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque hit back by saying “everyone thinks they are right in football”.
The defending champs took to the field against Italy on Sunday evening without a recognised striker.
Italy impressed, and took the lead through Antonio Di Natale, only for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas to grab the leveller moments later.
But Spain failed to push on and get the winner, with Fernando Torres wasteful when in good position.
“The passing between Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas is no good unless you create danger in Buffon’s area,” said Mourinho.
“The Spanish midfielders put in a lot of effort, but without a striker the team looked sterile and didn’t create danger for the opposition defence.”
But Del Bosque was having none of it.
“Fàbregas played because he had been brilliant in training. He has worked very well in the camp. Cesc has played as a striker several times this season for Barça. He knows his job perfectly well,” he argued.
“Everyone thinks they are right in football, but we have to make decisions. We took the right one. We made it in light of conclusions from the team’s training sessions.
“Perhaps we were a little sluggish in the first half,” Del Bosque conceded. “Maybe we were overly concerned with Pirlo, but the team finished the game playing fluidly and stamping their authority on the match.”
Mourinho was also impressed with Italy’s conductor Andrea Pirlo. “Italy can go very far in this tournament. Spain failed to stop Pirlo and when the Juventus midfielder plays comfortably he creates a lot of problems. De Rossi is the team’s wild card and one of Italy’s best players. He did a magnificent job at centre-back even though he normally plays as a midfielder.
“Italy made a really good impression in its first match of the Euros and that’s always important. It was a good start. The team played with a lot of discipline in defence and created a lot of problems for Spain.”