Spain Boosts Spirit Demolishing World Cup Finalist 6-0

Spain Boosts Spirit Demolishing World Cup Finalist 6-0
Spain Boosts Spirit Demolishing World Cup Finalist 6-0

Spain's identity crisis looks to be well and truly over after Marco Asensio inspired a 6-0 thrashing of World Cup runner-up Croatia in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday.

Failing against Russia in July prompted a change of coach and doubts about the Spanish passing style but after an impressive win over England at Wembley, Luis Enrique has now overseen a demolition of Croatia too, AFP reported.

Asensio's two long-range shots, the second cannoning off goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, had Spain three up before half-time in Elche, after Saul Niguez had earlier headed home.

Croatia, abject at the back, was no better after the break. Asensio first threaded Rodrigo Moreno through to finish before supplying the corner for an unmarked Sergio Ramos to nod in number five. Isco then flashed a sixth into the top corner, again Asensio the provider.

Two victories in four days mean Spain sits top of League A's Group Two, with a six-point gap over both Croatia and England.

Brushing aside two of the World Cup's top four teams and one so emphatically, sends out its own message, but just as satisfying for La Roja will be the sense of pride restored.

There was no sign either of Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and David Silva, who all retired in the summer, and are not yet being missed.

Asensio was the star, his goal and trio of second-half assists fully justifying his start ahead of Iago Aspas.

For Croatia, this was a humbling loss that leaves the current crop open to questions about how the team sustains momentum following that superb run in Russia.

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, still at the top of their games, embraced Real Madrid and Barcelona team-mates in the tunnel and Croatia started brightly, with Ivan Santini missing two decent early chances from close range. However, Spain was more clinical and scored three goals.

Croatia looked stone-faced as they emerged for the second half but there was no improvement, either in their intensity or defending.


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