Uefa Nations League: Superb Spain put six past Croatia

World Cup finalists Croatia thrashed by Spain

World Cup finalists Croatia thrashed by Spain

Croatia, which lost the World Cup final to France, fell apart after defender Sime Vrsaljko had to be substituted due to an injury just minutes before Spain's first goal.

Elche native Saul Niguez opened the night's scoring in the 24th minute with a leaping header off Dani Carvajal's long diagonal cross that bounced past Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

"That's why we want to win every match, but we are playing against a Spain team which didn't meet their expectations at the World Cup and are highly motivated now".

Vrsaljko provided Ivan Perisic with another chance during Croatia's early barrage but Spain's own right-back came to the rescue as Dani Carvajal tracked the Inter Milan winger to make a crucial intervention 10 yards from goal. "They had an early chance, they didn't take it and then we played brilliantly and scored some great goals".

Rodrigo scored after slipping past the Croatian backline on a through-ball from Asensio in the 49th minute.

More importantly, they are off to a winning start under Luis Enrique, with their performances in Elche and against England at Wembley a stark reminder of the quality they possess, which seemed to go missing in their tempestuous World Cup campaign.

That proved to be the final piece of goal-mouth action as Spain claimed a second straight Nations League win.

Isco completed Croatia's heaviest ever defeat with a sixth before the end as Luis Enrique's youthful and exciting side produced a result which will send shockwaves around Europe.

Marco Asensio was on a mad one last night versus Croatia. Three superbly weighted deliveries of different styles gifted his side further goals in the second half and underlined his remarkable quality.

Spain have rattled in the goals against Croatia to take charge of their Nations League group. In the 57th minute, Spain captain Sergio Ramos headed in his 14th worldwide goal for the team's fifth on the night.

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, so dominant at the World Cup, never took control while defensively, without Dejan Lovren, the mistakes kept coming.

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