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Spain have seven shots on target, trounce World Cup finalists Croatia 6-0

Marco Asensio grabbed a goal and forced four others in the Nations League clash in Elche.

Image: Alberto Saiz

CROATIA SUFFERED THE biggest defeat in their history as Spain thrashed them 6-0 in the Nations League.

Marco Asensio scored once and set up four more in Luis Enrique’s second match in charge, as the World Cup finalists were run ragged in Elche.

Saul Niguez headed Spain in front before Asensio fired in two spectacular strikes, although the second was credited as an own goal from Lovre Kalinic.

Croatia, for whom Ivan Rakitic was making his 100th appearance, rarely got to grips with their opponents and conceded three times more in the second half through Rodrigo Moreno, Sergio Ramos and Isco.

The result is their heaviest ever defeat, the first time they have conceded six goals, and the first game in which they have let in five since a 5-1 loss to England in 2009.

Ivan Santini and Ivan Perisic missed good early chances before Spain seized control 23 minutes in, as Saul headed the ball in off the turf after being picked out by Dani Carvajal’s sublime cross.

It got worse for Croatia before the break as Asensio forced two memorable goals in the space of two minutes, first blasting beyond Kalinic from 25 yards before driving towards the box and curling a stunning effort that smacked the crossbar and went in off the unfortunate goalkeeper.

Zlatko Dalic cut a furious figure on the touchline, and his mood darkened just four minutes after the restart, when Rodrigo beat the offside trap to latch onto a pass from Asensio and slot between Kalinic’s legs.

The Real Madrid winger got his second assist of a spectacular display before the hour mark, his corner finding the head of the unmarked Ramos, who made no mistake from eight yards out.

A memorable result was capped by a stylish sixth from Isco, who took a touch from Asensio’s pass and fired high into the net across the helpless Kalinic.

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