Football

Spain thrash Germany 6-0 to reach Nations League Finals

NATIONS LEAGUE A, Gp 4
SPAIN GERMANY
6 0
(Alvaro Morata 17, Ferran Torres 33, 55, 71, Rodri 38, Mikel Oyarzabal 89)  

Sparkling Spain crushed hapless Germany 6-0 at home on Wednesday morning (Nov 18, Singapore time) to storm into the Nations League Finals in style as forward Ferran Torres scored a first career hat-trick. 

Germany were powerless to stop Luis Enrique’s relentless side as the visitors suffered their worst defeat in a competitive game and the most humiliating since losing by the same scoreline against Austria in a friendly in 1931. 

Alvaro Morata, Torres and Rodri ensured a 3-0 half-time lead, while Torres struck again early in the second half and completed his treble with a classy finish. 

Substitute Mikel Oyarzabal tapped in the sixth goal in the 89th minute to adorn an incredible Spain display and deepen the four-time world champions' misery. 

“We walked all over them in every sense,” said Rodri. “We scored six, but it could have been far more. We are still a group with little experience but this will give us a lot of confidence.”

Morata meanwhile took pleasure in silencing Spain’s critics after they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Switzerland last Saturday. 

“We had the opportunity to send a strong message out to the whole world and we have done just that,” he said. 

A shellshocked Germany coach Joachim Loew was at a loss to explain the dreadful showing.

“I really don’t know what happened to the team,” Loew said.

“We had hardly any chances and we didn’t win a single individual battle out on the pitch.”

The victory saw Spain finish top of League A, Group 4 with 11 points after six games, joining France in the four-team Finals, which will take place in October 2021. 

The Germans, who needed only a draw to progress to the final phase, came second with nine. 

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Spain suffered an early injury setback when Sergio Canales was taken off but his replacement Fabian Ruiz had an immediate impact, sending in a superb delivery from a corner and Morata rose unmarked at the far post to head home in the 17th minute. 

Morata netted again soon after by connecting with a cross from Torres, but his strike was incorrectly ruled offside, with no VAR in operation in the Nations League. 

However, Spain quickly shrugged off any sense of injustice as Torres smashed in their second goal on the rebound in the 33rd after Dani Olmo had glanced against the post, while Rodri headed home a corner from Koke five minutes later. 

Spain lost captain Sergio Ramos to a suspected muscle injury towards the end of the first half on his European record-extending 178th appearance for his country, but they grew ever more confident after the break as Germany continued to wilt. 

Dani Olmo spurned a chance to add to Spain’s lead, allowing Manuel Neuer to make a rare save in a match where his main task was picking the ball out of the net on a night when he became Germany’s most capped goalkeeper with 96 games ahead of Sepp Maier. 

But Torres showed no mercy, taking a pass from ex-Valencia teammate Jose Gaya to net his second and then receiving a ball from Ruiz and beating Neuer from outside the box to become the first Spain player to score a hat-trick against Germany. – REUTERS

Football