Spain claimed their place in next autumn’s UEFA Nations League Finals tonight with a stunning 6-0 victory over Germany in Seville.
Alvaro Morata gave the hosts the lead with a free header from a corner after 17 minutes, before Ferran Torres hammered in a second by drilling in a rebound after Dani Olmo’s header hit the crossbar. Another free header from a corner, this time by Rodri, added Spain’s third of a first half in which they were unlucky not to score more.
There was no respite for Germany in the second half as Spain cut them open at will. Torres put the finishing touches to two brilliant moves to complete a hat-trick. Spain created chances at will in between mammoth bouts of possession and rounded off a seminal thrashing when Mikel Oryazabal finished off another clinical move just before full-time for Spain's sixth goal.
'We put SIX past Germany!' - Hat-trick hero Torres on Spain's rout
Spain are the second team to qualify for the finals and will join France and two others for the tournament currently scheduled to take place in October 2021.
Is this the beginning of another great Spanish team? Luis Enrique’s side are no strangers to big victories. In the last couple of years, they’ve put six past Croatia, seven past Malta, five past Romania and four past the Ukraine, all with nothing coming back the other way. It happens, then. But since when does such a defeat ever get handed out to Germany?
Extremely rarely is your answer. This was the second worst defeat in the history of Europe’s premier international side, and the biggest under the stewardship of Joachim Low. Spain’s mesmerising performance tonight was for the ages, a throwback to their own imperial phase of a decade or so ago and one that may yet prove to be this teams’ breakthrough performance rather than their signature one. Of the current squad, only veterans Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets are in their thirties.
'We beat their best 11' - Enrique after 6-0 thrashing of Germany
Everyone else has plenty of years in the tank yet, and after this evisceration of Germany in Seville what they might do in that time is a mouth-watering prospect. Spain qualified for the UEFA Nations League Finals tonight; they also confirmed their place at the table of serious contenders for the European Championship next summer.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Ferran Torres (Spain)
In a sensational performance with so many outstanding turns, Ferran Torres stood out for so much more than his hat-trick. He gave Philipp Max a horrible evening down the right flank, combining effortlessly with his teammates to cut the German team open time and time again. If you’ve been wondering what prompted Manchester City to cut a deal with Valencia for his services, tonight was your answer.
Image credit: Getty Images
Spain (4-3-3): Unai Simon 6; Gaya 7, Pau Torres 7, Ramos 6, Sergi Roberto 7; Koke 8, Rodri 8, Canales 6; Ferran Torres 9, Morata 7, Dani Olmo 8
SUBS: Ruiz 7, Garcia 6, Asensio 6, Moreno 6, Oyarzabal 7
Germany (4-3-3): Neuer 5; Ginter 5, Sule 5, Koch 5, Max 4; Goretzka 6, Gundogan 6, Kroos 5; Sane 5, Werner 6, Gnabry 6
GOAL! Spain 1 (Morata 17) Germany 0 The hosts are ahead, and it's so simple! Ruiz takes a corner from the right, and bangs it to the back post. It finds Morata, walking onto the ball and completely unmarked, who plants a header back across goal and past Neuer to give Spain the advantage!
23’ DISALLOWED GOAL! A lovely break down the right by Spain here. Sergi Roberto gallops into space and finds Ferran Torres, who in turn smashes a low cross through the six-yard box. Morata steals in again to thud the ball high into the net – he’s given offside, but the replays show that he was on.
34’ GOAL! Spain 2 (Ferran Torres 34) Germany 0 It's been coming! A whipped cross from the left is glanced at goal by Olmo from the edge of the six-yard box. It hits the bar and bounces out but sits up perfectly for Ferran Torres, who mercilessly smashes the bouncing ball high into the far corner.
Alvaro Morata of Spain celebrates his team's first goal during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Spain and Germany at Estadio de La Cartuja on November 17, 2020 in Seville, Spain
Image credit: Getty Images
38’ GOAL! Spain 3 (Rodri 38) Germany 0 Another one! Koke outswings a corner into the German area. It finds Rodri, unmarked like most of the Spanish players, and he guides a lovely header past Neuer and into the far corner. This is clinical from Spain, but abysmal at the back from Germany.
55’ GOAL! Spain 4 (Torres 55) Germany 0 It's four! This time Spain eviscerate Germany down the left on the break. Ruiz prods a lovely, weighted ball into space for Gaya, who has nothing but green space in front of him. Gaya takes the ball into the right of the German area before drawing Neuer and squaring it to Torres, who takes a touch before drilling the ball home. This is a battering.
62’ SO CLOSE TO THE HAT-TRICK! Another scintillating Spanish move ends with Koke collecting the ball in the penalty area and back-heeling it to Ferran Torres, who whistles a fierce drive just wide of the far post.
72’ GOAL! Spain 5 (Ferran Torres 72) Germany 0 It's a hat-trick! And it's another brilliant move from Spain. They cut Germany open right down the middle, with Ruiz racing onto a long pass and then feeding Ferran Torres on the left. He doesn't even break stride before sweeping a glorious first time shot past Neuer and into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
89’ GOAL! Spain 6 (Oyarzabal 89) Germany 0 Oh my, it's a sixth! Spain have had Germany trapped in a rondo all night. Rodri lifts a ball over hte German defence to Gaya, whose first touch takes him to the six-yard box. He looks up, squares it to Olazabal and it's a tap-in for 6-0. This is now a seminal thrashing.
Ferran Torres became the first ever Spanish player to score a hat-trick against Germany tonight.