UEFA Nations League Report: Spain v Croatia 11 September 2018

Spain's midfielder Saul Niguez celebrates after scoring at Wembley

Spain started the second half with the same intensity as they had in the first half, and it didn't take them long to score.

However, Luis Enrique's charges drew first blood in the 24th minute through Saul Niguez, who headed home a cross from Dani Carvajal.

"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".

Spain followed up Saturday's 2-1 victory over England at Wembley by thrashing Croatia, this summer's World Cup finalists, 6-0 in Alicante. However, it is the biggest defeat in Croatia's history, so it was a dismal day for them.

Luis Enrique admitted after Spain's 6-0 win over Croatia that he has the backbone of the team well in place now and there has been a notable power shift in personnel from Barcelona to Real Madrid.

The hosts soon increased their lead with two thumping strikes from Marco Asensio, the second of which was given as an own goal to Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic as it bounced off him after crashing against the crossbar. Sergio Ramos added to the scoreline with a header from Asensio's corner after some terrible marking.

The two nations are facing each other for the seventh time, with Croatia taking the last meeting - a 2-1 win at Euro 2016.

Luis Enrique couldn't have asked for a much better start as coach of Spain's national team.

Isco capped Spain's offensive show with a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 70th minute.

Belgium, meanwhile, thrashed Scotland 4-0 at Hampden Park on Friday night, and have lost only one of their last 26 games, that being the World Cup semi-final to France. Spain was eliminated during the round of 16 of the World Cup, losing to Russian Federation on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The centre-back was consistently excellent in Russian Federation but was given a torrid time here. In the 57th minute, Spain captain Sergio Ramos headed in his 14th global goal for the team's fifth on the night.

"Croatia are the World Cup runners-up and all teams will be motivated against us - and we have to be aware of that".

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