UEFA Nations League Report: Spain v Croatia 11 September 2018

Luis Enrique shouts instructions to his players during a training session on Monday afternoon

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.

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

Sept 12 ― Luis Enrique described it as the ideal start after Spain backed up their win over England with a 6-0 demolition of Croatia yesterday.

Spain followed its gritty 2-1 win against England at Wembley Stadium last week with a 6-0 rout of World Cup runner-up Croatia on Tuesday, keeping Enrique ideal since taking over as La Roja's coach.

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.

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.

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. "We've played two teams that went very far in the World Cup and these victories are very important to reach the final phase, which is a challenge we have set ourselves", added Asensio.

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"They belong to the Spanish national team, nothing more".

Croatia will hope to get their first Nations League points when they host England next month.

The centre-back was consistently excellent in Russian Federation but was given a torrid time here.

Spain's next match takes place in exactly a month, when they visit Cardiff for a friendly match four days before hosting England in the Nations League.

Although this was a night on which a new generation of global stars were born, Sergio Ramos was not to be left out as the defender lost his marker from a corner to head home his fourth goal of the season on 57 minutes.

In June, Asensio actually commented directly on interest from Liverpool, saying: "When the World Cup is over, we'll talk about that sort of thing, now I'm focused on selection [for Spain]".

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