Luis Enrique can find no fault in Spain’s thrashing of Croatia

Luis Enrique could not fault Spain’s attitude as they produced a superb display to thrash World Cup finalists Croatia 6-0 in Elche.

Marco Asensio scored one, saw another strike rebound off the crossbar and go in off the goalkeeper and set up three second-half goals as La Roja took firm control of Group A4 of the UEFA Nations League.

After following up Saturday’s win against England at Wembley, Spain are already closing in on a place in the final four.

“The attitude of all the players has been very good,” Enrique said in his post-match press conference, according to Marca.

“It is difficult to criticise anything in a match that saw such a high level of performance.

“I have nothing to object against, I liked almost everything I saw.”

Croatia were showing five changes from the side that lost July’s final to France in Russia, but player of the tournament Luka Modric was among the starters as his country suffered their biggest defeat – their previous worst result being a 5-1 loss to England at Wembley in 2009.

Luka Modric's side suffered a heavy defeat
Luka Modric’s side suffered a heavy defeat (Alberto Saiz/AP)

And it was one of Modric’s club mates who stole the show, with Asensio scoring his first international goal and setting up Real team-mates Sergio Ramos and Isco as well as Valencia striker Rodrigo.

Former Barcelona boss Enrique named a starting XI featuring six Real players in total and just one from his former team – midfielder Sergio Busquets.

But Enrique insisted he did not have any thoughts about a player’s club when naming his side.

“I did not know or care,” he said. “They belong to the Spanish national team, nothing more. They are not from one team or another. ​​I only see a shirt, that of the national team.”

Marco Asensio produced a scintillating display
Marco Asensio produced a scintillating display (Alberto Saiz/AP)

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul had given Spain a 23rd-minute lead – after Croatia right-back Sime Vrsaljko had been forced off through injury – before Asensio scored and then forced Lovre Kalinic’s own goal in quick succession.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic told his national federation’s website: “Of course this is the toughest moment in my coaching career, but that is life. We have to accept what has happened.

“Congratulations to Spain on a great game and a big win. It’s not easy for us, but we have to pull out the lessons and go ahead. We will not sit and cry. Let’s work.

“We played great in the first 20 minutes, we had three chances, we did what we agreed, but we did break down after Spain’s goal.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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