Luis Enrique’s Spain routs Croatia in Nations League

Luis Enrique’s Spain routs Croatia in Nations League

Croatia is the 2018 World Cup runner-up, winning its group that included Argentina before beating Denmark, Russia and England on the way to the final.

Saul Niguez headed Spain in front before Asensio fired in two spectacular strikes, although the second was credited as an own goal from Lovre Kalinic.

Uefa named Luka Modric as its player of the year less than two weeks ago, but the Croatian captain could not muster up his usual commanding performance for his team, who may still be feeling the impact of a tremendous, yet exhausting, World Cup.

After a disappointing World Cup, Spain have bounced back as a new era under Luis Enrique begins, with two back-to-back victories against formidable opponents in the form of England and Croatia, both of whom had impressive showings in Russian Federation.

Then Rodrigo headed Carvajal's cross early in the 2nd half to make it 4-nil.

They'd have seen Spain edge out England 2-1, with a largely impressive opening display under new boss Luis Enrique - and will now be raring to take on the Spanish themselves at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero in Elche. Croatia and England are both pointless after one game.

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The two teams last met at Euro 2016 when Croatia came away with a 2-1 win after overturning Spain's lead.

In the other League A match on Tuesday, Belgium won 3-0 at Iceland in its Nations League debut.

Ramos's Real Madrid teammate Isco made it six with still 20 minutes for Croatia to endure, when he turned away from Domagoj Vida on the penalty spot and rifled a shot past the helpless Kalinic, with Asensio again the provider.

Enrique took over Spain after the team's elimination against Russian Federation in the round of 16 of the World Cup.

The hosts will need to be in better form against Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard than in their last game, the first without influential manager Heimir Hallgromsson, where they were beaten 6-0 by Switzerland.

In contrast the Belgians poured forward, with Thomas Meunier hitting the foot of the post midway through the second half, and Lukaku blazing a late shot over the bar before steering the ball past Halldorsson to complete the rout.

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