Spain 5-0 Iceland: Morata double guides La Roja to victory
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Alvaro Morata was star of the show for Spain in the victory over Iceland.
Alvaro Morata was star of the show for Spain in the victory over Iceland.

Alvaro Morata's first-half double helped Spain to a rampant 5-0 win over Iceland on Tuesday, as the hosts signed off the March international break in style.

The striker netted a close-range finish and a penalty in a five-minute burst before the break at Riazor, to join an elite band of players in reaching the quarter-century goal mark for La Roja.

Yeremi Pino's effort and two goals from Pablo Sarabia in the second half made it a handsome victory for Luis Enrique's hosts, who looked a class above their frequently overwhelmed visitors.

With just two shots to their name throughout the entire match, Arnar Vidarsson's side seldom troubled their hosts, whose performance offered a timely reminder of their Qatar 2022 credentials eight months out from the World Cup.

Having struggled to carve Albania open until the last quarter-hour in their friendly on Saturday, Spain initially looked in similar trouble over the opening 30 minutes in A Coruna once again.

But with over 80 per cent of the ball to their name, it felt like only a matter of time before they found the opener, and Morata duly provided nine minutes out from the interval.

The Juventus striker latched onto Hugo Guillamon's pass, stepped over by Carlos Soler in a superb feint, and smuggled home a finish at the left post past Runar Alex Runarsson.

Morata was on hand to double Spain's lead three minutes later when Dani Olmo was fouled in the box by Birkir Bjarnason, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a cool finish from the spot.

Iceland's hopes of a fightback looked particularly remote at merely two goals down, but they became nonexistent when Yeremi nudged home at the left post moments after the interval.

Sarabia's subsequent header around the hour mark, followed by a simple tap-in from the same player, added gloss to the scoreline in a supreme Spanish performance.

What does it mean? Spain deliver dominant performance

After a match where they were made to wait for their reward against Albania last time out, Spain will have been delighted their possession paid dividends far earlier in this encounter, with the hosts having an astonishing 86.9 per cent of the ball in the first half.

Having qualified for both Euro 2016 and Russia 2018, Iceland presented a theoretically more difficult challenge for Luis Enrique's side than Albania did, and the former Barcelona boss will delight in how they took apart their visitors, even if there are far tougher tests to come in a World Cup year.

Morata writes himself into history books

Though he made way shortly before the hour mark, the experienced Morata had already completed his job for the day.

Only seven other men have scored 25 goals for Spain, and Morata now moves clear into eighth outright on the all-time list, having previously been level with Alfredo Di Stefano and Sergio Ramos on 23.

Yeremi reinforces bright future for hosts

Sandwiched between doubles for Morata and Sarabia, Villarreal winger Yeremi made the most of his maiden start for his country, with the teenager getting himself on the scoresheet too.

At 19 years and 160 days, he has become the second youngest player to score for Spain since at least September 2006, after Ansu Fati, who scored at 17 years and 311 days in September 2020.

What's next?

Spain get their Nations League campaign under way against neighbours Portugal on June 2, while Iceland do the same against Israel on the same day.


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