Santi Cazorla was one of seven different scorers as Spain beat Malta 7-0 in Cadiz.
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Santi Cazorla and debutants Pau Torres and Dani Olmo scored as Spain beat Malta with a flourish to secure top spot in qualifying Group F in style.
Robert Moreno’s biggest win as Spain coach came courtesy of seven different scorers in all, Cazorla finding the net for his country for the first time in four years. Jesús Navas's exquisite seventh was the pick of the goals, while Álvaro Morata, Pablo Sarabia and Gerard Moreno also got in on the act.
The last time Spain played here in Cadiz, in November 2006, it ended in defeat by Romania after which they didn't lose a single game until they'd won UEFA EURO 2008. Will this thumping, often electrifying 7-0 win that incorporated debut goals, super movement and hungry attitude, spark something similar ahead of next summer?
State of play
- Spain have qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 as Group F winners.
- Malta can no longer qualify via European Qualifiers group stage.
Robert Moreno, Spain coach: "The contribution of people like Santi [Cazorla], Sergio [Ramos] and Raúl [Albiol] – the generation who have already won tournaments – is incalculable. They have such quality and it's hard to win tournaments without their kind of experience. They've accumulated things that they not only contribute in performance but transmit to others.
“I note that the players are remembering what I told them the last time we were together and the time before that. We are apart for weeks or months but the momentum is growing so that they put into practice what I asked of them previously. That's good."
Ray Farrugia, Malta coach: "We played poorly at set plays and conceded too many goals from those situations but we lost to the best team in the world, in my opinion. This Spain is much better than the Spain side that beat us 12-1 in 1983 – I'm telling you, they are the best in the world."
- Midfielder Dani Olmo and defender Pau Torres scored debut goals for Spain.
- Cazorla’s last goal for Spain was against England in November 2015.
- This was Spain’s heaviest margin of victory under coach Robert Moreno.
- Spain have scored in each of their last 39 matches. They have struck 53 goals in their last 14 fixtures.
- Spain have only conceded five goals in their last ten outings.
- Spain are unbeaten in 27 (W24 D3) EURO and World Cup qualifiers, since a 2-1 loss in Slovakia in October 2014.
- Malta have lost their last eight matches without scoring.
Spain: Pau López; Jesús Navas, Albiol, Ramos (Pau Torres 60), Bernat; Thiago, Rodri, Cazorla (Alcácer 53); Moreno, Morata (Olmo 66), Sarabia
Malta: Bonello; Corbolan (Micallef 33), Caruana, Agius, Z Muscat, Pisani (Grech 75); Paiber, Vella, R Muscat (Caruana 63), Mbong; Nwoko