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Champions Spain through after Luxembourg stroll

Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
Santi Cazorla and Paco Alcácer scored two each as the European champions confirmed their passage to UEFA EURO 2016 as Group C winners.

Highlights: Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
  • European champions qualify for UEFA EURO 2016 as Group C winners
  • Santi Cazorla opens and closes scoring either side of two Paco Alcácer strikes
  • Spain lose David Silva and Álvaro Morata to first-half injuries
  • Iker Casillas's clean sheet takes Spain to second-longest run without conceding competitive goal
  • Final qualifiers: Ukraine v Spain, Luxembourg v Slovakia (Monday)

Spain will have the chance to become the first team to win the UEFA European Championship three times in a row, confirming their UEFA EURO 2016 place with a 4-0 victory over Luxembourg in Logrono.

Two goals apiece for Santi Cazorla and substitute Paco Alcácer put the 2008 and 2012 tournament winners through to France next summer.

However, it was not as straightforward as the result suggests. As the spurned first-half chances accumulated, the more nervous among La Roja's supporters would have chewed their fingernails at the sight of David Silva and Álvaro Morata, two of Spain's more likely scorers, limping and being stretchered off respectively inside the first 33 minutes.

Even so, Juanfran rampaged down the right to good effect yet Jordi Alba, at the back post, spooned the first opportunity over. Morata himself was shooting on sight but without impact. Against that, however, Gerard Piqué – who had been both whistled and cheered by the Las Gaunas crowd – made a brave interception to rob Stefano Bensi near Spain's goalmouth.

Santi Cazorla scored twice
Santi Cazorla scored twice©Getty Images

The aperitif to the opener came midway through the first half when Marc Bartra won a tackle in his area to initiate a flowing one-touch move ended with Cazorla smacking a pile-driver off the Luxembourg crossbar.

The latter went one better three minutes before half-time. After Jonathan Joubert saved Pedro Rodríguez's shot from a Juanfran cross, the rebound fell for the Arsenal midfielder to ram it into the net.

Luc Holtz's team worked fiendishly hard in their pressing to ensure Spain couldn't cut loose but the more the match went on, the more a second goal seemed immiment given the hosts' domination.

So it proved. In the 67th minute a Cesc Fàbregas through ball left Alcácer alone against Joubert and he slid home easily. Then, with ten minutes left, Alba hared towards the byline to rescue a Pedro pass and was rewarded when the Valencia striker touched the ensuing delivery into an open net.

Spain's procession was complete when Nolito invited Cazorla to let fly from 20 metres – which he did with some aplomb.