Classy Spain hit Croatia for six

Spain 6-0 Croatia
The holders and Group 5 winners took their goal tally from eight games to 27 and fired a warning to the other teams in the hat for the play-off draw.

Gerard Deulofeu was one of Spain's goalscorers in Alicante
Gerard Deulofeu was one of Spain's goalscorers in Alicante ©RFEF

Holders Spain offered a reminder, if one were needed, of the threat they will pose in the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying play-offs as they concluded their Group 5 programme with a 6-0 rout of Croatia.

In only Julen Lopetegui's second match as coach, Spain posted their second 6-0 home win of a campaign which has also brought a 7-2 victory in Georgia. With seven wins out of eight and 27 goals scored they will be the team to avoid in the play-off draw; for a Croatia side who were already five down at half-time, by contrast, now is the time to go home and lick their wounds.

Spain needed only three minutes to go in front as Isco set up Pablo Sarabia to score. Gerard Deulofeu made it 2-0 after 10 minutes, the FC Barcelona youngster dribbling past Šime Vrsaljko and Dario Župarić before finishing past Simon Sluga.

Deulofeu then set up Álvaro Vázquez for the third goal after 17 minutes before Sarabia crossed for Isco to make it four just after the half-hour. By the 38th minute it was 5-0 as captain Martín Montoya came in off the right wing, cut inside Mario Tičinović and beat Sluga with a left-foot shot.

Croatia managed to keep the score down thereafter although Spain did still add a sixth late on as Álvaro got his second after a fine cross from Tello.