Spain inflict historic defeat on Germany to qualify for Nations League finals
Seville (Spain) (AFP) –
Spain dealt Germany their worst defeat in 89 years on Tuesday as a stunning 6-0 victory in Seville sent them through to the Nations League semi-finals.
Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scoreline in a friendly in 1931.
Spain were as sublime as Germany were abysmal in Seville, where Ferran Torres scored a brilliant hat-trick to justify his reputation as one of football's most exciting prospects.
Alvaro Morata and Rodri were also on target to make it 3-0 before even half-time and while Sergio Ramos went off injured to give Real Madrid a headache, Germany failed to stem the tide.
Instead, Torres grabbed two more and Mikel Oyarzabal added a sixth late on to put the finishing touches to Germany's second ever heaviest defeat, their worst a 9-0 loss at the hands of England Amateurs in 1909.
Joachim Loew oversaw Germany winning the World Cup in 2014 but even he, after 14 years in charge, will be under pressure after a humiliation like this.
Yet just as the result will spark a period of German introspection, Spain finally produced a performance under Luis Enrique to give them hope of being genuine contenders at next summer's European Championship.
They join France in the Nations League final four.
Germany never found a foothold in the first half, their passive approach coming in stark contrast to Spain's aggression, intensity and speed.
But the opener was surprisingly straightforward, Morata heading in a corner after being left alone with a completely unsuitable marker in Serge Gnabry at the back post.
Torres was causing havoc down the right flank as he fired one shot wide, then crossed for Morata to tap in, only for the striker to be ruled incorrectly offside. Another Torres shot was denied by Manuel Neuer's right boot.
But the openings kept coming and Germany capitulated. Dani Olmo headed Koke's cross against the crossbar and Torres steadied himself at the back post before lashing the ball into the top corner on the half-volley.
A brilliant glancing header from Rodrigo made it three before half-time and while an injury to Ramos might have offered Germany a way back, instead Spain ran riot.
Olmo could have made it four before Torres did, a scintillating counter-attack ending with Jose Luis Gaya bursting forward and squaring for the winger to finish into an open net.
Morata was just out of reach of another fizzing Gaya cross while a sweeping Spain move deserved a goal, but Torres missed the target after a Koke backheel.
The worry for Germany was there were 19 minutes left when Torres sealed his hat-trick and Spain's fifth, the pitch wide open as he sprinted clear and whipped into the corner.
But there was only one more goal to come, Oyarzabal finishing off another slick Spanish move in the box and finally bringing an end to Germany's embarrassment.
© 2020 AFP