Spain kicked off their World Cup preparations with a dominant 6-1 win against Argentina at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday evening.
La Roja have not suffered a defeat since Euro 2016 when they were beaten in the Round of 16 by Italy and Julen Lopetegui’s side, who still have a friendly against Switzerland before this summer’s finals, reinforced their rank as one of the competition’s favourites with the destruction of another heavily fancied side.
Argentina and Jorge Sampaoli, admittedly without a number of their stars such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, will now have a lot of work to do between now and June if they are to be in contention to lift the trophy.
Spain dominate from the start
Gonzalo Higuain could have opened the scoring inside the first ten minutes of the game but he failed to convert from close-range.
Spain took the lead in the first 12 minutes of the game when Diego Costa went in bravely for a 50-50 ball with Sergio Romero.
The former Chelsea player was hurt in the process, however, he managed to stay on his home field. However, the Manchester United number two, who was competing against club-mate David De Gea had to leave the field as he could not recover.
Willy Caballero took over for the South Americans, but it was a night to forget for the shot-stopper. Having made his first appearance for Argentina in the friendly win against Italy last Friday, he saw the ball hit the back of his net more often than not.
Spain doubled their lead 15 minutes later through Isco when he was on the end of a pass across the box from Marco Asensio and coolly slotted in the bottom corner.
Sampaoli will have thought his side were back in the match just before half-time when he saw Nicolas Otamendi head in from a corner, however, that was as good as it got for La Albiceleste.
Much of the same in the second half
The European giants started the second half in the same vein as they did the first, finding the back of the net through Isco to double his tally on the night.
Three minutes later, La Roja made it 4-1 when Thiago Alcantara struck the ball past a helpless Caballero before things got even worse for Argentina.
A long-range pass from De Gea found Iago Aspas free in-between the defence and the Celta de Vigo attacker finished the ball with confidence.
One minute later, another defensive error from the South Americans gave Isco his hat-trick as the European giants completed their rout.
Tension within the game started to boil between the two nations, with a number of challenges starting to fly in, however, referee Anthony Taylor had it under control and ended the game without any stoppage time.
What's next for both nations?
Spain will head to Russia in full confidence as they prepare to play Portugal, Iran and Morocco in the Group Stages, whilst Argentina will be looking for a much better performance, as well as the return of their stars when they face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in one of the tricker groups.