Argentina were unable to contain the ruthlessness of Spain’s attackers as an Isco inspired La Roja side demolishes the Messi-less South Americans.
The fixture being a friendly probably saved Argentina’s blushes. Had it been a competitive game, it would have been a disaster. Spain thoroughly deserved this victory, and there were plenty of goals to show for that credit. Diego Costa, Thiago and Iago Aspas all scored, but Isco was the star man with a scintillating hat-trick.
Asensio was by far the most lethal Spanish player, laying on two brilliant assists for Costa and Isco. Nicolas Otamendi did pull a goal back before the break, but that summed up the night for Argentina as Spain came back in the second half for a dominant performance to finish the night 6-1.
Argentina on the other hand, sorely missed their talisman, Lionel Messi among other key players, who on the pitch could have made an enormous difference. The Argentine defence will mainly be in focus after such a disastrous performance, as these were the first choice centre-backs for the South Americans.
How did the players fare for both sides?
David de Gea – 7/10
Had very little to do all night, as Argentina lacked in the attack. Will be disappointed with Otamendi’s goal, as he could have done more about it. He did get his name on the assists’ sheet as Aspas scored off his long kick for Spain’s fifth.
Jordi Alba – 7/10
An energetic presence as always, Alba defended well but was still in positions when an attack happened. Could have scored himself in the second half.
Sergio Ramos – 8/10
Capped a fine 150th appearance in Spain colours. Led the Spanish defence at his best and dealt with some potentially dangerous crosses that came his way.
Gerard Pique – 7/10
Like Ramos, Pique too played well in defence. Although there were boos from his own supporters, he did not care much. Unlucky for him as he went off with an injury.
Daniel Carvajal – 6.5/10
After a relatively slow start to the game, Carvajal got into the game and produced a good performance.
Iniesta – 7/10
Another fantastic performance from Iniesta, who was roundly applauded by the crowd when he was substituted in the second half.
Thiago Alcantara – 7.5/10
His gameplay brings much-needed balance to the team. To cap off an excellent performance, he scored Spain’s fourth goal of the night.
Koke – 7/10
Some players seem to disappear in the aftermath of a goal feast. Koke did not do anything eye-catching against Argentina but was vital in controlling the midfield.
Marco Asensio – 8/10
Two brilliant first-half assists for Costa and Isco’s goals. He seems to have made his mark on the Spanish national team and will be confident of being selected for the World Cup in Russia.
Diego Costa – 7/10
He was our man to watch, and duly scored Spain’s opening goal. Seems to have injured himself in the process of composing that goal, and was much less of a threat afterwards. Replaced by Iago Aspas at the break.
Isco – 9.5/10
A near perfect performance from the Real Madrid playmaker. Scored his first international hat-trick, but is attacking play was much more complete. There were chances for him to score more, but he will be satisfied with his performance and the match-ball.
Iago Aspas – 8.5/10
Super-sub? A top class performance from the Celta Vigo forward, who came on to replace Diego Costa at the break. He contributed with three assists as well as scored Spain’s fifth goal off a De Gea long kick.
Saul – 6.5
Replaced Iniesta in the second half, and duly controlled the midfield for Spain.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6
Replaced the injured Pique and did well to control the defence from any potential Argentine attacks.
Lucas Vazquez – 6
He did take part in late Spain attacks, but did not score or assist.
Dani Parejo – N/A
Sergio Romero – 5
Despite his brave act to come forward for the goal, which ended with the ball heading into the back of the net and Romero being substituted through injury, he was decent in goal.
Nicolas Tagliafico – 5
He must not have anticipated such a dominant Spain performance and was pegged back time and again by La Roja attackers.
Marcus Rojo – 3
Not a performance one would expect from Argentina’s first choice centre-back. Time and again was caught out by Spain’s attackers and kept on repeating the same mistakes.
Nicolas Otamendi – 4
As one would think his goal might save his blushes, but that won’t be the case. Was equally responsible like Rojo for letting Spain score six.
Fabricio Bustos – 4
A night to forget for Bustos who was caught out many times on his side.
Javier Mascherano – 4
A night when he equalled Javier Zanetti’s appearance record for Argentina became a night he surely would want to forget.
Lucas Biglia – 3.5/10
Right from the start, Biglia lost control of the midfield and potentially gave the game away to Spain in that area.
Maximiliano Meza – 4/10
His one-two move in the first half, where he could have scored was the only highlight of his debut match. Seemed to lose his cool from time to time in the second half and was lucky not to have got sent off.
Ever Banega – 4/10
Provided the assist from the corner for Argentina’s solitary goal, but had an awful game otherwise.
Lo Celso – 3/10
A night to forget for Lo Celso, as he could not create much for his team to attack, but seemed reluctant to defend or track back after losing balls.
Gonzalo Higuain – 4
Performances like these will harm his reputation as one of world football’s most lethal strikers. Awful night for the Juventus frontman.