Spain make it rain goals in Cadiz, Carzola shows his worth and quality again
Spain were a little disappointing during the last international break, drawing away to Norway before only beating Sweden with a last-minute winner from Rodrigo Moreno, but La Roja looked back to their former selves on Friday night as they beat Malta 7-0 in Cadiz.
In some ways, the seven goals scored felt like an homage to David Villa, Spain’s record goalscorer who this week announced his decision to retire at the end of the season.
However, the story of the night was the dominance of Santi Cazorla in the middle of the park, before being substituted in the 53rd minute for Paco Alcacer.
Santi Cazorla’s fight and determination should be shown in schools across Spain, with the 34-year-old fighting back from some serious injuries to rediscover his best form.
His return to Villarreal in the summer of 2018 was regarded as a last-ditch attempt to try and remain at the top level, but you could make an argument that Cazorla is now the first name on the team sheet in midfield for La Roja.
Cazorla’s brilliance was on display in Cadiz, where he scored and dominated Malta, all in under an hour. He received a standing ovation as he walked off, too.
Gerard Moreno once again showed Robert Moreno that he has something to offer this Spain team.
Rather than act like a typical No.9, the Villarreal striker showed a willingness to link up with Alvaro Morata and the oncoming midfielders, which was shown with him picking up two assists.
Gerard got on the scoresheet himself as he was left wide open in the box to tap in, following a pass from Juan Bernat, and he will no doubt fight for a spot in Spain’s squad for Euro 2020.
Rarely, or never, have two of Spain’s debutants both scored with their first and second touches of the ball.
Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres came on for his debut with La Roja and found the back of the net one minute later.
Then, later, Dani Olmo came on and netted with his second touch. Clinical finishing from the both of them.
Another who got his name on the scoresheet was Pablo Sarabia, who also seized the opportunity handed to him by Robert Moreno.
Sarabia was only in the squad because of injuries to Rodrigo Moreno and Adama Traore, both of whom were called up ahead of him, but his performances in training led to the Spain boss starting him from the off against Malta.
The Paris Saint-Germain playmaker played the full 90 minutes at a high level, recording an assist and scoring a goal, although he could have added to his tally with better finishing. Overall, a night to be happy with for Sarabia.