Spain made an insipid Saturday a footnote on the road to the UEFA Nations League semifinals with a blowout of poor Germany on Tuesday.
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Man City stars played a huge role in the win, and a club teammate did the same in Portugal’s win in Croatia, while two Chelsea stars bagged braces in UNL action.
Spain 6-0 Germany
The Spanish drew 10-man Switzerand 1-1 at the weekend and penalty maestro Sergio Ramos saw now one but two penalties saved by Swiss backstop Yann Sommer, oddly enough a Bundesliga hero.
That put Germany one point ahead of Spain and in the driver’s seat for the semifinals if they could simply not lose in Seville.
Spain out-attempted the visitors 21-1 and forced four saves out of Manuel Neuer, whose 96th cap was the first time he’s allowed more than four goals in a Germany shirt.
Four of the goals came from Manchester City stars, with Ferran Torres scoring a hat trick and Rodri also finding the net after Alvaro Morata opened the scoring.
Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz had two assists in the win and also set up Jose Luis Gaya’s assist on Torres’ second, one of two assists for Valencia’s Gaya. Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal scored the final goal of the onslaught.
This seems likely to be the end of the celebrated Joachim Low era, especially with EURO coming up and Germany in a daunting group with France, Portugal, and Hungary. He led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title as well as a third-place finish in 2010.
¡Doblete de Ferran Torres!⚽💥
Hoy no pinta un buen día para Manuel Neuer ya es el cuarto gol que España logra concretar 😫
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) November 17, 2020
France 4-2 Sweden
Sweden took a 1-0 lead through Viktor Claesson in the fourth minute and Didier Deschamps had an early worry of losing to Finland and Sweden at home inside of a week.
But Olivier Giroud scored off a Marcus Thuram feed and Benjamin Pavard gave the French a 2-1 lead at the break. Kylian Mbappe would assist Giroud’s second for the already-clinched Bleus.
A draw would’ve been enough for Sweden to avoid relegation to League B, but the equalizer did not materialize despite Robin Quaison’s late marker. Instead, Kingsley Coman combined with Lucas Digne to put France’s fourth on the board.
Croatia 2-3 Portugal
Determined not to be outdone by his new club teammate, Man City center back Ruben Dias feasted twice in Portugal’s comeback win over 10-man Croatia.
Dias leveled the score in the 52nd minute, a minute after Marko Rog had been sent off for Croatia with the hosts holding a Mateo Kovacic-inspired lead.
Joao Felix put Portugal up 2-1 off a Diogo Jota feed, but Kovacic answered in the 65th. Dias struck in stoppage time to complete his brace as reigning UNL champs Portugal finished on an unlucky 13 points, three behind advancing France.
Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands
How about a shout for the Faroe Islands, who is promoted to League C after an unbeaten group stage?
The autonomous territory within Denmark started 3W-1D but left advancement in the balance after a 1-1 draw with Latvia led to a 1-0 deficit on Tuesday.
But Sandnes’ Ari Mohr Jonsson scored eight minutes after subbing into the match and Faroe Islands are moving on up.
Montenegro 4-0 Cyprus
Luxembourg 0-0 Azerbaijan
Andorra 0-5 Latvia
Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein