Spain v Germany, Croatia v Portugal and more: Nations League – live!

spain-v-germany,-croatia-v-portugal-and-more:-nations-league-–-live!

“It boggles my mind,” says Yash Gupta, “that it is not even Spain’s best starting XI.”

Spain 5-0 Germany Dave Mandy wonders who was the last player to score a hat-trick against Germany. Michael Owen in 2001? Or has it been done since then?

League D It’s still Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein and Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands. As things stand Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands will be promoted, but a goal for Liechtenstein or Malta would change that.

Spain 5-0 Germany Serge Gnabry hits the bar with an angry long-range strike. Sheesh, he got hold of that.

Spain 5-0 Germany As if it’s not Spain 5-0 Germany.

“I should be doing work, but I’m curious, am I only the only transfixed by League D?” asks Stefan Martens. “It’s quickly become the highlight of every international break for me. The idea that one of Gibraltar or Liechtenstein will be in League C next time round. The sense of disbelief that Latvia (smallish population notwithstanding) finds itself mired in League D when it came close to beating Germany at a major tournament ‘just’ 16 years ago.

“And nothing against Malta (lovely and fascinating country), but my heart sagged when news of their goal in Ta’ Qali came: I’ve always thought the Faroes are a fairly useful side (in a non-patronising sort of way) and I’d be overjoyed to see them in League C next cycle. Maybe one day they could out-Iceland Iceland and all that.”

Latest scores

  • Croatia 2-2 Portugal (A3)
  • France 3-1 Sweden (A3)
  • Spain 5-0 Germany (A4)
  • Switzerland P-P Ukraine (A4 – cancelled)
  • Luxembourg 0-0 Azerbaijan (C1)
  • Montenegro 4-0 Cyprus (C1)
  • Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands (D1)
  • Andorra 0-4 Latvia (D1)
  • Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein (D2)

GOAL! Spain 5-0 Germany (F Torres 72)

Ferran Torres completes a memorable hat-trick with an emphatic finish! Yet again Germany were taken apart on the break, and Torres swept a beautiful first-time shot past Neuer from 20 yards.

GOAL! Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands (Jonsson 70) Ari Mohr Jonsson has equalised for the Faroe Islands! That’s a mighty goal, because a draw would ensure promotion to League C.

GOAL! Andorra 0-4 Latvia (Gutkovskis 70 pen) Andorra are going to finish rock bottom of group D1. On the plus side, there’s no relegation in League D.

“Hi Rob,” says Matt Burtz. “ESPN Plus here in the U.S. gives me a choice of all the games and I’ve gone with Gibraltar – Liechtenstein. Let me tell you, it’s far more entertaining than it has any right to be, even if the level is roughly equal to the National League North. Still 1-1, BTW.”

And if it stays like that, Gibraltar will be promoted to the National League proper.

GOAL! Croatia 2-2 Portugal (Kovacic 65) Mateo Kovacic’s second goal gives Croatia a bit of insurance, just in case Sweden come back to draw in France.

Spain 4-0 Germany Ferran Torres comes this close to his hat-trick, smashing just wide after another lovely move. Spain have been so exciting tonight.

GOAL! Croatia 1-2 Portugal (Joao Felix 60)

GOAL! France 3-1 Sweden (Giroud 59)

It looks like Sweden will be relegated from Group A3.

“This is getting alarming now,” says Jake Lynch. “I fear the DFB will be looking to make a change, and of course there is an obvious candidate at Anfield. I’d been hoping he’d stay a while longer.”

I can’t see it. One day, sure, but not at the moment; he’s not silly.

Germany’s captain Manuel Neuer reacts after Spain’s fourth.

Germany’s captain Manuel Neuer reacts after Spain’s fourth. Photograph: Fran Santiago/Getty Images

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GOAL! Andorra 0-3 Lativa (J Ikaunieks 60) This is the one dead rubber of the night, though Janis Ikaunieks will remember it fondly: he’s scored twice in four minutes.

GOAL! Montenegro 4-0 Cyprus (Mugosa 60) Montenegro are going up, Cyprus are going down.

GOAL! Malta 1-0 Faroe Islands (Guillaumier 54) A big goal in Ta’ Qali. Matthew Guillaumier has given Malta the lead, and if it stays like that they will be promoted to League C!

GOAL! Andorra 0-2 Latvia (J Ikaunieks 57)

GOAL! Spain 4-0 Germany (F Torres 55)

Ferran Torres gets his second, ramming home from close range after a good Spanish break down the left. Germany’s defending has been abysmal.

Spain’s Ferran Torres rams the ball home from close range.

Spain’s Ferran Torres rams the ball home from close range. Photograph: Fran Santiago/Getty Images

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Latest scores

  • Croatia 1-1 Portugal (A3)
  • France 2-1 Sweden (A3)
  • Spain 3-0 Germany (A4)
  • Switzerland P-P Ukraine (A4 – cancelled)
  • Luxembourg 0-0 Azerbaijan (C1)
  • Montenegro 3-0 Cyprus (C1)
  • Malta 0-0 Faroe Islands (D1)
  • Andorra 0-1 Latvia (D1)
  • Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein (D2)

Spain 3-0 Germany There’s much more urgency in Germany’s attacking play in the second half. That’s the good news; the bad news is they need to score at least three times to have any chance of topping the the group.

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GOAL! Croatia 1-1 Portugal (Ruben Dias 52) A potential spanner in Croatia’s works: Ruben Dias has equalised for Portugal in Split. Croatia still have a bit of a cushion with Sweden losing in France, but they are not completely safe.

Spain 3-0 Germany Another chance for Spain. Morata leads a three-on-two break but picks the wrong option and the move peters out. This could easily be 5-0 or 6-0.

Spain 3-0 Germany Manuel Neuer saves with his legs from Dani Olmo, who nicked the ball off Robin Koch and should probably have made it 4-0 to Spain. Germany are all over the show.

“Germany’s pressing of Spain has been uncoordinated and uncontrolled,” writes Paul. “The three midfield players Kroos, Goretzka and Ilkay are so far up the field when Spain build their attacks that some of their forwards are behind them. This seems a crazy idea as only Goretzka is a player who has the ability to be in such an aggressive pressing situation, Both Kroos and Ilkay favour sitting deeper as they are not the quickest. Also ridiculous marking at corners with Gnabry and Ilkay marking powerful and tall headers of the ball.”

It’s been very half-arsed, even down to the marking on set-pieces as you say. Gnabry v Morata? Good luck with that.

Peep peep! The second halves are underway. Germany have brought on Jonathan Tah for Niklas Sule.

“Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “That Berti ‘goal’ still makes my jaw drop every time. There are FOUR England players playing him onside. Thank goodness VAR has put an end to dodgy offside decisions, eh?”

At least in the past you had a bit of clarity – most of the assistant referees were crap, so you knew to expect the unexpected.

“Spanish TV are calling this a festival of football,” says Paulo Biriani. “Can’t blame them. Personal question Rob. You’re not from Portsmouth are you?”

That is a personal question. I’m not, alas. As for Spain, they’ve been brilliant – so dynamic and decisive.

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“Is it time for Joachim Low to quit and fulfil his destiny as a Bond villain?” wonders Rai Skrupskis. “Germany have been diabolical for a while.”

You’re probably right. He’s been doing the same job for 14 years, and I was about to slag him off for phoning it in and staying in his comfort zone until I remembered I’d been at the Guardian since 2004.

Peep peep! These are the half-time scores:

  • Croatia 1-0 Portugal (A3)
  • France 2-1 Sweden (A3)
  • Spain 3-0 Germany (A4)
  • Switzerland P-P Ukraine (A4 – cancelled)
  • Luxembourg 0-0 Azerbaijan (C1)
  • Montenegro 3-0 Cyprus (C1)
  • Malta 0-0 Faroe Islands (D1)
  • Andorra 0-1 Latvia (D1)
  • Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein (D2)

And here’s what it all means, as things stand:

  • A3 Sweden will be relegated
  • A4 Spain will qualify for the Nations League finals
  • C1 Montenegro will be promoted and Cyprus relegated
  • D1 Faroe Islands will be promoted
  • D2 Gibraltar will be promoted

GOAL! Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein (Frick 44) Liechtenstein’s promotion hopes are still alive. Noah Frick has equalised in their must-win match in Gibraltar.

Spain 3-0 Germany Sergio Ramos is the latest man to suffer a hamstring injury. He is replaced by Eric Garcia of Manchester City.

Spain 3-0 Germany This has been a blistering performance from Spain. The scoreline doesn’t flatter them one bit.

GOAL! Spain 3-0 Germany (Rodri 38)

Spain get their second goal of the night from a corner. Fabian Ruiz curls an outswinger towards Rodri, who gets in front of his clubmate Rodri and flicks a superb header into the far corner.

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GOAL! France 2-1 Sweden (Pavard 36) France have come behind to lead in Saint-Denis, and it looks like Sweden will be relegated to League B.

Benjamin Pavard fires in France’s second goal.

Benjamin Pavard fires in France’s second goal. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

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Spain 2-0 Germany F Torres scores against Germany in the 33rd minute; we’ve heard that one before.

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GOAL! Spain 2-0 Germany (F Torres 33)

A deserved goal – not just for Spain but also Ferran Torres, who is having a storming game. Dani Olmo flashed a header onto the bar and Torres smashed the rebound past Manuel Neuer. Spain are heading to next summer’s Nations League final.

Ferran Torres celebrates Spain’s second.

Ferran Torres celebrates Spain’s second. Photograph: Fran Santiago/Getty Images

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