Spain 3-0 Turkey: Alvaro Morata answers critics with double as holders run riot


On a day when sickening violence and brutality cast its shadow over Euro 2016 once again, it was left to the artists of Spain to remind us just how beautiful this game can be.

Some may question if this Spanish team matches up to their European champions of 2008 and 2012, and they were far from convincing in an opening Group D victory over the Czech Republic.

But as the tournament was subjected to another depressing display of hooliganism courtesy of Croatia, Vicente Del Bosque’s side demonstrated in emphatic fashion that they will not be giving up their title easily as they recorded the biggest win of the finals so far to coast into the last 16. 

Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in in Spain's 3-0 victory over Group D rivals Turkey on Friday night

Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in in Spain’s 3-0 victory over Group D rivals Turkey on Friday night

Spain celebrate their third goal which sealed victory and their place in the knockout stages when Morata (left) finished a fine move

Spain celebrate their third goal which sealed victory and their place in the knockout stages when Morata (left) finished a fine move

Celta Vigo winger Nolito (second from right) celebrates after adding a second for the holders just three minutes after Morata's opener

Celta Vigo winger Nolito (second from right) celebrates after adding a second for the holders just three minutes after Morata’s opener

Spain captain Sergio Ramos receives a yellow card after just two minutes for a barge on Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz

Spain captain Sergio Ramos receives a yellow card after just two minutes for a barge on Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz

Juventus striker Morata takes a strike on goal early in the first half as Turkey No 6 Hakan Calhanoglu looks on in the first half

Juventus striker Morata takes a strike on goal early in the first half as Turkey No 6 Hakan Calhanoglu looks on in the first half

Gerard Pique stretches to win a header against Turkey full back Caner Erkin during the Group D game at the Stade de Nice

Gerard Pique stretches to win a header against Turkey full back Caner Erkin during the Group D game at the Stade de Nice

Real Madrid defender Ramos climbs on Gokhan Gonul before Ozan Tufan (right) head the ball away during the first half

Real Madrid defender Ramos climbs on Gokhan Gonul before Ozan Tufan (right) head the ball away during the first half

Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas (centre) is crowded out by Topal (left) and Calhanoglu during the Group D game in Nice

Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas (centre) is crowded out by Topal (left) and Calhanoglu during the Group D game in Nice

MATCH FACTS

Spain (4-3-3): De Gea 6.5; Juanfran 7, Pique 7, Ramos 6.5, Jordi Alba 7 (Azpilicueta 81); Fabregas 7 (Koke 71, 6.5), Busquets 6.5, Iniesta 9; Silva 7 (Soriano 64, 6), Morata 8, Nolito 7.5

Subs: Casillas, Barta, Vazquez, Pedro, Bellerin, Alcantara, San Jose, Adruiz, Rico

Booked: Ramos

Goals: Morata 34′ 48′, Nolito 37′

Turkey (4-5-1): Babacan 5; Gonul 5, Topal 4, Balta 5.5, Erkin 5; Calhanoglu 5 (Sahin 46, 6), Tufan 6, Inan 5 (Malli 71, 6), Ozyakup 6 (Sahan 62, 6), Turan 5; Yilmaz 5.5

Subs: Kivrak, Kaya, Calik, Tosun, Koybasi, Sen, Mor, Ozbayrakli, Tekin

Booked: Burac, Yilmaz

MOM: Iniesta

Referee: Milorad Mazic 7 

‘It is always difficult to compare teams with the title winners of 2008 and 2012,’ said Del Bosque afterwards.

‘Some of the best Spanish footballers have retired since. Each tournament has its truth. The ideal in every game is to quickly make our mark and my players understand that very well. We’re not worried.’

Monday will mark the 12th anniversary since Spain last lost in the Euros, against hosts Portugal in 2004.

It is now 14 games unbeaten, not to mention 11 hours and 30 minutes without conceding a goal, a tournament record.

It is a remarkable achievement, and one that Spain never looked likely to blemish in Nice on Friday night.

Del Bosque’s…



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