SEVILLE: Ferran Torres scored a hat-trick as Spain thrashed Germany 6-0 in Seville to clinch a place in the Nations League Finals.
Alvaro Morata’s header began the rout before the Manchester City forward fired home his first of the night on the rebound; it was as good as over by half-time after his City’s team-mate Rodri headed in.
Shortly after the break Torres finished off a quick counter attack to end any faint hopes of a Germany comeback, and completed his hat-trick with a curled, first-time strike that gave Manuel Neuer no chance.
There was still time for Mikel Oyarzabal to tap in and cap a miserable night for the Germans, who had only needed a draw to win Group A2.
This was the Germans’ second-highest defeat ever and the worst in the post-war era. Previous thrashings were 9-0 against England on November 16, 1909, in Oxford then 6-0 against Austria in Berlin on September 13, 1931. The last time they conceded six or more was in the 8-3 first round defeat by Hungary in Basel in the 1954 World Cup.
Relegation in the group is still to be decided after Switzerland’s clash with Ukraine in Lucerne was called off following more positive Covid-19 tests in the visitors’ camp.
France had already made sure of their place in the last-four tournament, and finished off their A3 campaign with a 4-2 win over Sweden, who are regulated to League B.
Sweden had taken an early lead at Stade de France through a deflected shot from Viktor Claesson after just four minutes.
Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud soon equalised, before right-back Benjamin Pavard made it 2-1 in the 36th minute after Marcus Thuram’s shot was blocked.
Substitute Kylian Mbappe teed up Giroud to head home his second just before the hour.
Robin Quaison struck a late consolation for the Swedes, but Kingsley Coman had only been on for a few minutes when he scored a fourth for Les Bleus in stoppage time.
Portugal, the inaugural Nations League winners, scored a late winner from Manchester City defender Ruben Dias to sign off with a 3-2 win over Croatia, who finished with 10 men in Split.
Mateo Kovacic put the home side ahead when he tucked in a rebound after 29 minutes, but Croatia – who themselves could have been relegated if results went against them – had Marko Rog sent off for a second caution soon after the restart.
Manchester City defender Dias equalised in the 52nd minute with his first international goal, with Joao Felix adding a second for Portugal on the hour.
Kovacic hauled the World Cup runners-up level five minutes later, but Dias sealed victory for Portugal when he capitalised on a fumble from the Croatia goalkeeper.