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Isco stars as Spain outclass powerless Italy

Spain take full control of their group after a comprehensive win over Italy, who were embarrassed by a sparkling Isco.

Spain and Italy locked horns at the Bernabeu, in search of a place at the top of group G to qualify automatically for the World Cup in Russia.

The crowd, buzzing prior to kick-off, was thrilled to see the home side get straight on the ball from the beginning, not allowing Italy to get a touch.

The Italians looked content to wait patiently, allowing Spain to play their passing game. However, in one of the first clear chances of the clash, Isco punished Italy’s resignation with a beautiful strike.

Asensio was brought down by Bonucci outside the box and Isco curled the resulting free kick over the wall and away from Buffon’s powerless stretch.

After the goal, Italy looked shaken as they struggled to get a foothold against the free-flowing Spain side. Belotti powered a header towards goal in a rare chance for the visitors, but De Gea did well to parry the ball away.

The team managed by Giampiero Ventura looked shaky as they struggled to cope with Spain’s high line of pressure, but the Italians didn’t give up in their attempts to play the ball from the back.

And the hosts once again asserted their dominance with another stroke of brilliance from Isco. Iniesta found the Real Madrid man at the edge of the box and he created some space before firing low into the bottom corner with his left foot.

After the break, Italy seemed to seek a quick response, but refused to take too many risks when pushing forward. Insigne forced a decent stop from De Gea before Belotti headed over the bar from close range.

However, the apparent resurgence turned to nothing as Spain continued to pass Italy to death, leaving Verratti and De Rossi hopelessly underwhelmed in midfield.

Isco’s fantastic night continued as he nutmegged Verratti with a lovely drag before finding Carvajal out wide. The right-back tried to chip the ball over Buffon, but the experienced keeper did well to block his effort.

Spain were enjoying themselves with the Bernabeu chanting Isco’s name, when teammate Sergio Ramos raced upfield to tee up Morata at the back post. The Chelsea striker made no mistake, scoring his team’s third after coming on off the bench.

There was just enough time for David Villa to make his long-awaited comeback to the national team, making his first appearance in three years.

Spain cruised to a comfortable win with a brilliant display from Isco to go top of group G. Italy picked up their first defeat in 56 qualifiers after they were heavily outclassed by the Spaniards.

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