Spain were emphatic winners against Costa Rica in their opening 2022 World Cup match, with Barcelona teenager Gavi among the scorers.
Gavi marked becoming Spain’s youngest player at a major tournament with a goal in an emphatic 7-0 win over Costa Rica as La Roja kicked off their Qatar 2022 campaign in style.
Group E rivals Germany suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Japan earlier on Wednesday, but Spain did not look under any threat after Dani Olmo gave them an 11th-minute lead.
That was La Roja’s 100th World Cup goal and another two followed inside the opening 31 minutes through Marco Asensio’s strike and a Ferran Torres penalty.
Torres doubled his tally early in the second half and Gavi then steered in a delightful volley, before substitutes Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata added two more late on.
Spain vs Costa Rica player ratings, World Cup
1. Spain (4-3-3)
GK: Unai Simon – 6/10 – Had very, very little to do. Acted as another outfielder as Enrique insists.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta – 6/10 – There were a few eyebrows raised when he was named in the starting XI. In hindsight, such a walkover was perfect for Azpilicueta to come in for the ill Dani Carvajal.
CB: Rodri – 6/10 – Enrique clearly doesn’t trust a lot of his centre-back options, starting a natural midfielder in defence.
CB: Aymeric Laporte – 6/10 – Had an early miscommunication with Busquets but was fine from there on in.
LB: Jordi Alba – 8/10 – Like Azpilicueta, there have been questions over Alba’s continued involvement with the Spain setup, but he rolled back the years with a classic lung-busting performance here.
DM: Sergio Busquets – 7/10 – Another of Enrique’s old guard who looked right at home in such game played at their own pace.
CM: Gavi – 10/10 – How about that for a major tournament debut? Gavi flittered between the lines and looked the spit of the legendary midfielders who preceded him.
CM: Pedri – 8/10 – Ditto. Spain’s future is in safe hands as long as the Barcelona duo remain fit.
RW: Ferran Torres – 8/10 – The quietest of Spain’s front three but still scored twice had joy running down both flanks.
CF: Marco Asensio – 8/10 – Whether running in behind or dropping deep, Asensio looked like a natural centre forward and gave Costa Rica’s defenders headaches throughout.
LW: Dani Olmo – 9/10 – Worked perfectly in tandem with his fellow attackers and supporting-cast midfielders.
SUB: Alvaro Morata (57′ for Torres) – 8/10
SUB: Carlos Soler (57′ for Pedri) – 7/10
SUB: Alejandro Balde (64′ for Alba) – 7/10
SUB: Koke (64′ for Busquets) – 6/10
SUB: Neco Williams (69′ for Asensio) – 7/10
Manager: Luis Enrique – 9/10 – The ideal start. Enrique’s selection decisions were vindicated and his players put in a top performance.
2. Costa Rica (4-4-2)