Well, this was different. A thousand pointless passes gave way to incision, precision and goals – lots of goals. Spain, already heartened by what they had seen at Wembley on Saturday, got a first glimpse of their new national team in the flesh three days later and they could not have been happier. It is eight years now since they were in a World Cup final, glory days slipping further away. And yet, while it is only eight weeks since Croatia were there, Luis Enrique’s team defeated them 6-0 in Elche, awakening hope that maybe they can return after all.Saúl Níguez did not play a minute at the World Cup but this is a different era and he appears set to lead it, a symbol of a new Spain. In the two games the selección have now played under Luis Enrique he has opened the scoring both times – first at Wembley and now against Croatia. The Martínez Valero is his home, the place he dreamed of playing as a kid, and it erupted when he leapt to head in the first, standing to applaud when he was finally withdrawn, the game long since won. Yet when the singing had begun, it was Marco Asensio who was serenaded. SaturdayA2: Switzerland 6-0 IcelandA4: England 1-2 Spain B3: Northern Ireland 1-2 Bosnia-HerzegovinaC2: Finland 1-0 Hungary, Estonia 0-1 GreeceD2: Belarus 5-0 San Marino, Luxembourg 4-0 Moldova Share on Twitter Marcus Rashford ends England’s losing run in drab friendly against Switzerland Photograph: Francois Nel – UEFA/UEFA Share on Messenger Croatia For Croatia this was truly shocking. Danijel Subasic, Dejan Lovren, Mario Mandzukic, Ante Rebic and Ivan Strinic were missing but it was more than that. They had no response. The second half was painful; it was as if all they could aspire to was for the final whistle to blow.The heaviest defeat in their history began with a wonderful goal. Sergio Ramos’s speared pass found Dani Carvajal deep inside the Croatia area and with the outside of his boot he did not so much deliver a cross as an invitation. Saúl, running in, leapt and powered a header into the corner. Nations League It was the perfect example of what the Spanish call “arrival” – the late, impeccably-timed run into the area, breaking through to score – and just one of many qualities the Atlético Madrid midfielder brings. Luis Enrique called him “unique”, “complete”, and when it was suggested that there were similarities between he and Saúl, insisted: “He’s a much-improved model.” As for Asensio, it was hard to find adequate words after this. At times, he appeared untouchable, barely believable.By the end it felt odd to reflect that it had not been easy until the goal arrived after 23 minutes. Croatia pressed high and Spain appeared ill-at-ease, Ivan Rakitic bending one just wide, Ivan Santini missing from close range, and Carvajal stopping Perisic. But then Saúl put Spain ahead. Next, Asensio struck a shot arrowing into the net. He had not scored in 16 games for Spain before; 134 seconds later, he had almost scored again, bending a vicious shot off the bar and in off Kalinic’s back. Topics MondayA3: Portugal 1-0 ItalyB2: Sweden 2-3 TurkeyC1: Scotland 2-0 AlbaniaC4: Serbia 2-2 Romania, Montenegro 2-0 LithuaniaD1: Andorra 1-1 KazakhstanD3: Kosovo 2-0 Faroe Islands, Malta 1-1 Azerbaijan TuesdayA2: Iceland 0-3 BelgiumA4: Spain 6-0 CroatiaB3: Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 AustriaC2: Hungary 2-1 Greece, Finland 1-0 EstoniaD2: San Marino 0-3 Luxembourg, Moldova 0-0 Belarus Read more Thank you for your feedback. Was this helpful? Show Share on Pinterest Spain 6-0 Croatia, Poland 1-1 Republic of Ireland: international football – as it happened Quick guide Nations League: latest results and fixtures Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook news Hide Spain It was no wonder. Even if the referee Benoit Bastien does decide that Spain’s third was an own goal from goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, Asensio still scored the second, provoked the third and provided three assists. Rodrigo Moreno, another scorer in London, got the fourth; Sergio Ramos scored the fifth; and Isco struck the sixth as memories of Moscow were pushed to the back of everyone’s minds, Croatia’s especially.There were five absences from the Spain side knocked out by Russia – David Silva, Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué all announced their international retirement while Jordi Alba and Koke were left out of the squad – and only three World Cup winners left. But there is talent there, a new generation. By the end Saúl, Asensio, Dani Ceballos, José Luis Gayà and Rodri had all played and impressed. All are 23 or under. Reuse this content SundayA1: France 2-1 NetherlandsB1: Ukraine 1-0 SlovakiaB4: Denmark 2-0 WalesC3: Bulgaria 1-0 Norway, Cyprus 2-1 SloveniaD1: Georgia 1-0 LatviaD4: Macedonia 2-0 Armenia, Liechtenstein 2-0 Gibraltar Share on LinkedIn FridayA3: Italy 1-1 PolandB2: Turkey 1-2 RussiaC1: Albania 1-0 IsraelC4: Lithuania 0-1 Serbia, Romania 0-0 MontenegroD3: Azerbaijan 0-0 Kosovo, Faroe Islands 3-1 Malta ThursdayLeague A, Group 1: Germany 0-0 FranceB1: Czech Republic 1-2 UkraineB4: Wales 4-1 Republic of IrelandC3: Norway 2-0 Cyprus, Slovenia 1-2 BulgariaC4: Lithuania 0-1 Serbia, Romania 0-0 MontenegroD1: Kazakhstan 0-2 Georgia, Latvia 0-0 AndorraD4: Armenia 2-1 Liechtenstein, Gibraltar 0-2 Macedonia The Fiver: sign up for our free football email. Read more Spain were unleashed and the goals kept coming. There was speed and intent, enjoyment too. There was something else now. Spain were something else.