Spain coach Luis Enrique: I can't criticise the players for anything

Spain's midfielder Saul Niguez celebrates after scoring at Wembley

Spain's midfielder Saul Niguez celebrates after scoring at Wembley. AFP

Elche native Saul Niguez scored the night's first goal in the 24th minute with a leaping header off Dani Carvajal's long diagonal cross that bounced past Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

Sergio Ramos of Spain celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal during the UEFA Nations League A Group four match between Spain and Croatia at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on September 11, 2018 in Elche, Spain.

Julen Lopetegui will see 10 more internationals return throughout the week: Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Nacho Fernández, Isco Alarcón, Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio, Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas, Casemiro and Dani Ceballos.

In June, Asensio actually commented directly on interest from Liverpool, saying: "When the World Cup is over, we'll talk about that sort of thing, now I'm focused on selection [for Spain]". Their Nations League opener certainly suggested so! Under Luis Enrique, the defence is heavily involved in the build-up, at the expense of midfield to some extent, in order to draw the opposition up the pitch and create space for the attacking players.

"I did not know or care", Enrique said, quoted by the Mirror.

Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago Alcantara all had chances to extend the scoreline, but the defence and Kalinic were able to keep them out and avoid making it even more embarrassing.

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"This week everything was flawless".

The 22-year-old has won eight trophies with Real since joining them from Mallorca in 2015, including two Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups, one LaLiga crown and a Spanish Super Cup. There is work still to do.

Even with all their key men available, though, Croatia's talent pool pales in comparison to that at the disposal of Luis Enrique. "They had an early chance, they didn't take it and then we played brilliantly and scored some great goals".

Croatia started brightly as their high pressing unsettled Spain in the build-up phase, with a mishit Sergio Busquets pass leading to a shot fired wide by Ivan Rakitic.

"We can not cry about it, we have to improve", coach Zlatko Dalic said.

Vinicius continues to play with Castilla and will likely line out at Alfredo Di Stefano stadium for their Second Division B match against Unionistas de Salamanca on Sunday.

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