Liechtenstein 0 Spain 8: La Roja on track for Russia after Vaduz masterclass

Spain moved a step closer to the World Cup in Russia with an 8-0 demolition job of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Italy scrapped a 1-0 win over Israel to secure a top-two finish in Group G.

Alvaro Morata scored his 11th and 12th goals for his national side against Liechtenstein.   -  Getty Images

Alvaro Morata and Iago Aspas each scored twice as Spain's relentless march towards World Cup qualification continued with an 8-0 hammering of Liechtenstein on Tuesday.

Just four days on from a masterclass at the Santiago Bernabeu, in which Group G rival Italy was swept aside 3-0, Julen Lopetegui's side were once more at their stunning best.

The quality of opposition paled in comparison to the Azzurri, but there was an ominous ruthlessness on show in a match that at times felt like little more than an entertaining training exercise for Spain.

Essentially, Liechtenstein's fate was sealed from the moment Sergio Ramos headed in a second-minute opener, and Morata doubled the lead before pouncing on an error from the host's goalkeeper Peter Jehle to tee up Isco - who scored twice against Italy - for the third.

David Silva, who, along with Isco, Andres Iniesta and Thiago Alcantara, had Liechtenstein's midfield chasing shadows, scored the pick of the bunch with a stunning 39th-minute free-kick.

Half-time substitute Aspas then scored twice either side of setting up a second for Morata and Gerard Deulofeu forced a late own goal as Spain, who scored eight away from home for the first time, mathematically guaranteed at least a top-two finish in the pool.

Italy's victory over Israel means Spain's lead over the Azzurri remains at three points with two matches to play.

For all Spain's easy-on-the-eye, tiki-taka style, there was a beautiful simplicity about the opener as Silva lofted a free-kick from the right into the middle of the box that Ramos easily nodded home.

There was a touch more class about the second as Andres Iniesta linked well with Isco before whipping in a right-wing cross that Morata headed powerfully to the left of Jehle.

A minute later and Jehle produced a moment for the blooper DVDs with a comical air-kick that allowed Morata to steal in and lay off for Isco, who hammered into the unguarded goal.

Morata, perhaps harshly, then saw a goal ruled out when he was judged to be offside when nodding in Silva's cross, before the Chelsea striker saw a bending effort saved by Jehle.

But it was 4-0 six minutes before the break. Thiago Alcantara won a free-kick 25 yards out to the right of goal and Silva curled a sumptuous effort into the top-right corner.

There was no let up after the interval. Morata thought he had a second when his header from Pedro's pin-point cross hit the crossbar and Jehle before trickling into the path of Aspas, who lashed home.

Just three minutes later and Morata did double his personal tally, Aspas this time carving open the Liechtenstein defence for the striker to slot home into the bottom-right corner.

Aspas continued to terrorise the home defence and he cut in from the right of the area to smash in a left-footed shot in the 63rd minute.

With the job well and truly done, Spain eased off the gas but had time to add yet more gloss a minute from time when Deulofeu's low centre struck the boot of Maximilian Goppel and diverted past a diving, wrong-footed Jehle.

Immobile earns Italy crucial win

Italy offered an underwhelming response to its World Cup qualifying defeat against Spain but secured a top-two finish in Group G with a 1-0 win over Israel in Reggio Emilia.

Giampiero Ventura's men were outclassed in Madrid on Saturday, losing 3-0, but they would have been expecting a far simpler task back on home turf as they aimed to tighten their grip on a play-off place, eventually doing so through Ciro Immobile.

While Israel lacked Spain's quality across the pitch, it had the energy to match Italy for long periods and threatened on the break as it soaked up pressure in a turgid first half.

The pressure built after the interval, however, and Immobile - a scorer in a 3-1 Azzurri win in Haifa a year earlier - deservedly won the points with a fine 53rd-minute header.

This result takes Israel out of the running for next year's tournament in Russia, while Albania's 1-1 draw in Macedonia guarantees Italy at least a runners-up spot.

Kolarov fires 10-man Serbia past Ireland

Aleksandar Kolarov's fierce second half strike gave Ireland its first 2018 World Cup qualifying defeat and put Serbia in complete control of Group D on Tuesday.

The Roma fullback's goal came ten minutes after half time, and despite a spirited performance from the host the Serbs held on despite having Nikola Maksimovic sent off on 68 minutes.

Ireland drops to third, one point behind a Wales side that beat Moldova 2-0, and now require two wins against Moldova and Wales to earn at least a playoff spot.

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