Spain smash Argentina for six

  • Lionel Messi did not play for Argentina and they paid a high price
    Spain 6-1 Argentina: Historical humiliation at the Wanda as Isco hits three Lionel Messi did not play for Argentina and they paid a high price

Friendly - Spain 6-1 ArgentinaIsco hat-trick powers La Roja to decisive victory

Isco scored a hat-trick as Spain warmed up for the 2018 World Cup by crushing 2014 finalists Argentina in Madrid.

Spain raced into a 2-0 lead when Diego Costa stabbed past Sergio Romero before Isco side-footed his first goal.

Argentina, without injured forward Lionel Messi, pulled it back to 2-1 through Nicolas Otamendi's header.

Isco and Thiago Alcantara extended the lead to 4-1, with substitute Iago Aspas adding the fifth before Isco completed his hat-trick.

Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners, are now unbeaten in 18 games since Julen Lopetegui took charge following their exit at the first knockout stage of Euro 2016.

They have two more friendlies, against Switzerland and Tunisia, before they launch their World Cup group campaign against European champions Portugal on 15 June.

Lopetegui's side look a major threat on this evidence as they scored with all six shots on target.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who supported the recent Catalan independence referendum, ignored jeers each time he touched the ball in Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano to produce a solid performance at the back.

Andres Iniesta was outstanding in midfield, Isco showed his threat in front of goal as he became the first player since 2013 to score a hat-trick for Spain, and Aspas also did enough to suggest he should make the plane to Russia.

Problems pile up for Argentina

Argentina only secured a place at the World Cup on the final day of South American qualifying, a Messi hat-trick against Ecuador ensuring his country avoided missing a finals for the first time since 1970.

Messi watched this humiliating defeat from the stand as he sat out his second game inside a week after receiving treatment for a muscle injury.

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has work to do to sort out a defence that was cut apart time and again in Spain's capital.