Paris St Germain moved nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with a 2-1 win away at Strasbourg.

Goals in either half from Kylian Mbappe – who missed an early penalty – and Marco Asensio put the visitors two up before Dilane Bakwa scored 22 minutes from time to breathe life into the match.

Defender Abakar Sylla spurned a golden opportunity to steal a point for the home side in stoppage time when he looped a close-range header straight into the arms of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

It was the story of the game for Strasbourg, who had more than enough chances in the second to have earned a draw, though they were ultimately let down by poor finishing.

PSG should have gone ahead in the sixth minute but Mbappe’s spot-kick was saved by Alaa Bellaarouch after Lucas Perrin fouled Randal Kolo Muani.

The visitors took the lead after 18 minutes and Strasbourg had only themselves to blame.

Goalkeeper Bellaarouch dwelt too long with the ball at his feet and as he went to clear was closed down by Asensio. The ball deflected into the path of Mbappe, who was left with the simplest task of stroking it into the empty net for his 20th goal of the season.

The roles were revered shortly after half-time, with Mbappe this time the provider, his cross with the outside of the boot finding the feet of Asensio who took a touch and artfully placed it past Bellaarouch.

Strasbourg got the goal that their efforts deserved midway through the second half when on-loan Chelsea winger Angelo Borges crossed for Bakwa at the far post who knocked it past Donnarumma with an expertly taken first-time side-footed volley.

PSG goalkeeper Donnarumma made an excellent double save – first from Junior Mwanga then from Emanuel Emegha, the Italian springing sharply back to his feet to keep out the second effort.

Then came Sylla’s gilt-edged chance at the end, but the champions survived to extend their lead over Nice at the top of the table.

Kylian Mbappe fired a hat-trick as Paris St Germain thumped amateur opponents Revel 9-0 in the French Cup at the Stade Pierre-Fabre.

The round-of-64 tie in Castres was never in doubt from the moment Mbappe opened the scoring in the 17th minute, yet the France striker was wasteful despite boosting his goal tally for the season to 25 in all competitions.

Marco Asensio starred for PSG, orchestrating the downfall of opponents operating in the sixth tier of French football, and the Spain star was on target shortly before half-time.

Mbappe was the only player to keep his place in a side showing 10 changes following Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions Trophy victory over Toulouse, but Goncalo Ramos was first to test goalkeeper Cyril Garcia, who saved a shot bound for the top-left corner.

Mbappe and Asensio went close as early pressure built on the underdogs’ defence and in the 17th minute it cracked, Carlos Soler finding Mbappe who fired home.

PSG were dominating possession against outclassed opponents with Asensio, Mbappe and Nordi Mukiele all going close.

Ramos teed up Mbappe and his first-time shot flew high over the crossbar but the search for a second goal ended in the 39th minute when Maxence N’Guessan poked a cross into his own net.

Revel’s resistance was melting away and they were undone two more times before the interval with the influential Asensio the next on target before Mbappe nodded in his second.

The second half was only three minutes old when Mbappe made it 5-0, Revel’s over-stretched defence offering Asensio the chance to score, only for the Spain star to provide his team-mate with an open goal.

Garcia was being kept busy in the home goal as PSG continued to press but he was at fault for a penalty conceded in the 72nd minute when he took out Ramos, who converted from the spot.

Randal Kolo Muani added the seventh from close range and Cher Mdour produced a stylish finish having been set up by Mbappe, before Muani completed the scoring on the stroke of full-time.

Marco Asensio's 20-yard finish helped Real Madrid to a low-key 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Getafe in LaLiga on Saturday.

The Spain international fired home a superb strike with 20 minutes to play at Santiago Bernabeu to keep Los Blancos in the mix for a top-two finish.

With Barcelona poised to claim the league crown imminently, Carlo Ancelotti's priorities have long since shifted to mounting a successful defence of their Champions League crown.

But he will nevertheless be happy to ensure they maintain some unbeaten momentum after seeing off Jose Bordalas' struggling visitors.

With a much-rotated side fielded in deference to Wednesday's impending European crunch clash with Manchester City, Madrid shaded a lacklustre first half between the two.

Asensio missed an opportunity after tapping a soft finish straight to keeper David Soria off Aurelien Tchouameni's smart delivery, while Dani Ceballos was wildly off-target just beyond the half-hour mark.

Getafe themselves struggled to press their hosts for an opener of their own, and were mostly limited to a flurry of half-chances for Juan Iglesias that were ably dealt with in the opening quarter-hour.

That overall lack of quality saw Ancelotti introduce a slew of first-team regulars after the break, with Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric both brought on.

But it was Asensio who finally won it after he struck from distance, with a handy deflection helping his effort squirm beneath Soria and in at the right post.

Vinicius saw a late breakaway chalked off for offside, yet Madrid were untroubled across the closing stages, securing three points with little fuss.

Marco Asensio and Eder Militao ensured there was no Champions League hangover for Real Madrid as Carlo Ancelotti's side scored a comfortable 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in LaLiga.

Buoyed by a 2-0 win over Chelsea in London that secured a place in the European semi-finals, it was back to the grind of domestic league duties on Saturday.

A glamorous semi-final against Manchester City awaits Madrid next month, after a Copa del Rey final clash with Osasuna, but in the league Los Blancos have been off the pace this season.

They trimmed Barcelona's lead at the top to eight points with this win, secured by Asensio's strike late in the first half and Militao's header soon after the break. Curiously, this was a fourth successive 2-0 victory for Madrid.

Aurelien Tchouameni headed waywardly from an early chance for the hosts, before Karim Benzema took aim from 25 yards and found row Z.

Asensio had a shot deflect over the Celta bar and Nacho ripped a strike over the angle of post and crossbar as pressure grew and the men in white swarmed.

Madrid were missing the midfield brains trust of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, both rested to the bench, but they broke through in the 42nd minute when Vinicius Junior's low cross from the left was clipped into the right corner by Asensio. It was his eighth goal of the league campaign, and a seventh assist for Vinicius.

A thumping header from Militao doubled Madrid's lead in the 48th minute as he darted in to convert Asensio's inswinging corner from the right.

Iago Aspas squandered a chance to trim the lead as he shot over the Madrid bar, before Benzema almost made it 3-0 when he got on the end of a swift burst from the hosts. Vinicius tore down the left and flicked a smart cross to the near post, but Benzema's powerful header was brilliantly blocked by goalkeeper Ivan Villar. It hardly mattered, with Madrid effectively already home and hosed.

What does it mean? Madrid test their resources and the results bode well

This outcome was not exactly unexpected. After all, Madrid came into the game having not lost any of their last 17 matches against Celta in LaLiga (W15 D2).

Coming four days after clinching progress in Europe, however, it was one where Madrid needed to show they have a sharp enough focus, whatever the occasion.

Coach Ancelotti made five changes, with only one of them forced on him by an injury to David Alaba, and those who came in, including Asensio, proved worth their place.

Considering Madrid will need to draw on their squad depth over a hectic run of games in the next six weeks, this was a good sign.

Asensio takes his chance

Promoted to the starting line-up as Rodrygo reverted to bench duty following his double at Chelsea, Asensio made the most of his opportunity.

His strike looked to take a deflection on its way in, but they all count, and it was his corner that set up Madrid's killer second goal.

Asensio's run-out lasted 76 minutes, in which time he managed four attempts on goal, two of which went on target, but a team-high six key passes.

Familiar story for Celta defence

There was scant chance of a shutout for the visitors here. Indeed, the result means Celta have still kept just one clean sheet in their 57 away games against Madrid in LaLiga (W6 D6 L45), and that clean sheet came as far back as March 1977, in a 0-0 draw.

They have scored in just one of their last 11 league visits to face Madrid, and this was a sixth successive defeat on LaLiga duty against Los Blancos, the third time that has happened.

What's next?

Madrid travel to Girona on Tuesday in their next LaLiga assignment, while Celta host league whipping boys Elche on the following day.

Real Madrid put one foot into the final four of the Champions League after a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Karim Benzema's first-half tap-in put the holders in front at Santiago Bernabeu before Marco Asensio doubled their advantage with just over a quarter-hour to go.

A straight red card for Ben Chilwell after he tugged down Rodrygo in-between compounded a tough trip to Spain for Frank Lampard's men.

Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti and his Los Blancos side will wish they had more to show, but will nevertheless head to Stamford Bridge with a healthy advantage for next week's return leg.

Thibaut Courtois denied Joao Felix on the break and Benzema forced a close-range stop from Kepa at the other end inside the first 15 minutes.

Benzema was in the place after 21 minutes, though, capitalising when Kepa parried Vinicius Junior's shot into his path.

Madrid had chances to extend the lead before the break with David Alaba's header almost squirming in five minutes before half-time.

Chelsea's hopes of a comeback after the break felt slim even before Kalidou Koulibaly was forced to hobble off, and Chilwell's dismissal only worsened matters.

Asensio then was on-point to cap another fine European performance from Madrid when he swept home a cut-back delivery in the 74th minute.

Benzema could and perhaps should have made it three in the final stages of injury time, only to push his looping header over the crossbar from nine yards out.

But the hosts are now well on course to extend their superb continental record, though Ancelotti will know more than most the battle is not over yet for his side.

Karim Benzema scored an exceptional first-half hat-trick to inspire Real Madrid to a 6-0 LaLiga win over Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Los Blancos' title chances may resemble little more than a pipe dream with Barcelona 12 points clear, but Benzema's heroics at least helped ensure they did not fall even further behind this weekend.

It did not always look likely to yield such a one-sided scoreline, but Madrid's slow start subsided for a glut of four goals in under a quarter of an hour – Benzema's seven-minute treble coming after Rodrygo's well-worked opener.

Carlo Ancelotti's men continued their domination in the second half, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez getting in on the act to cap off an empathic win.

Madrid had been under pressure during a breathless opening, though.

Roque Mesa struck Thibaut Courtois' left-hand post and Monchu fired agonisingly wide of the bottom-left corner.

Los Blancos' response was devastating.

Rodrygo raced on to Asensio's pass into the right side of the area before slamming home in the 22nd minute, and Benzema soon took over.

He stooped to head in Vinicius Junior's teasing delivery to open his account, then added a spectacular second when picking out the top-right corner from 20 yards.

Benzema's third was the pick of the bunch, however, meeting Lucas Vazquez's cross with an improvised overhead kick.

Valladolid hit the post again through Kike Perez early in the second half.

But Madrid continued to dominate, having a Rodrygo goal disallowed just past the hour due to handball by Vinicius.

Asensio had no such misfortune, guiding home from 10 yards after Rodrygo's cut-back, and Vazquez capped off a fine day late on when converting from Eden Hazard's throughball.

Manchester United have reportedly been sending scouts to watch Roma striker Tammy Abraham, although their pursuit could be complicated by interest from his former club.

Abraham, 25, left Chelsea following the 2020-21 season for a £34million fee, and the England international has already exceeded his Chelsea haul of 82 appearances and 30 goals in less than two seasons in Italy.

After racking up 53 outings and 27 goals in his debut campaign with Roma, Abraham has come back down to earth this time around, with just seven goals in 34 games.

There is said to be interest from United in the striker with 11 senior caps for England, although Chelsea will ultimately have the final say about whether they allow him to head to Old Trafford.


TOP STORY – CHELSEA HOLD THE KEYS TO UNITED'S ABRAHAM PURSUIT

The Athletic is reporting United are closely monitoring Abraham's progress this season and have been present at a number of Roma games for that reason, but Chelsea have negotiated a buy-back clause that will give them the option of first refusal.

As part of the sale to Roma, Chelsea included a stipulation that allows them to bring Abraham back for £70.9m (€80m) after at least two seasons have passed – meaning it will activate this coming offseason.

The report adds that Chelsea are in desperate search of a new centre forward, and that while the fee involved may be significant, it is believed to be far less than the demands expected from Napoli for 24-year-old Victor Osimhen.

ROUND-UP

– According to Mundo Deportivo, citing Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter have enquired about 29-year-old Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, who will be available for an affordable fee after rejuvenating his prospects with a strong loan spell at Lecce.

Tottenham are trying to pry 28-year-old midfielder James Ward-Prowse away from Southampton, who would almost assuredly leave his club if they cannot fight their way out of the relegation places, according to Football Insider.

– Sport is reporting Barcelona have an interest in signing 27-year-old Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio if he allows his contract to expire in a few months and can join on a free transfer.

– According to Calciomercato, Inter are hoping to replace outgoing centre-back Milan Skriniar with Lille 22-year-old Tiago Djalo.

Newcastle United are eyeing Manchester United's Scott McTominay and Leicester City's James Maddison as potential midfield reinforcements for next season, per Football Insider.

Thomas Tuchel has been out of a job since being sacked by Chelsea in September but could be on the brink of a return to action. 

The German has previously led top European clubs Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and the Blues, whom he took to the 2020-21 Champions League title.

The 49-year-old has been linked with numerous vacant posts in recent months but reportedly turned down two Premier League offers.

TOP STORY – PSG WILLING TO ADMIT TUCHEL ERROR

PSG have grown frustrated with head coach Christophe Galtier and are ready to move to re-appoint Thomas Tuchel, claims the Evening Standard.

The club sacked Tuchel in December 2020 after two and a half years in charge with the best win percentage in Ligue 1 history.

But PSG are reportedly willing to admit their mistake in letting him go as they try to convince Tuchel to return following their recent run of three straight defeats, which was ended by Sunday's 4-3 win over Lille.

The report claims Tuchel would need assurances from the club, but it is the type of role he has been waiting for, joining a top side competing for major trophies.

 

ROUND-UP

– Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio is being monitored by Tottenham, according to Football Insider. Spurs will need to compete with Arsenal and Manchester United for the 27-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of this season.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all circling for Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram, reports Talksport. The Athletic claims Thuram will exit Gladbach in the off-season as a free agent, with Bayern Munich also interested.

– Relevo reports Bayern are weighing up a move for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, with head coach Julian Nagelsmann an admirer, although no contact has been made yet.

– ESPN claims Manchester United and teenage sensation Alejandro Garnacho have agreed in principle to a new five-year contract, warding off interest.

Manchester United will need to fork out €80million (£71m) to land Tammy Abraham from Roma, reports Calciomercatoweb.

Juventus will move for Real Madrid winger Brahim Diaz after this season, claims Calciomercatoweb. Diaz is currently on loan at Milan, but the Rossoneri will not trigger their option to buy him.

Marco Asensio missed a penalty as Nacho's own goal condemned Real Madrid to a surprise 1-0 defeat against mid-table Real Mallorca in LaLiga on Sunday.

Madrid fell behind when stand-in captain Nacho deflected Vedat Muqiri's header beyond Andriy Lunin – a late replacement for the injured Thibaut Courtois – 13 minutes in.

The champions toiled for long periods without absent striker Karim Benzema, and they missed a golden chance to level when Predrag Rajkovic saved Asensio's second-half penalty.

The result meant Los Blancos missed the chance to close the gap on LaLiga leaders Barcelona ahead of their fixture against Sevilla later on Sunday, handing the Blaugrana the chance to move eight points clear.

Fresh from three successive home wins, Mallorca wasted little time in taking the lead. Muriqi met Dani Gonzalez's inswinging cross, and his flicked header deflected off Nacho before looping over Lunin. 

Madrid controlled the remainder of a scrappy first half but failed to register a single shot on target before the break, with the likes of Federico Valverde and Antonio Rudiger restricted to ambitious long-range efforts that cleared the crossbar.

The visitors were presented with a wonderful opportunity to equalise on the hour mark when a VAR review ruled Rajkovic had fouled Vinicius Junior. However, the goalkeeper atoned for his error by guessing correctly to brilliantly deny Asensio. 

Ancelotti introduced the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in a bid to inspire Madrid, who had lost just once in their nine previous away games against Mallorca prior to Sunday's meeting.

Substitute Mariano Diaz volleyed narrowly over and Rudiger sent a header wide late on, but the stubborn hosts clung on to deal a huge blow to the champions' title defence.

 

Vinicius Junior marked his 200th Real Madrid appearance in style with the second goal in a 2-0 win against Valencia.

The Brazilian burst into space from inside his own half to double Los Blancos' lead, just 90 seconds after Marco Asensio's stunning strike opened the scoring at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid, having failed to score on Sunday against Real Sociedad, encountered similar frustration in the first half and saw an Antonio Rudiger header disallowed juts before half-time.

That did not deter Carlo Ancelotti's side, who responded in style in a second period where Valencia finished with 10 men after Gabriel Paulista's dismissal.

It took just three minutes for Madrid to carve through Valencia's defence, Luka Modric feeding a pass through to Asensio but a fine save from the boot of Giorgi Mamardashvili kept him at bay.

Asensio had another chance after Karim Benzema's deft backheel into his path inside the area but Gabriel was on hand with an outstanding block to deflect the strike safely over the crossbar.

Los Blancos thought they had found their breakthrough on the brink of half-time, Rudiger flicking a header in off the right-hand post, but referee Javier Alberola Rojas chalked the effort off for a foul from Benzema on Yunus Musah as Modric's corner was whipped in.

Six minutes after the restart, the hosts finally broke the deadlock. It was third-time lucky for Asensio, who picked up possession outside the box and unleashed a ferocious left-footed drive that left Mamardashvili stranded.

The lead was doubled just 90 seconds later, Vinicius bursting into space down the left and driving into the area and slotting a comfortable finish beneath the Valencia stopper.

Valencia's problems got worse when Gabriel was given his marching orders for a horrendous hack on compatriot Vinicius, who was fortunate to avoid injury.

Carlo Ancelotti emphatically ruled out the possibility of Eduardo Camavinga leaving Real Madrid following links with Arsenal and Chelsea.

The 20-year-old midfielder joined Los Blancos in August 2021 in a reported €31million deal after emerging as one of Europe's most promising young players at Rennes.

He unsurprisingly took ownership of a rotation role during his first season, making 13 LaLiga starts from 26 appearances.

But the France international has struggled to kick on this term, with only five of his 16 league outings coming as a starter.

His future was then called into question on Friday when speculation surfaced suggesting Arsenal were particularly keen on a loan move, while big-spending Chelsea have been credited with an interest.

Camavinga's agent insisted on Saturday that the player is happy in Madrid, and Ancelotti looked to firmly put an end to the rumours.

"Eduardo is untouchable, like [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos," the Italian told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Athletic Bilbao.

Camavinga is not the only Madrid player who has had to contend with a degree of uncertainty around his future.

Nacho Fernandez, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio are among the players who have entered the final six months of their contracts.

Nevertheless, Ancelotti is convinced the lack of certainty is not an issue.

"They could start the game, or be decisive in the game," he added. "You have to evaluate. From what I see, I see very motivated players, and they show it. We have to see what happens.

"Their contracts are running down and they show that they have motivation, desire, and concentration. The fact that their contract ends does not affect them at all."

Ancelotti also moved to draw a line under the recent controversy around Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Frenchman, who has been injured for two weeks, was not in attendance for the midweek Copa del Rey win over Villarreal because he went to watch the NBA game in Paris between the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

He apologised on Friday and Ancelotti says the situation is resolved.

Ancelotti said: "He made his apology public. He was wrong, but he is a young boy, and the subject has ended with this."

Jose Mourinho is a man in demand at international level, with Brazil reportedly rivalling Portugal in pursuit of his signature.

The 59-year-old is currently employed by Serie A club Roma, having joined in 2021 on a three-year contract.

There are reports that Mourinho is not entirely happy in the Italian capital, specifically regarding player attitudes and the club's financial limitations.

TOP STORY – BRAZIL TO MAKE SHOCK MOVE FOR MOURINHO

Brazil will make a sensational swoop to make Jose Mourinho their new national team boss to replace the departed Tite, according to la Repubblica.

An intermediary of Brazil's national setup will fly into Italy to meet up with the Roma head coach – who has also been linked to the Portugal job – and begin negotiations face to face.

Brazil had been linked with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, having reportedly turned to super agent Jorge Mendes to aid their pursuit of a new head coach.

 

ROUND-UP

– Journalist Bruno Andrade claims Manchester United have "overtaken" Liverpool in the race to sign World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez from Benfica. United boss Erik ten Hag is willing the trigger his €120m release clause.

Manchester United have commenced talks with PSV winger Cody Gakpo, reports The Daily Mirror. Gakpo netted three goals in three World Cup group games.

– Fabrizio Romano claims that Barcelona have no intention of selling midfielder Franck Kessie or full-back Hector Bellerin in January.

Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio, reports SPORT. Arsenal have also been linked with the 26-year-old, while Ara claims Barcelona are monitoring the situation and may swoop.

PSG are also interested in signing Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred, claims The Sun. That is despite United recently triggering a 12-month extension on Fred's contract.

Bayern Munich have added Leeds United's French goalkeeper Ilhan Meslier to their transfer targets, reports MediaFootMercato. Bayern are looking for cover the injured keeper Manuel Neuer.

Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

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 began their Qatar 2022 campaign in record 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 in Spain's record win at the tournament.

 

Spain were well on top when Olmo controlled a deflected Gavi pass and lifted the ball over Keylor Navas for La Roja's earliest World Cup goal since 2002.

Costa Rica struggled to get a foot on the ball and were two goals down with less than a quarter of the game played as Asensio swept home Jordi Alba's left-sided cross.

Alba was also involved in the third goal, the full-back being felled by a clumsy Oscar Duarte challenge in the box for Torres to put Spain out of reach with his casual spot-kick.

Torres slotted under Navas after some poor defending from Costa Rica and Gavi then got himself on the scoresheet with an outside-of-the-boot volley off the post.

Soler guided goal number six out of Navas' reach and fellow substitute Morata exchanged passes with Olmo before firing in to round off a superb Spain display.
 

What does it mean? Scintillating showing from Spain

Following shock defeats for Argentina and group rivals Germany in the opening round of games, Spain used this opener to put on a display and send out a message.

They scored seven goals in a World Cup match for the first time, with this the 2010 winners' biggest ever win in the competition.

Costa Rica were poor and become only the second side since records began in 1966 to fail to register a shot – the other instance being... Costa Rica against Brazil in 1990.

Torres torments Costa Rica

Torres scored at least twice as many goals in qualifying (four) than any other Spain player and he brought that form into the tournament with his double.

The Barcelona forward is the third player to score twice on his World Cup debut for Spain after David Villa (v Ukraine in 2006) and Jose Iraragorri (v Brazil in 1934).

Gavi behind only Pele

Both sides named their youngest ever players in a World Cup match – Gavi (18 years, 110 days) for Spain and Jewison Bennette (18y, 161d) for Costa Rica.

While winger Bennette managed just two passes in his hour on the pitch, Gavi became the youngest scorer in a World Cup match since Pele (17y 249d) in the 1958 final.

What's next?

Spain face fellow heavyweights Germany, who enter that game needing a result, while Costa Rica take on Japan in Sunday's other Group E match.

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.

 

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