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Spain vs Argentina Live Score and Commentary, pre World Cup 2018 International Friendlies

Spain 6 - 1 Argentina (Diego Costa 12', Isco 27', 52',75'; Aspas 73', Thiago 55'; Otamendi 39')
Updated: 28 March 2018 02:56 IST - Published: 27 March 2018 23:15 IST
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PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

THAT, THEN, IS EMPHATICALLY VERY MUCH THAT.  

SPAIN 6 - 1 ARGENTINA

If La Furia Roja play anything like this in the World Cup, they are going to take some stopping... as for Argentina, by God are they dire without Lionel Andres Messi in their ranks. 

That's all from me, Anirudh Menon, as angry as I was with Messi not starting, Spain's exhilarating brilliance has made me a very happy man. Damn, I love this game. 

Toodle-ooo!
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89' UFF! FEISTY END TO THIS GAME! Pavon slams into Koke with an ugly, ugly tackle that reeks of a red card and several men in white take exception to it. Plenty of pushing and shoving ensues but Koke's calmness helps defuse the situation. How that was not a red card, though, only the ref will know - and Pepe Reina makes sure the fourth official knows what he thinks of it all. 
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88' Carvajal hands the ball right back to Spain from the freekick - Guests are Gods, after all - but Messrs. Martinez, Meza and Acuna are unable to make much of it
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86' Acuna takes it, and smacks it into Ramos' face. As Asensio looks to run the ball out, Marcos Rojo Marcos Rojos into him. OUCH. 
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85' Interesting! Martinez gets hammered into by Ramos and Azpilicueta just outside the Spain box, and it's a position that Meza and Acuna like the look of. 
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84' OOOO! Acuna's first act is to dance past Koke and win a corner off Carvajal... which, like most things Argentina have tried tonight, comes to nothing. 
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83' Azpilicueta and Ramos almost play themselves into trouble inside their own box but Marcos Alonso steps in to save their hides. Sampaoli throws on Marcos Acuna for a tired, and disgusted looking, Gio Los Celso
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82' Sub for Spain as the quietly impressive Thiago is take off for Valencia's Dani Parejo
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81' Lo Celso tries to thread a ball out to Martinez but Koke reads it with absurd ease. The PSG man then tries to bully the Atleti lad off the ball, but Koke laughs at all that nonsense and passes it out to Carvajal - who gets slammed into by a frustrated Meza. 
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80' The score's Spain 6, Argentina 1. I'm just reiterating that so that I can digest it. Friendly or not, WOOF!
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79' From the corner, Vazquez sends a shot spiralling into the Madrid air. Marcos Alonso comes on to give Jordi Alba some well-earned rest. 
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78' Spain are smacking Argentina up their faces now. Vazquez toys with half the Argentine defence before playing in Alba, who's cross is blocked for a corner.  Leo Messi's seen enough and he walks off. 
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77' Isco's allowed a standing ovation of his own as he gets taken off for Lucas Vazquez 
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OH MY GOOD LORD! SPAIN ARE GIVING ARGENTINA A SPANKING FOR THE AGES HERE! Otamendi gets lazy on the ball, for what joy only he'll know, and Isco closes him down like a starving wolf. The ball bounces out to Aspas, who plays it back to him and Isco makes absolutely no mistake as he passes it into the net for a THIRD TIME! Hattrick Isco, and he's earned that kiss of the boot from Sergio Ramos. What a player, by jove. 
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75' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! ISCOOOOOO!!!!
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Hahaha! ROUTE ONE FOOTBALL FROM SPAIN! We've seen it all now. De Gea pumps it long, it bisects Rojo and Mercado and Aspas has the simple task of running at Cabellero and smacking it into the goal. 
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73' GOOOOOOOOAL! IAGO ASPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!
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71' AH! THEY HAVE! The Wanda Metropolitana stands up to applaud the Catalan as he's replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta. Pique applauds them in return. A nice touch, that
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70' OOO LA LA PIQUE! Pavon presses the hell out of Pique and charges in on him as he recieves a De Gea ball to feet, a second and a 180 degree swivel later, Pavon's going one way and the ball the other. What a player this man is. STOP BOOING HIM, FOR F***'S SAKE
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69' Argentina win ANOTHER freekick on the edge of the box - this one's sent deep looking for Tagliafico, but Carvajal does well to nip in ahead of him. 
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67' OOOOO! Things have gotten a bit feisty here. First Carvajal and Otamendi get into a shoving match before Tagliafico and Isco crash into each other and Meza gets involved, riling Isco up further... Ramos plays peacemaker as he carries Isco away from the spot. No, seriously, Sergio Ramos. 
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66' Lo Celso sends a curler in and Otamendi thumps a header that clangs off the post! WOOF!
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65' Meza is playing rather well, though, and he almost plays in Martinez with a peach of a ball; but Pique scrambles it clear. Argentina press high with rabid intensity - much more like Sampaoli this and they win another freekick on the edge of the box. 

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64'... and it's wasted as Pavon sends it into row Z. Messi sat high up in the Wanda VIP box looks distinctly unimpressed by the proceedings. 
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63' OH! SOME EXCITEMENT FROM ARGENTINA! Lo Celso looks to backheel a through ball into Pavon's path - but he gets upended, just outside the box. Freekick in a promising position...
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62' Martinez does ever so well to win a freekick off Pique... the freekick, though, comes to nothing. 
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61' More changes for Sampaoli as Pablo Perez and Gabriel Mercado replace Ever Banega and Fabricio Bustos
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60' Asensio scoops the ball into the box, but Rojo powers it out... the Madrid man recovers it, though, and sends a peach of a curler from the left - which RAMOS SMACKS INTO THE BOTTOM CORNER! BUT HE'S ADJUDGED TO HAVE PUSHED OTAMENDI IN THE LEAD UP TO IT! 
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59' Lauturo Martinez gets a run-out for the hapless, toothless, Gonzalo Higuain! Meanwhile, on the pitch, Sergio Ramos plays left-winger in that fantasy world he lives in, marauds down the flank, beats three people and wins a freekick at the edge of the box. What a man. WHAT. A. MAN. 
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57' OOO! WHAT A TACKLE PIQUE! Meza tries to play Pavon in - the two are 2 v 2 against the Spanish centre-backs but Pique puts in an absolute belter of a tackle to stop the sub's progress into the half
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56' Subs aplenty as Iniesta goes off to his customary standing ovation to be replaced by local hero Saul Niguez; while Argentina's joint highest cap record holder, Javier Mascherano is taken off for the exciting Cristian Pavon
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OH MY! DID I NOT SAY THEY WERE RUTHLESS? Thiago plays a peach of a ball out to Isco... the dancer in footballing gear draws two to him, before slipping it to Aspas. The Vigo man touches it around Otamendi and into the path of Thiago - who absolutely creams it into the bottom corner. WOOF! WHAT A BALL!
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55' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! THIAAAGOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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54' Spain are so ruthless when they move forward, it's scary. It really is. 
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WOOF! Andres Iniesta played an absolute dream of a ball into the path of Iago Aspas - who'd replaced Costa, by the by - who takes it around Cabellero, pauses, looks up, sees Isco and strokes it to him. Just like the first time, the Madrid magician strokes it into the net. 
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52' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! ISCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DISCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo
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50' By God, this high press. Argentina are having not one free minute to do anything with the damn ball. 
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49' Spain look to kill Argentina's early momentum by playing it around themselves for a bit. Alba loses it by trying a surprise through ball behind... but the moment they lose it that high up the pitch, they swarm forward like men on a mission. This time, though, Koke gets pulled up for being a little too forceful on Lo Celso
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48' Banega takes, tries a training ground routine chip to Tagliafico but is off with his placement. 
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47' Thiago is certainly flinging himself into challenges today - channeling his inner Puyol - but he mistimes this one on Meza. 
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46' Argentina have started like they got a spanking from Sampaoli... 
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PEEP! WE ARE OFF AGAIN! 
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PEEP! PEEP! HALFTIME!

SPAIN 2 - 1 ARGENTINA

What an absolute belter of a first half that was. 45 minutes of pure action - from Gonzalo's glorious misses to Costa's sheer determination, from Ramos' charismatic drive to Otamendi's commitment to the cause, from Meza's glimpses of magic to the dancing feet of Isco this has been some half. 

The highlight of the half, though? The visceral thrill of the Spanish high press... what a sight that is. Sampaoli must be fuming. 
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45' One for the ages there. Andres Iniesta loses the ball, you so rarely see it happen - but Biglia just bullied the great man off it. 
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44' Isco, playing down the left wing, is causing all sorts of problems for the Argentines. They do well to maintain their shape 
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42' Meza, Meza. The debutante has been Argentina's most entertaining player this match, and he glides away from Alba with an easy elegance... but as soon as he hands the ball over to Higuain, Pique senses an opportunity, nips in, and takes the ball away. 
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41' Tagliafico wins another corner - this time, Pique thumps it clear and Mascherano has to eke out the last dregs of pace in his ageing legs to beat Marco Asensio to it. 
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41' Isco, though, doesn't need anyone to stand up for him. He takes the ball on the left and with a soft-shoe shimmy of his hips dances his way past Bustos AND Biglia, leaving BOTH of them on the ground, before cutting in and smacking a shot off Otamendi and away from danger
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40' Ramos is Ramos-ing... having been outjumped by Otamendi for that goal, he gets into a good ol' fight with Biglia. Taking exception at a particularly hard tackle from the Milan man on Isco 
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Tagliafico romped forward to win a corner, Banega swings in a sublime ball that Otamendi absolutely thumps into the bottom corner with a belter of a header. WOOF! Game on, now.