Spain scored four goals against Macedonia in Granada. Three more points and some savings in the bank for the final goal difference, which could count if we finish tied on points with Italy, who beat Lichtenstein by the same scoreline. But it wasn't a game to get excited about for Spain. A frankly tame first half, constantly smashing into the Macedonia defence, without sending the right and left backs out to open up the pitch, and a somewhat better second 45, thanks to the tiredness that always comes upon teams who try and close the match down. The most startling thing though is that, with very little on offer, Macedonia created chances against us. The few times they crossed the half-way line they ended up with dangerous opportunities. De Gea didn't have a night off.
Spain need to be spot on when their rivals shut up shop
Spain struggle in games like this: a rival with five at the back, protected by another three or four. When face with that, constant passing, if its done without vigour and ambition serves little purpose. The centre-forward, in this case Morata, ends up driven to despair in a cave, worse still if nobody is going down the wings. We see a lot of games along these lines. To get something out of them Spain needs energy, sacrifice and above all precision, and for most of the players to be sharp and spot on in everything they do. In the first part not many Spaniards played well, hence the poor impression, and it could have been worse: Macedonia had two clear chances in the opening minutes of the match.
Aduriz into the record books
Spain improved in the second half, above all thanks to the drive of Silva and Vitolo, who got better and better. The second goal, which calmed our nerves, came thanks to them, but after that Spain oddly relaxed, only breaking out with the match nearly over, in a miraculous minute that saw them score two goals. The first saw Carvajal cross to Monreal. The other was converted by Aduriz, who became the oldest player to have scored for Spain. And with the way he's playing he's likely to add yet more months to the record with a little bit of luck. Thanks to him, a game with not much to say about it, goes into the history books.