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Spain vs Israel World Cup 2018 qualifier: As it happened, goals, action

Spain beat an uninspired Israel in Gijón on Friday night with goals from David Silva, Vitolo, Diego Costa and Isco to stay ahead of Italy in Group G on goal difference
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David Silva celebrates his and Spain's first goal against Israel.

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Spain 4-1 Israel: Full time

The game peters out in the end as Spain hammer Israel. Could have been more but Spain's poor finishing and slightly relaxed approach in front of goal was what prevented them from winning this by a cricket score. Never in doubt though.

As AS editor Alfredo Relaño says, Lopegegui's Spain look pretty solid right now.

Spain celebrate their third goal
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Spain celebrate their third goalELOY ALONSODIARIO AS

Spain 4-1 Israel: Second half

Min 90 | Piqué moving forward in search of a goal? Spain just throwing it round now. Israel sitting off them. They're exhausted. Spain have exhausted them. 90 minutes of pure ball-chasing. Rough night.

Min 88 | GOAL! Isco twists and turns in the box before letting a shot go. Quite tame but Marciano is wrong-footed and that is the end of that!

Might be best to look towards the man of the match: For my money, and I would challenge anyone to try and say another name, but David Silva has been absolutely world class tonight.

Min 86 | Spain back in charge here and throwing the ball around comfortably without ever really threatening Israel's goal. 

Spain substitution: Vitolo is replaced by Iago Aspas.

Min 82 | Silva through on goal and he tries to square it to Vitolo but he delays just a second and ends up sliding over the end line with the ball under his foot. Goal-kick! It will be his last input on the night too. What a way that would have been to finish things off.

Min 80 | Israel showing some late signs of life here but it might be more a case of Spain having their eyes on France knowing that they have been by far the better side tonight. Highly unlikely that Israel get two back.

Min 78 | Ramos with the free-kick but it hits a head in the wall and goes out for a corner. Ramos swinging in free-kicks now? Interesting choice.

Min 77 | Cohen booked for a foul on Silva. The first yellow of the game.

Min 75 | GOAL! Israel pull one back. Gershon with a powerful header against the post from the free and Rafaelov absolute buries it into the back of the net on the rebound.

Min 75 | Foul by Piqué on Rafaelov. No yellows yet in this game as there has barely been a dirty tackle. 

Min 72 | Silva fouled by Keltjens. 

Min 69 | Zahavi in again but instead of trying a shot, he tries to square it. Spain clear.

Spain substitution: Iniesta is taken off and is replaced by Isco.

Min 65 | Zahavi with an effort that is blocked by Piqué and it bounces up lovely to De Gea. Spain start a counter-attack and make it up the other end in record time.

Min 63 | Game has reached a little bit of a low now with Spain still dominating and a few substitutions entering the field. 

Israel substituion: Hemed comes on for Tal Ben Chaim.

Spain substitution: Koke replaces Thiago.

Israel substitution: Einbinder is replaced by Keltjens.

Min 59 | Carvajal has come into this game with a calibrated right foot because he just swung another PERFECT cross into the penalty area. It fell to Silva, who couldn't get his feet organised in order to take a shot. Spain all over the visitors now.

Min 57 | Really close to being four as Costa heads down to Silva and he volleys off the post. That would have been the pick of the litter. David Silva playing like a Ballon d'Or candidate.

Min 55 | Spain crowd egging on the home side. Silva again as he tries to tiki-taka the ball into the net but they get found out again.

Min 53 | An elbow to the mouth for Cohen from Silva. He was looking to hand him off but the Israeli went down low and met Señor Silva's point elbow. No free as Silva tries to link with Vitolo but they try to be too smart and end up with a touch too many in their opponents' box.

Min 50 | COSTA GOAL! He meets it with his head from the corner and Marciano makes a bit of a meal of this one too. Again, Costa won't mind at all.

Min 49 | Vitolo to Alba as he tries to square for Costa but it is put out for a corner by Israel.

Min 48 | Iniesta tries to clear but it hits Thiago and nearly catches De Gea out but he gets down well to save. 

Min 47 | Carvajal puts it on a plate for Costa, places the napkin on his lap, places the knife and fork in his hand but he still can't finish.

Min 46 | We are back underway!

Spain 2-0 Israel: first half

HT in Gijón! Spain have dominated most of that and are two goals to the good. Dreadful mistake by the goalkeeper might have put this one out of reach of the Israelis.

Min 45+1 | GOAL! Oh my word, Vitolo strikes low and very, very soft as Marciano gets down to make what looks like a routine save but his weak right hand can't stop the shot. Really poor for the goalkeeper. Vitolo doesn't mind though.

Min 45 | Just as half-time approaches, Israel spring to life and it's that man again Zahavi, who is the spark. He whips a cross into Rafaelov, but De Gea does well to get down and save. Corner Israel that can't beat the first man.

Min 43 | Ben Chaim has a little nibble at Carvajal's ankles as he passes. Free to Spain. Silly from Ben Chaim.

Min 41 | Long cross field in defense by Israel is miscontrolled by Tawatha and goes out for a throw. Spain have the visitors rattled here completely.

Min 39 | That move ends with an Iniesta ball that reaches Vitolo at the back post but he is at full stretch and can't get a strong enough foot on the ball. Carvajal lurking at the back and might have felt he could have done better.

Min 38 | The crowd at El Molinón cheering Spain on now. Getting a little restless as they have had most of the possession but no real chances since Silva's goal.

Min 35 | Spain with a really good move that starts with Ramos at the back, goes through Alba, Thiago and Iniesta before a poor touch lets Costa down and they lose out. He is struggling at the moment to get involved in this one.

Min 34 | Spain with a corner and Ramos is trying to get a head on it, but he is too forceful and Michael Oliver gives a free out.

Min 32 | Really dangerous cross by Carvajal but Israel clear again.

Min 30 | Vitolo and Costa link up but as the Chelsea striker tries to get the ball back to the Sevilla man, Israel intercept. First decent combination with Costa after half an hour. He is constantly looking to get in behind but Israel are playing very deep. 

Min 28 | Whoever was tasked with marking Jordi Alba tonight clearly forgot. Another cross by the left-back that nearly reaches Diego Costa. Corner Spain in the end.

Min 26 | Thiago with a ball over the top but it's too strong for Silva. Spain playing a little further back now with Israel moving their operation forward, but still all Spain in terms of possession and attacking threat.

Min 24 | A really poor pass by Alba sees Zahavi intercept and win it back. He has a shot on goal that nearly troubles De Gea. Very close.

Min 22 | Silva with some more excellent vision as he finds Iniesta with a layoff but the Barcelona midfielder can't find the target.

Min 20 | After a delay, Tibi is taken off on a stretcher. Hasn't set Silva off the his rythym though as he tries to chip a ball into Costa but Marciano comes out to kill the danger.

Israel substitution: Tibi is replaced by Tawatha. 

Min 17 | Israel forced into an early change it looks like. Tibi is grabbing his groin in agony after going toe-to-toe with Diego Costa. He is fairly certain his night is finished.

Min 15 | Israel try to get the ball on the ground and throw it around but it's not long before Spain have it back.

Min 13 | GOAL! Alba with a nutmeg pass, through ball to Silva before he nutmegs Marciano in goals for the opener! What a move by Spain and what a finish. This side still have it.

Min 13 | Spain with 85% possession so far. Wow! Israel have had the best chance though.

Min 11 | Vitolo brought down rather abruptly by Dasa, but he is back up and Spain are back on the attack.

Min 9 | Dasa trying to break free down the right but Piqué comes across to cover and gets a big tackle in. Israel have looked good on the break so far.

Min 8 | Piqué gets levelled by Ben Chaim in the air and he flips over before coming down hard on his back. He recovers and takes the free. 

Min 7 | Zahavi through on goal after touching it beyond Piqué. He is fast too, but he goes left to make an angle for himself and Piqué recovers before he falls over and dribbles a shot wide. Really good chance for Israel.

Min 5 | Piqué pings one to Alba on the left but his cross is half-blocked, but he gets it again after some more central play. Israel have a real problem with him down that side if they don't keep an eye on him. It results in a shot by Thiago that rattles the bar and Vitolo can't get his header on target.

Min 3 | Spain with plenty of the ball early on. Vitolo seems to be playing a roving role and is popping up all over the attacking line early on. Corner to Spain as Alba's cross is deflected out of an Israeli defender.

Min 2 | Zahavi has an early chance for Israel. He half-slips as he strikes the ball though and it rolls into De Gea's waiting arms.

Min 1 | Busquets throws the ball out wide to a rampaging Carvajal down the right. It's too long for the speedy full-back though.

Min 1 | Michael Oliver gets us underway!

Spain vs Israel: team news

Spain XI: Spain XI: De Gea, Carvajal, Ramos, Piqué, Alba, Busquets, Iniesta, Thiago, Silva, Costa, Vitolo.

Israel XI: Marciano, Dasa, Tzedek, Tibi, Gershon, Natcho, Einbinder, Cohen, Refaelov, Ben Haim II, Zahavi.

Spain vs Israel live stream: latest news

20:39 | Piqué, Ramos and De Gea having a laugh with Premier League referee, Michael Oliver, just as they get ready to enter the field. Alba, Iniesta and the lads having a laugh further down the line too.

20:38 | Just minutes away from the start here. Another couple of interesting things to watch is how Thiago does. There are a number of players vying for that position with Isco, Koke and Ander Herrera waiting to jump into that role if things don't go well for the Bayern Munich midfielder. No pressure then, Thiago!

20:24 | Plenty of Spanish fans wanted Iago Aspas or Alvaro Morata tonight instead of Diego Costa. Lopetegui has quite enjoyed the trio of Silva, Vitolo and Costa though. A goal or two from the Chelsea striker and the Spanish contingent up north in Gijón won't mind the team the former Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper has selected.

20:21 | A few, or more than a few, of Spain's players need to be careful not to get a card tonight or they will be suspended for the Macedonia clash. Julian Lopetegui needs to keep on eye on these players during the game and if they are close to getting booked, maybe subbing them off might be a good idea.

20:20 | Here is all the teams news for Spain versus Israel, in case you missed anyway of it.

20:13 | Israel could really disrupt thing tonight with a win in Gijón against Spain. They sit just third in the standing in Group G and have won three and lost just one game in their first four. The loss came against Italy.

19:25 | Diego Costa start and we have an all Barça-Madrid defense in front of David de Gea in goals. Julian Lopetegui opts not to start with the newcomers such as Deulofeu and Illarramendi to start and Pedro is also not selected with Sevilla's Vitolo starting instead.

19:22 | When we see Spain in action, it tends to be fairly obvious that not all under-21 players can make it in the seniors, but some of the players in this photo gallery just messed it up, but some of them still have time. 

19:15 | Diego Costa has scored just four times in 14 games for Spain. The only good news is that three of those goals have come in the most recent World Cup qualifying campaign. The bad news is that two of those goals came in an 8-0 win over Liechenstein.

19:11 | Rormer Spanish international Alfonso Perez says that Spain really need to take advantage of having Diego Costa at their disposal despite him not taking to la Roja's colours since he declared for them. 

19:02 | UEFA are keen to shake-up the transfer system and ensure that the biggest clubs don't strangle the smaller ones by hoarding all the talent.

18:49 | Isco has been linked to Barcelona at the worst possible time for him, perhaps. He joined the Spanish national team this week and has been beset with admiration and affection from Barcelona's stars. Between Jordi Alba and Gerard Piqué, Isco is being showered with plenty of winks. At the very best, the Barcelona players could end up with a top class midfielder in Isco and at the very worst, they could unsettle the player even more. All under the guise of a but of old-fashioned fun. 

18:18 | Israel were actually managed by a Spaniard as recently as 2011 when Luis Fernandez took over and managed them in 16 games. His contract was not renewed, however, when they failed to make it to Euro 2012.

18:13 | Israel's most capped player in their history is Yossi Benayoun with 97 caps, who is still plying his trade for Maccabi Tel Aviv. He played with West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal during his peak years.

18:00 | Gerard Deulofeu is eager to consolidate his place in the Spain squad. "I'm working hard. I want to help the team and be part of it more often". The La Masia product recently stated that his loan move from Everton to AC Milan is the reason for his call-up to Lopetegui's squad.

17:10 | There is potential for a flurry of cards in the match tonight... six Spain players are just one booking away from suspension and, for more than one reason, suspension may be an attractive prospect.

16:28 | Still a fair while to go before the game, why not grab yourself a coffee, put your feet up and enjoy our in-depth interview with Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone

15:40 | Spain's youngsters gave a good account of themselves last night. The U21s swept aside their Danish counterparts in a 3-1 victory in Murcia. Mikel Merino, Saúl, and Denis Suárez all found the net, after the Spaniards initially fell behind to a Hjulsager goal.

15:13 | Here's AS editor Alfredo Relaño's take on the game, talking about rudeness ahead of the clash, and the issue of Spain's SIX players who are all one card away from a booking... 

13:55 | Israel's coach, Elisha Levy, is in positive mood ahead of tonight's challenge:

"The most important thing for us is first of all our approach. Our approach so far has proven itself to be that we are not afraid of anyone. We play against one of the best teams in the world but we want to play positive football to test ourselves. When the ball is with us, we will definitely try to attack."

13:28 | Robbie's twitching digits will keep you entertained and informed this evening however there are other ways to enjoy the game.

12:54 | Israel clearly come into this match as underdogs but maybe referee Michael Oliver can level the playing field.  

12:33 | One man unlikely to be getting a call up for the Spanish national side is a certain Harry Winks...or should we call him Kike Guiño.

12:18 | After the game against Israel, Spain will travel to Paris for a bit of a glamour friendly against France.

12:06 | Julen Lopetegui brought in two new faces to the squad for these international matches - Deulofeu and Illarramendi. 

Spain vs Israel: match preview

Spain come into this home match knowing the importance of a victory in their battle to maintain an edge between them and rivals for top spot, and automatic qualification from the group, Italy. Currently tied on points, Lopetegui will be clear with his players that slip up are likely to go punished with the Italians at home to Albania. And their opponents, Israel, cannot be taken lightly after a promising campaign to date. Three wins and a single loss (in the opening qualifying match against Italy) see them just a point behind group leaders in the table.

Spain vs Israel: team news


Three points for the Spaniards would almost certainly ensure that they remain in first place in Group G. Lopetegui's side are tied on points with Italy (10) one ahead of Israel but it would take a huge win for Italy to overturn the goal difference separating the two sides. El Molinon will be given its chance to make the noise to spur on its national heroes as we see some of the big guns return for La Roja.

Ramos, Piqué and Jordi Alba are all available with the latter of the three fresher than would have been expected. Some newer blood has been called up too with Deloufeu and Illarramendi potentially getting a chance to shine on the international scene. Diego Costa is expected to lead the line with creativity behind in the form of Vitolo, Silva and Iniesta. With Pepe Reina dropping out at the last minute, an opportunity has been given to Kepa to join the squad, although Manchester United's David De Gea will take his place between the posts.

Player to watch: Diego Costa. If Spain can score early and find their rhythm then this could be a relaxing night for their fans, and if the Chelsea forward can maintain his club form then Israel's defence could find it tough to contain him.


The visiting Israel side, to this point in the qualifying stage at least, has impressed with their three wins following a 1-3 home defeat to the Italians. Elisha Levy can be proud of his team that sits just a point behind their much more esteemed hosts tonight and the thought of sneaking a win to move ahead of them at the half-way point will have any optimistic fan excited ahead of kick off. There aim will be to keep up the pressure, beating the lower-placed sides in the group, and hope to slip into second place and a play-off position if one of the 'big two' become complacent.

The manager is expected to go with a 4-3-3 formation with the three forward-thinking players being asked to drop in and help out the rest of the team in an attempt to block spaces and frustrate Spain. Possession in key areas will be limited for the visitors so the importance of taking their chances when they come will be highlighted to the likes of Ben Haim and Ben Sahar. The defence will not be helped by the absence, through suspension, of first choice stopper, David Goresh.

Player to watch: Eran Zahavi. The midfielder making a name for himslef at Chinese club Guangzhou is the captain and leader and Spain will need to keep an eye on his attacking threat.

Spain vs Israel: live odds

Fancy Israel to get a shock win? At the time of writing you could see a single euro turn into 10 with that bet. Or what about the visitors to score first? 19/1 may tempt some.

A tight win for Spain by 2-1. That is paying out at 12/1.

Bet on Spain v Israel now

Spain vs Israel: live stream online build-up


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