Two goals from Morata saw Spain, who dominated possession, pick up all three points at the Ta' Qali stadium in Euro 2020 qualifying group F.
Malta 0-2 Spain: match report
Spain continued their unbeaten start to Euro 2020 qualification in Malta on Tuesday night thanks to goals in either half from Alvaro Morata.
Malta, who beat the Faroe Islands in their opening game, sat deep for long spells and never truly threatened Spain but the visitors' inability to finish hurt them once again.
Against Norway on Saturday, Spain pepperered their goals but found themselves level in the second half after a Josh King penalty and needed a Sergio Ramos panenka style goal from the spot themselves so get out of jail.
They didn't need their captain this time but the 21 shots at goal (7 on target) with only two goals could hurt Luis Enrique's side sooner rather than later.
Alvaro Morata got the scoring started when he took down a Mario Hermoso pass with his thigh. He turned the defender and struck across Bonello, who could only offer a weak hand as a defense against the shot.
He scored the second too. Jesus Navas, only on the field the length of a lumbering Spain attack, whipped the ball into the middle and Morata slammed a header to the net to distinguish any hopes Malta might have been harbouring of a comeback.
Luis Enrique, who wasn't on the sideline due to family issues, will be happy with the six points from six available and the efforts his side are creating but there has to be at least a little concern over their inability to finish.
They will play a team at some stage who actively attack them and they'll have far less chances to turn into a goal.
They sit at the top of Group F, however, and play the Faroe Islands and then Sweden at home in June. As far as this international break goes, it's a case of a job done with plenty to work on.
Malta vs Spain live online: match updates
GAME OVER! Spain win it 2-0.
90'+4' Ramos headers over the bar from the corner.
90'+3' Asensio skips by a challenge or two and strikes. Saved by the keper again. Corner this time.
90'+1' Rodrigo absolutely clatters Borg. another lovely cross by Jesus Navas.
90' Spain continue to dominate. Malta not been able to get a shot on or off target so far and they've really struggled.
86' Canales almost caps his first ever start in a Spain jersey with a goal. A really nice flick into Sergi Roberto and he gets it back before firing wide.
84' Caruana down injured and it looks like he either needs help or can't continue, Movement on the Malta bench but as the defender remains on the ground.
82' Rodri wants a corner but it's not coming.
79' Rodrigo coming on for Spain. Morata the man making way. That's Spain's last substitute.
77' Morata looking for his triple. He can't get it though as he's dispossessed inside the penalty area.
75' Mifsud looking for his 42 goal in the Malta jersey but he's offside.
74' Navas has added a real spark down that right hand side. Lovely cross too.
73' NAVAS CROSS! MORATA GOAL! Lovely cross.
71' Corballan with a yellow for a foul on Canales as he grabs his jersey. Ref had not choice there as it was blatant.
70' Hermoso caught with a hand to the face by Borg. Still no yellow for him.
69' Mifsud coming on not. Malta's top goalscorer in their history. Mintoff is, well, off.
68' Hermoso hits the ground from the corner. He chases the referee and wants a penalty but nothing doing.
67' Asensio sends Navas down the line and he crosses and wins the corner. Spain should probably be concerned about their lack of goals.
64' Malta make their first change as Mbong is replaced by Muskat.
64' Sergi Roberto pushes forward and Navas slots in at right back.
64' Saul off for Jesus Navas.
63' Another foul as Corbalan catches Gaya's ankle.
62' Caruana with another header clear as the cross comes in.
61' Another cross from the right and Asensio sees his effort saved by Bonello. Saul follows it up and it's sent over the bar with the help of a deflection.
60' Muniain wins a free as Borg fouls him again.
58' Asensio effort. Lovely, lovely vision from Canales to find Roberto.
57' Another lovely cross and Morata headers wide again.
56' Muniain is coming on for Bernat.
54' Ramos with the free and he hits the wall. The Malta fans are loving that. Loads of Liverpool fans in the crowd, it seems.
53' Another nasty one from Borg. He goes through the back of Saul and still no yellow.
52' Lovely links between Canales and Asensio and a nice cross too. Nobody there though except for Borg, who chests down to his keeper.
51' No yellow as the ref doesn't go there yet but that was on the border.
50' Borg loses the ball as Bernat sneaks in behind him. He launches himself at Gaya and that's a really nasty one on his ankle.
48' Kepa clearance and it eventually makes its way out to Asensio. It comes all the way back to Gaya and Spain calm things down again.
47' No changes for either team at the break.
46' We are back underway in the second half!
45' Hardly a second of added time! Half-time in Malta. Spain dominant but just one goal seperates the sides.
43' Asensio wins a corner and he is limping now after getting his left foot stood on. He seems okay though.
42' Morata with a shot and he drives it up into the air.
41' He fires the free over.
40' That was a nasty one. Free for Spain as Asensio lines it up. He's shooting here and wants the wall pushed back.
38' Ramos down injured as Nwoko barrels into him and he gets a knee in the chest.
36' So dangerous from Kepa. He passes across goal to Gaya and he backheels out of trouble. That was a little too close for comfort from Spain.
34' He doesn't give Mintoff the yellow but he was lucky.
34' Slide comes in on Gaya and that's a free but referee plays advantage. The ref might be going looking for the culprit to brandish a yellow card.
32' Sergi Roberto with a lovely run down the right and he cuts it back to Saul. He hits it on the bounce but completely messes it up and skies it.
31' GOAL! Morata finishes. Hermoso finds him and he controls with his knee before finishing. Really poor from the goalkeeper.
30' Asensio with a nice cross and Morata heads into the keepers' hands. Fairly weak one that as he couldn't get any power behind it.
29' Ball sent into the box and cleared away bt Malta. Saul closes in on the clearance but can't make it on time to affect it. Spain win it back.
28' Even more Spain possession. Safe to say Malta would be happy to take a draw tonight. They have barely touched the ball in their own half.
27' Bernat is limping but he tells the bank he's fine for now.
26' Offside as the shot comes in from Asensio. Through ball landed to Morata but he drifted off. Well off, really.
25' Asensio blocks a clearance and it's out for a goal kick.
24' Rodri to Saul and he plays a through ball that gets cut out. Spain having trouble breaking down Malta so far.
22' Gaya to Rodri and out to Asensio. It's all Spain here.
20' Saul, Gaya and Bernat link up down the left and keep the ball. Spain work it back and keep the ball again.
19' Spain absolutely dominating possession now. They have had 75% possession.
17' Saul with the effort and it's over. More direct play from Spain there and Sergi Roberto.
16' Hermoso to Ramos and he moves forward. Sergi Roberto is direct and runs forward before giving it to Saul. He shoots and curls it wide.
14' More possession for Spain but absolutely nothing doing. Saul loses out and Malta win the throw.
13' Ball inside to Nwoko and Kepa grabs it.
12' They play it short and Asensio gets it on the left before losing it. Not really great.
12' Spain back on the ball. Ramos to Hermoso. Moata fouled and Spain with a free in a dangerous spot. They have a chance to cross this one in.
11' Malta looking to break and Nwoko says he was fouled. Referee doesn't think so though.
10' Asensio plays inside to Canales and he strikes. Blocked!
9' Bernat into the path of Saul and he crosses. Headed out. Malta sitting deep now and it's going to be a long night for them.
8' Hermoso grabbed around the neck. He is pulled down and wins the free. Not the most difficult decision the referee will have to make tonight.
7' Ramos looks for that long ball over the top again as Morata sneaks in around the back. He fouls Zerafa as they battle for the ball.
6' Saul drives forward into the penalty area. He loses it and then wins it back again. Spain very patient so far with no real chances and plenty of the ball.
5' Ramos heads the free over. He says he was fouled but no penalty and no Panenka for the captain.
4' There's a free for Spain as Bernat is grabbed around the shoulder by Borg and thrown to the ground.
3' Kepa with a clearance and it's not convincing. Spain keep it anyway.
3' Ramos launches a ball down in search of Saul but it hits Borg and lands in the keepers' arms.
2' Spain win the ball back after some early pressure from Malta. Spain take control of it now.
1' We are underway!
Spain in their grey strip and Malta in their red. We are ready for action!
The Spanish national anthem rings around the stadium!
Ramos the most experienced player by a mile tonight. He has 162 caps and the other 10 players on the field for Spain combine for a total of 89.
Juan Bernat makes his seventh appearance for Spain tonight. He made his last in 2015 against Macedonia.
Nwoko and Borg, the two goalscorers from the Faroe Islands game start tonight.
Malta XI: Bonello, Mbong, Muscat, Caruana, Borg, Zerafa, Mintoff, Fenech, Guillaumier, Corbolan y Nwoko.
Spain XI: Kepa, Sergi Roberto, Ramos, Hermoso, Gaya, Canales, Rodri, Saúl, Asensio, Morata, Bernat
Loads of changes for Spain tonight, who will be without their manager, Luis Enrique, after he excused himself due to family reasons.
Follow all the action live online from Mata vs Spain in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Kick-off at 20:45 CET.
Malta vs Spain live online: preview
Luis Enrique will not be on the sideline on Tuesday when Malta welcome Spain as he excused himself due to family reasons. After their successful start to Euro 2020 qualifying against Norway in Valencia on Saturday night, his side travel to Malta to play a side looking to keep their 100% record in tact. They beat Fare Islands 2-1 at the weekend too as we get a top of the table clash early on the road to the Euros.
Malta suffered a 12-1 defeat to Spain in 1983 and have failed to win a single game in seven attempts against their opponents on Tuesday night. The most recent game agains the two sides came in 1997 with Spain winning 4-0. The home side will need their goalscorer, Michael Mifsud, on target. The Birkirkara striker has 41 goals for his country and will lead the line on Tuesday.
Spain, for their part, are likely to ring the changes with plenty of talent in their squad. Rordrigo could get a start and so could Kepa in goals. Alba and Busquets will likely be rested too. They beat Norway on Saturday but they missed a number of chances and it will be interesting to see if Luis Enrique makes changes in an effort to find the goals they lacked on that occasion.
- 21 Nikolai Muscat
- 18 Bjorn Kristensen
- 13 Dunstan Vella
- 14 Luke Montebello
On for John Mintoff
- 12 Nicholas Vella
- 20 Jake Grech
On for Joseph Mbong
- 23 Justin Haber
- 5 Leighton Grech
- 17 Ryan Camilleri
On for Jonathan Caruana