Spain vs Costa Rica player ratings: Gavi and Pedri pull strings in scintillating Qatar World Cup win



Unai Simon – 6

Almost exclusively a spectator in the Spain goal, but he will have enjoyed his front-row seat for this fine performance.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6

With little defensive work required, the full backs will be judged more on their attacking contributions – and Azpilicueta didn’t shine quite as brightly as Alba did on the opposite side.

Rodri – 6

The Manchester City midfielder was deployed at centre back for this match, and he will have been fairly thankful for such a quiet night at the office.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri (left) was stationed at centre back for Spain

Aymeric Laporte – 6

Similarly to his Man City teammate, Laporte had little to do in the centre of Spain’s defence but was focused and diligent throughout.

Jordi Alba – 8

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Got up and down the left flank well, fizzed in the assist for Spain’s second goal, and won the penalty with which his team made it 3-0. Made way for Balde early in the second half.

Sergio Busquets – 7

Disciplined and metronomic at the base of the Spanish midfield, as we’ve seen so often from the Barcelona man over the last decade-plus. Provided a solid platform for his midfield partners to express themselves. Was replaced by Koke shortly after the hour mark.

Gavi – 9

The 18-year-old’s delightful flicked pass over the Costa Rica defence marked the assist for Spain’s opener. He then joined in on the scoring with a brilliant outside-of-the-boot volley – off the post and into the bottom corner.

Gavi (right), 18, scored a clever volley with the outside of his boot

Ferran Torres – 9

Hopped up to the penalty spot at 2-0 and confidently rolled the ball home, before adding Spain’s fourth by firing in a powerful close-range finish – after capitalising on some poor defending. He was substituted on 56 minutes, right after his second goal.

Marcos Asensio – 8

Is predominantly used to playing as a winger or attacking midfielder, but he was tasked with starting as a centre forward here. Took his goal well with a swept, first-time finish, even if Keylor Navas should have done better in the Costa Rica net. Was replaced by Inaki Williams.

Pedri – 9

The Barcelona playmaker epeatedly crafted openings – at time out of nothing – with the deftest passes. Every combination of short, low, long, and lofted was on display as the 19-year-old (20 on Friday) unknitted the Costa Rica defence at will. Was replaced early in the second half to ensure he stays fit for sterner tests.

Dani Olmo – 8

Expertly brought down a clever ball from Gavi while turning inside the Costa Rica box, before clipping a finish over Navas. A mesmerising scoring move from the winger.

SUBSTITUTES

Spain substitute Alvaro Morata fails to convert a chance

Alvaro Morata – 7

Wasted a couple of decent half-chances within minutes of coming on, but he provided the assist for Gavi’s volley and scored Spain’s seventh goal.

Carlos Soler – 7

What’s Spanish for ‘solid but unspectacular’? That would have applied (darn it) until he hammered in Spain’s sixth.

Koke – 6

Worked hard between the two penalty areas after replacing Busquets in a defensive midfield role.

Alejandro Balde – 6

Made two very good, driving runs from deep, one of which led to Gavi’s goal.

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Inaki Williams – 6

Didn’t make too much of an impression but didn’t make any real mistakes either.

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