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Summary

  1. Spain unbeaten in 17 games
  2. No Lionel Messi for Argentina
  3. Spain 2010 World Cup winners; Argentina 2014 runners-up

Live Reporting

By Neil Johnston

All times stated are UK

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FULL-TIME

Spain 6-1 Argentina

Anthony Taylor brings Argentina's nightmare night to an end right on 90 minutes as tempers threaten to boil over.

Argentina have had a shocker. Spain have been excellent.

Thanks for your company. Until next time.

Spain 6-1 Argentina

The final whistle can not come soon enough for Argentina.

They've lost the plot.

There's a scuffle in the pitch and Anthony Taylor is having to earn his money.

Spain 6-1 Argentina

This has been a memorable night for Spain.

But what about Argentina? Even without Lionel Messi, there is no excuse for this performance.

They've been shocking at the back. Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria - their group opponents in Russia - will be rubbing their hands.

Argentina's defenders in despair during their friendly defeat to Spain
Reuters

GOAL - Spain 6-1 Argentina

Isco (hat-trick)

No Isco, no disco.

Embarrassing. Shocking. Inept.

Argentina's players hang their heads in shame as Isco completes his hat-trick with another fine finish.

Spain have been brilliant.

Isco celebrates as Spain thrash Argentina
Reuters

GOAL - Spain 5-1 Argentina

Iago Aspas

Bang!

Iago Aspas has booked his place on the Spain plane to Russia on this evidence.

More shocking defending by Argentina allows Aspas to fire past Willy Caballero.

Argentina have been ripped apart.

Iago Aspas celebrates his goal for Spain against Argentina
Reuters

Spain 4-1 Argentina

Gerard Pique's night is over.

He gets a warm reception as he is replaced after a solid shift. A far cry from earlier in the game when he was booed by his own fans.

Spain 4-1 Argentina

Stupid by Nicolas Tagliafico.

Moments after being booked, the Argentina defender barges into the back of Iago Aspas.

A red card?

Anthony Taylor decides a stern word is enough.

Lucky boy.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Spain 4-1 Argentina

Nicolas Otamendi is denied a second goal by a post after another decent header by the Manchester City defender.

It's getting tasty. Anthony Taylor reaches for his pocket to book Nicolas Tagliafico as tempers boil over.

Spain and Argentina players clash during the friendly match
Getty Images

Spain 4-1 Argentina

Spain have the ball in the back of the Argentina net for a fifth time but Sergio Ramos' celebrations are cut short by Anthony Taylor's whistle. Ramos is adjudged to have pushed an opponent before scoring.

Spain 4-1 Argentina

What an impact Iago Aspas has made.

He's only been on the pitch 15 minutes but he's been involved in both goals which has taken the game away from Argentina.

Jorge Sampaoli's side are heading for a crushing defeat.

Argentina boss Sampaoli frets during his side's defeat against Spain
Getty Images

GOAL - Spain 4-1 Argentina

Thiago Alcantara

Argentina are a shambles at the back.

Spain are running riot as Thiago Alcantara finds the corner of the net with another clinical finish following more good work from substitute Iago Aspas.

Damage limitation for Argentina with more than half an hour to go.

Alcantara celebrates scoring for Spain against Brazil
Reuters

GOAL - Spain 3-1 Argentina

Isco

Beautiful football from Spain.

Andres Iniesta's delightful lob sends substitute Iago Aspas through, the substitute going past keeper Willy Caballero before passing to Isco to score with a first-time time shot.

Isco and Ramos celebrate Spain's third against Argentina
Getty Images

Spain 2-1 Argentina

Argentina spend an age preparing to take a free-kick in a dangerous position but in the space of a split second it goes horribly wrong and it's a goal kick to Spain.

SUBSTITUTION

Spain 2-1 Argentina

Will Iago Aspas book himself a place on the Spain plane to Russia?

The former Liverpool player comes on for the start of the second half in place of Diego Costa who took a knock when scoring.

KICK-OFF

Spain 2-1 Argentina

Back under way.

HALF-TIME

Spain 2-1 Argentina

Great game. More of the same please.

Spain 2-1 Argentina

A word about Anthony Taylor.

He has done a fine job and is on top of a game which could have easily have got out of control.

Taylor kept his cards in his pocket despite some crunching tackles - instead choosing to dish out a few lectures.

Spain 2-1 Argentina

Who said friendlies were boring?

Lionel Messi might be missing but this has been a cracker.

You can't take your eyes off it.

Lionel Messi watches Argentina against Spain from the stands
Reuters

GOAL - Spain 2-1 Argentina

Nicolas Otamendi

Game on!

Spain have been all over Argentina but the visitors are back in it thanks to Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi.

Sergio Ramos mistimes his leap while trying to defend a free-kick into Spain's penalty area and Otamendi arrows a powerful header beyond David de Gea.

Otamendi celebrates by kissing the badge on his shirt.

Otamendi celebrates his goal for Argentina against Spain
Reuters

Spain 2-0 Argentina

Gerard Pique has spent the past few minutes hobbling around the pitch. The Barca defender is in some discomfort. Will he last until half-time?

A word about Jordi Alba. Shortly before Spain doubled the lead, the Barca player sent a half-volley high and wide from close range after Marco Asensio's perfect cross was flicked into his path.

Spain 2-0 Argentina

Argentina have had their chances.

Moments before they fell 2-0 behind, Ever Banega fired wide after a lovely one-two but, make no mistake, the visitors are badly missing Lionel Messi.

Spain 2-0 Argentina

When was the last time a Real Madrid player had his name chanted by tens of thousands of fans inside Atletico's ground?

"Isco, Isco, Isco," echoes around the Wanda Metropolitano.

Spain are full value for their lead.

Isco bows after scoring Spain's second against Argentina
Reuters

GOAL - Spain 2-0 Argentina

Isco

Willy Caballero has only been on the pitch a few moments and he is forced to fish the ball out of the back of his net.

Spain are playing some delicious football and it's another wonderful move which opens up the Argentina defence and allows Isco to side-foot his side further ahead.

What's going on with Argentina's defence? Isco is totally unmarked as he scores.

Isco celebrates giving Spain a 2-0 lead against Argentina
Getty Images

SUBSTITUTION

Spain 1-0 Argentina

That was short and not so sweet for Sergio Romero.

Manchester United's Argentina goalkeeper was hurt while trying to keep out Diego Costa's goal and is unable to continue.

He is replaced by Chelsea's Willy Caballero. The 36-year-old won his first cap for his country on Friday.

Romero is replaced by Caballero
Getty Images

Spain 1-0 Argentina

Gerard Pique has the ball at his feet. That sparks jeers from tens of thousands of Spain fans. Crazy!

Spain 1-0 Argentina

Thousands of Spain flags are being waved by fans after Diego Costa's seventh goal for his adopted country. The Brazil-born forward is back on his feet chasing the down the ball after being hurt while scoring.

This game is being played at a ridiculous pace. It's helter-skelter, end-to-end.

GOAL - Spain 1-0 Argentina

Diego Costa

Spain have the lead and it's Diego Costa on his home patch.

Great link up play involving Andres Iniesta tees-up Costa inside the penalty area and he blasts home before being clattered.

He's hurt in the process and requires treatment but Costa is able to continue.

Costa scores for Spain against Argentina
Reuters

Spain 0-0 Argentina

Poor Gerard Pique.

The Catalan defender is being jeered by Spain supporters each time he touches the ball.

Pique voted in the recent referendum and was vocal about the police violence against voters which resulted in hundreds of injuries.

Spain fans
Getty Images

Spain 0-0 Argentina

Huge chance for Argentina.

Gonzalo Higuain has been in great form for Juventus this season but he stabs wide in front of a gaping net after shrugging off the attentions of Sergio Ramos.

Spain are fortunate to be on level terms.

Higuain misses a chance for Argentina against Spain
Reuters

Spain 0-0 Argentina

Anthony Taylor is in for a busy night. The tackles are flying already. It's as if this game is a World Cup game rather than a friendly.

Taylor made

Spain 0-0 Argentina

There is an Englishman on the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Anthony Taylor is the referee for this friendly.

He looks pretty pleased to be in Madrid too. All smiles from the match official at kick-off.

KICK-OFF

Spain 0-0 Argentina

Spain are playing in white shirts with a red trim while Argentina are sporting a dark kit.

We're under way.

Which players will make the plane to Russia? And who will miss out?

150 not out for Ramos

What do you give a man who has everything?

Well, Sergio Ramos looks pretty pleased as he is presented with a framed Spain shirt with the number 150 on the back to mark the skipper's number of appearances for his country.

Ramos receives an award for his 150th appearance
Reuters

United v United

Is Jose Mourinho is watching?

While David de Gea lines up in goal for Spain, his Manchester United team-mate Sergio Romero is between the posts for Argentina.

Romero is closing in on 100 caps for his country. That's some achievement for someone who has not played a Premier League game this season.

David de Gea warms up for Spain
Reuters

Team news

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa returns to the Spain team while his Atletico Madrid team-mate Koke also starts in the familiar surroundings of the Wanda Metropolitano.

There are four Real Madrid players in the side and three from Barcelona, while Manchester United keeper David de Gea and Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara also start.

Spain: De Gea, Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Thiago, Koke, Iniesta, Isco, Asensio, Costa.

Despite the absence of Lionel Messi, Argentina's side is sprinkled with world-class talent.

Barcelona's Javier Mascherano features in midfield while Gonzalo Higuain, who has scored 15 Serie A goals for Juventus this season, also starts.

Sevilla's Ever Banega replaces Messi.

Argentina: Romero, Bustos, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Banega, Meza, Lo Celso, Higuain.

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Getty Images

No Messi for Argentina

Big team news from the visiting dressing room.

Argentina's all-time record scorer and captain Lionel Messi does not feature.

He missed the 2-0 win over Italy last Friday because of a muscle injury.

How serious is it? You can be sure boss Jorge Sampaoli will be asked that question after the game.

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Getty Images

Argentina fans out in force

Argentina are a long way from home but they are certainly not lacking support.

This game is being played at Atletico Madrid's new 67,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium which will host the 2019 Champions League final.

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Getty Images

There's plenty of blue and white flags inside and outside the ground. As well as half-and-half scarves!

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Reuters

Heavyweight battle

Tick tock...

Seventy-eight days before football's greatest show on earth begins in Moscow, heavyweights Spain and Argentina slug it out in Madrid.

This might be classed as a friendly but with the World Cup looming and a pitch full of superstars, expect an action packed match bursting with passion and pride as both teams look to gain an upper edge before heading for the "Motherland".

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EPA

World Cup countdown

It's eight years since Spain first ruled the world.

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Getty Images

Much, much longer since Diego Maradona and his 'Hand of God' last won Argentina the World Cup in Mexico.

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Rex Features

But do either have a chance of striking gold this summer?

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AFP

The next two hours could provide some vital clues as the countdown to the 2018 World Cup in Russia continues.