Spain ends Italy’s incredible 11-year unbeaten qualification run.


Both sides were level on points before the game ahead of their Group G game after six games as the race to Russia in 2018 becomes intense, but there was something else at stake in Saturday’s encounter.

The Azzurri had not suffered a loss in the preliminary European Championship and World Cup phase since a France team consisting of Thierry Henry, Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira beat them 3-1 in 2006.

Meanwhile, 59 games had gone by since the last time Spain were beaten in World Cup qualifiers – a 1-0 defeat to a Peter Schmeichel and Michael Laudrup-led Denmark in 1993.

The two sides failed to get the better of each other when they met in Italy in the previous fixture, but there was no share of the spoils this time around.