08.06.2024 23:40 h

Pedri brace helps Spain thrash Northern Ireland

Pedri Gonzalez struck twice for Spain as they thumped Northern Ireland 5-1 in their final friendly ahead of Euro 2024 on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Mikel Oyarzabal also netted for Luis de la Fuente's side in Mallorca, with wingers Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal oozing menace on the flanks.

Spain, in a Euros 'group of death' with Italy, Croatia and Albania, are aiming to win the competition for the fourth time.

Northern Ireland surprised the hosts by taking the lead through Dan Ballard, who headed home a Caolan Boyd-Munce free-kick after just two minutes.

Isaac Price came close to a second before Spain recovered their poise and took complete control.

Pedri pulled Spain level with a low drive from the edge of the box, before Alvaro Morata nodded La Roja ahead from Jesus Navas' cross.

Barcelona midfielder Pedri struck again after a neat move and Fabian Ruiz headed home Lamine Yamal's cross for the fourth.

The second half was a calmer affair although Mikel Oyarzabal did net Spain's fifth after electric 16-year-old Barcelona winger Yamal set him up.

Spain won the Euros in 2008 and 2012 but largely struggled since then until lifting the Nations League trophy last year.

De la Fuente's side face Croatia in their opening Group B fixture in Berlin on June 15, a day after the tournament in Germany begins.