England 1-2 Spain: Enrique era kicks off with Three Lions reality check

England 1-2 Spain: Enrique era kicks off with Three Lions reality check

matt-addison
Matt Addison
EnglandPickford, Trippier, Maguire, Stones, Gomez, Shaw (Rose, 53'), Henderson (Dier, 64'), Dele, Lingard, Rashford (Welbeck, 90+4), Kane
SpainDe Gea, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcos Alonso (Martinez, 88'), Busquets, Saul, Thiago (Sergi Roberto, 80'), Isco, Iago Aspas (Asensio, 68'), Rodrigo
SCORERashford 11' Saul 13' Rodrigo 32'
REFEREEDanny Makkelie (NED)
INCIDENTSAttendance: 81,392
Live LoaderVAVEL Live SmallLive Match

That is all from me for tonight. Thanks for following this live text commentary as England's 14-game Wembley winning run in competitive matches came to an end. I've been Matt Addison - goodbye.

Harry Kane is not happy with that late disallowed goal, and understandably so. He said: "In those big moments, you need the ref to stay strong and unfortunately he’s just bottled it. Danny’s just stood there, he’s not gone to foul him or anything. Sometimes goalkeepers get better treatment than the rest of us, and that’s unfortunate for us. I think we deserved a draw at least."

The problem will be that for Southgate, the issues that England have are not simple to fix. This was by no means a chastening defeat, but the lack of a creative midfielder stands out against top teams. Someone needs to emerge for England to take the next step, but that will not happen immediately - Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden are obvious long-term answers, but they are still young and perhaps not ready for the call. 

The next game in the group sees Spain face Croatia later in the week, while England host Switzerland in Leicester on Tuesday in a friendly. They will play Croatia next month. 

Chances for the likes of Rashford went begging, but Spain were far more comfortable in possession and looked in control at the vital moments in the match. England pressed for a goal near the end, but needed to do more a little earlier on. 

That game was a reality check, in truth, for England. While they reached the World Cup semi-finals and Spain crashed out in the last-16, on the night there was clear daylight in quality between the teams. When Spain brought on Champions League finalist goal scorer and winner Asensio, England turned to Arsenal squad player Welbeck.

Spain top Group A4 after one game, and while there was controversy over that late disallowed goal, the visitors were deserved winners overall. 

FULL-TIME! England fall to defeat by Spain, with Rodrigo's goal the difference. 

90+11' Gomez's long throw is headed over the top. 

90+10' Maguire knocks the kick down for Kane, but De Gea gathers. 

90+9' England have a corner, won by Trippier...

90+7' Welbeck has the ball in the back of the net, but a foul has been given on De Gea. Those are always given for the goalkeeper, but it looked like a soft one. There was very little in that and the Wembley crowd - and Southgate - are furious.

90+5' Nacho wins a throw-in under pressure before Lingard fouls Saul. Another few seconds tick away as Spain manage the game to its conclusion.

SUB: Welbeck comes on for Rashford. 

90+4' Carvajal is fouled by Rose, who gets a yellow card. Almost half of the added time is up. 

90+3' Stones is crowded out and loses the ball but Rodrigo cannot shoot over the head of Pickford from distance. 

90+2' Isco plays it short before Ramos volleys well over the top. 

90+1' Spain keep the ball expertly as they look to play down the clock. Martinez wins a corner kick. 

90' Nine minutes will be added on at the end of the second half. 

89' England have been on top for a few minutes, now, but still they search for a goal to get back on level terms. Not long remaining in the game but there will be a substantial amount of added time after the Shaw injury. 

88' Isco slides in on Dier just as the substitute was about to shoot on the edge of the penalty area. A great tackle at a vital time. 

SUB: Inigo Martinez replaces Marcos Alonso. 

87' Maguire heads well wide from the ball into the box.

86' Rose almost is played in, but Carvajal puts it behind for a corner. 

85' Rashford is just offside, but De Gea saved the shot regardless. 

84' Dele comes deep to collect the ball, but there are no options on when he received it from Stones. England are struggling to create chances, making Rashford's miss all the more costly and frustrating. 

83' Carvajal is booked for a late tackle. 

81' Huge chance for Rashford! He had so much space that somehow opened up for him inside the area, but he shot straight at De Gea. He should have placed the shot far better than that - what a missed opportunity. Kane then put the rebound wide. That should have been England's second goal. 

SUB: Sergi Roberto comes on for Thiago. 

79' Trippier tries to swing in a cross, but Ramos easily blocks. 

77' Saul chases down Gomez, who calmly nudges the ball back to Pickford to launch clear. 

76' Rashford's potshot is deflected, with all the pace on the strike taken out of it, making it easy for De Gea to collect the ball.

74' The game has entered a lull with neither side able to keep the ball for long. The impetus needs to come from England, who are a goal behind here, but Kane is isolated. 

72' Rashford's pass to Tripper is over-hit and it goes out for a throw-in. 

71' England have a rare spell of possession but go nowhere with it. If a goal is to come, there will need to be a moment of magic: Spain have been well on top, especially since the restart. 

70' News on Shaw's injury, and it is positive: the full-back is awake and the concern about his wellbeing has eased. 

69' England comfortably head clear the cross from Alonso when the set-piece takes place after the change. 

SUB: Aspas is replaced by Asensio. 

68' Trippier naively dives in on Saul to win a free-kick.

67' Isco hits the wall with the free-kick and England survive.

66' Stones goes into the book for a tackle on Rodrigo. That was never a foul - the City man clearly got the ball when he slid in. 

SUB: Henderson is replaced by Dier in a like-for-like switch. 

63' Trippier finds an excellent ball to Kane, but the Golden Boot winner is offside again. He pulled his shot well wide anyway.

62' Isco looks for Rodrigo, but the former Bolton winger is well offside. 

60' Since Shaw went off, it has been all Spain as they press for a third goal. At this rate, it seems like they will be the next team to score as England struggle to get hold of the ball. 

59' Thiago is starting to find space, with Lingard and Dele unable to get near him. The La Masia graduate is becoming increasingly involved. 

57' Maguire loses possession in a dangerous area but Aspas is offside. 

56' Henderson looked to play a good ball into Kane, but the forward had gone too soon and knew he was offside, so let the ball go past him. 

55' Saul looks to get away down Spain's left side, but Maguire comes across to cut out the danger and win a throw-in. Thiago then half-volleys over the top from inside the area - he showed brilliant technique and shot marginally over the top.

54' The match is back underway, with Shaw now departed down the tunnel for further treatment. 

SUB: Southgate looks on concerned. Shaw is about to be stretchered off, and Rose will be coming on. The Manchester United left-back has had no luck with injuries in his career so far, and this potentially could be a serious one.

52' Shaw is still being treated, with an oxygen mask applied. 

47' Spain quickly get back into their rhythm, but Shaw goes down under a clumsy challenge. He is being treated having banged his head on the way to the ground. Rose looks to be coming on for Shaw who might have been knocked out in that clash with Carvajal.

46' Spain restart the game for the second period. Neither side has made a change from the bench.

England definitely lack a number ten in the absence of Adam Lallana, and the back three has left Shaw and Trippier with a lot to do at times. Plenty to ponder as England look to respond in the second half, which is coming up shortly. 

Spain are deservedly in front at the break. They are technically superior and England are losing the midfield battle so far. A better final ball or choice of pass in the final third could have made it a different story but Southgate will want a little more from his attackers. 

Half-time. England took the lead well, but two goals from Spain mean it has been a successful first half in charge of those in red for Luis Enrique

45' Shaw goes down too easily under challenge from Carvajal and again referee Makkelie gives nothing. 

43' Maguire is fortunate as a heavy touch goes unpunished and he was in enough space to latch onto his own error. The atmosphere has quietened at Wembley, with the interval imminent. 

42' Shaw goes into the book for a late tackle on Carvajal. An unnecessary time to fly into a challenge. 

41' Kane drags the arm of Alonso as the Spanish left-back breezes past him, but the referee lets play continue. 

39' Another hopeful Shaw cross goes straight into Spanish territory. Not long until half-time. 

37' Spain are pinging the ball around the Wembley turf. The ball eventually finds Saul, but his volley is straight at Pickford, who saves comfortably. 

35' What a save! De Gea stops from a Rashford header from close range. A good response from England. 

34' Shaw looks to cross into the Spain box, but there are no England players there and the chance is gone. 

GOAL! Spain lead from the set-piece! Rodrigo converts from the cross. Dreadful defending from England - Kane just let the forward run free and he was unmarked. 

31' Carvajal's low cross is cleared by Maguire, but Spain come again. Trippier flies in on Alonso and concedes a clear free-kick out wide level with the edge of the area. 

30' England's high press fails once again and Spain waste the chance with Maguire out of position. Rodrigo wanted to unleash a shot, but his own players got in the way and the danger passes. 

28' Big chance to get Rashford through on goal, but Kane delayed far too long with the pass and once it arrived he was offside. 

27' Dele almost picks out Kane when he was in acres of space, but the pass was over-hit. That is the area in which England often struggle - between the lines in the final third.

26' Pickford picks out Rashford with a long ball, but De Gea comes out of his goal and punts into touch. 

24' Kane is fouled by Nacho, allowing Shaw to swing in a cross from deep. From the kick, the Spurs forward went down, but Saul clearly got the ball and the referee is not interested in any penalty claims. 

23' Rodrigo drags a shot wide from 25 yards after coming inside onto his favoured left foot. 

22' Rashford is dropping very deep here, in line with Dele and Lingard, meaning Spain are able to play out from the back comfortably every time. Something for Southgate to take a look at. 

20' Carvajal looks to get forward but is stopped by Shaw. England do well to keep their shape and not get dragged around by the visitor's movement. 

18' Henderson goes into the book for a tug on Alonso, who had got past him near the halfway line. 

17' Lingard almost cleverly heads towards Dele, but Nacho just about dives in to intercept the ball. 

15' Rodrigo cannot get past Shaw; Dele takes over and fires up the line in the direction of Rashford, but Nacho comes across and gives England a throw-in on halfway.

14' From nothing, we have two goals! The UEFA Nations League has begun!

GOAL! Saul equalises immediately! Shaw dived in on the left side and Spain worked the ball to the Atletico midfielder, who slotted past Pickford. Rodrigo with the assist. 1-1.

GOAL! A superb cross from Shaw on the counter finds Rashford, and England lead! The Manchester United man slots past his teammate De Gea.

10' No chances for either side early on in the game as both teams feel each other out. 

9' Kane looks to play in strike partner Rashford, but Ramos easily intercepts. 

8' Gomez fouls Saul on the right-hand side, giving Spain a chance to put the ball into the box. The set-piece eventually finds the hands of Pickford after some head tennis. 

6' Rodrigo tries to flick to ball onto Aspas, but his ambitious pass slides through to Pickford. 

5' Gomez wins England a throw-in under pressure from Rodrigo. 

4' Spain are having most of the ball early on, with England attempting to press them high up the field. 

2' Ramos sprays a perfect pass into Thiago, but the Bayern man is well offside. 

1' Maguire attempts to play the ball out from the back but can only play the ball out for a throw-in under pressure. Ramos then gets his first touch of the evening and gets booed by the crowd. 

KICK-OFF! England get the game underway.

As England's national anthem rings out around Wembley, the game is almost upon us.

Southgate presents his captain with the award to rapturous applause from the England crowd. With that ceremony out of the way, the national anthems can take place, starting with Spain. 

The teams are lined up inside the Wembley tunnel. Kane leads England out wearing his special edition gold-coloured boots to mark the occasion.

Both teams have completed their warm-ups, with the start of the game around ten minutes away. Harry Kane will enter the field shortly, to collect his Golden Boot award for finishing as top scorer at the World Cup.

With kick-off under an hour away, take a look at Aaron Hindhaugh's match preview to get yourself in the mood. 

Spain substitutes: Kepa, Pau, Albiol, Inigo Martinez, Morata, Suso, Azpilicueta, Rodri, Gaya, Sergi Roberto, Asensio, Ceballos

England substitutes: Butland, McCarthy, Bettinelli, Walker, Alexander-Arnold, Rose, Tarkowski, Dier, Loftus-Cheek, Delph, Welbeck

Southgate, then, opts to stick with the back-three that served England well at the World Cup, while Spain's team is littered with familiar faces. Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez start against the likes of Sergio Ramos and Nacho, who they faced in the Champions League final last season. Marcos Alonso makes his first start for his country. 

Spain XI: De Gea, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcos Alonso, Busquets, Saul, Thiago, Isco, Iago Aspas, Rodrigo

England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Maguire, Stones, Gomez, Shaw, Henderson, Dele, Lingard, Rashford, Kane

Stay tuned and we'll have all the build-up to kick-off which is at 7:45pm BST, and give you the teams as soon as we have them. 

Whatever the outcome, it will be interesting to see whether Gareth Southgate sticks with his back three utilised at the World Cup, and whether the likes of Luke Shaw and Joe Gomez feature on their return to the squad. With two high-profile teams on show, it is set to be a good game. 

Sound complicated? Even the England players are struggling to understand how the format will work, but UEFA believes that once it plays out, the tournament will become clearer. Harry Maguire said: “It is confusing, but we are trying to get our heads around it. For us players, we just go into each game trying to win it and see where it takes us. We will see after the game.”

Spain will host Croatia on September 11, while England travel to Croatia on October 12 and Spain on October 15. Croatia vs Spain is on November 15, with England playing Croatia at home three days later. Once those fixtures are complete, the final standings in Group A4 will be known, as well as the other groups in League A.

With that in mind, this is a competitive fixture, with both teams wanting to compete as part of the final four next year with a trophy on offer for the ultimate champions. 

Qualifying for Euro 2020 will still take place next year, with this competition entirely separate, but the hope is that international football between major tournaments will be revitalised, with interest having waned in recent times. 

The winner of each of category A's leagues will make a final four. Those four teams will face off in another mini-tournament next June where an overall winner of the UEFA Nations League will be decided. 

Within each category, there are four mini-leagues (with Croatia alongside England and Spain). Each nation plays home and away against the other two in their group. At the conclusion, the bottom side in the table is relegated where possible (not from category D, which is the lowest category) and the top side promoted where possible (not from category A, which is highest).

The UEFA Nations League is a tournament designed to reduce the number of one-sided and ineffective international friendlies, with 55 nations split into four categories - A, B, C and D. Group A, which England and Spain find themselves in, is the highest, with group D made up of the lowest ranked teams (as of October 2017).

Spain team news: Diego Costa has withdrawn from the squad for personal reasons, but all the other players selected remain in contention. Chelsea's Marcos Alonso is in the squad, as is AC Milan's Suso, but both Jordi Alba (Barcelona) and Koke (Atletico Madrid) have been left out. David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) and Gerard Pique (Barcelona) have all retired from international football. 

England team news: Adam Lallana has withdrawn from the squad and returned to Liverpool after picking up a groin injury during training on Tuesday; he joins Raheem Sterling in leaving the camp, as the Manchester City winger complained of a sore back earlier in the week. Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettintelli has also joined the squad despite other goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Alex McCarthy still being present.

England are sure to receive a warm welcome in their first game since finishing fourth at the World Cup this summer, while for Spain a new era begins under former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique after new Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the tournament. Spain were knocked out by hosts Russia at the round-of-16 stage and are looking to bounce back.

Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of England against Spain at Wembley Stadium. I'm Matt Addison - stay with me for updates as we move towards kick-off!

VAVEL Logo

    International Football News

    3 days ago
    3 days ago
    6 days ago
    7 days ago
    8 days ago
    10 days ago
    17 days ago
    19 days ago
    21 days ago
    24 days ago