Sports

England 1-1 Spain — UEFA Nations League

England 1-1 Spain — UEFA Nations League

England's midfielder Dele Alli (C) and England's midfielder Eric Dier (2nd L) speak with Dutch referee Danny Makkelie after he disallows a late goal by England's striker Danny Welbeck (not pictured) during the UEFA Nations League football match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium in London on September 8, 2018.

Against England, Spain had far less possession than they were used to under World Cup caretaker coach Fernando Hierro and predecessors Julen Lopetegui and Vicente del Bosque but played with more goal and were more direct than before.

Southgate's team included the returning Luke Shaw and Joe Gomez, with both players impressing as Shaw set up Rashford's opener and Gomez looking composed throughout.

The truth is it could get worse before it gets better, even if it would be grossly unfair to label a man who so excelled at the World Cup as the first manager to be relegated with his country as well as a club.

"Going by numbers and performances, he is world's number one". "I'm under contract, I'm enjoying the role, I love the challenge and that's it".

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw was stretched out of the game early in the second half after colliding with Real Madrid star Daniel Carvajal in the 47th minute of the game.

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England responded in style and scored a goal of stunning quality in the 11th minute.

"We knew it was going to be a hard game".

"I don't think we were under any illusions as a coaching team", Southgate said.

It could be that Southgate is presiding over a power shift in the engine room, with Dier likely to start in Tuesday night's friendly clash with Switzerland. We have two of the world's best teams in our group.

It sounded as if Southgate, who has made it clear he does not want to keep harking back to the adventures of the World Cup, felt England's defeat by Spain was a reality check.

"That's what I want, to reduce the space and press a lot and against a team with three defenders it was very hard", Luis Enrique said. We can either go back to our old style and we'll never be a top team, or we can keep trying to do what we do and suffer at times.


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