ENGLAND 1, SPAIN 2 (UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE)
Luke Shaw was stretchered off with a head injury after his first England start in three injury-hit years, against Spain in the UEFA Nations League, as the national team was beaten in a competitive match at Wembley for the first time in 11 years.
Rodrigo Moreno set up a goal for Saul Niguez and scored the winner himself after capitalising on defensive errors by England who had earlier gone into the lead thanks to Shaw’s assist for Marcus Rashford.
England had a possible injury time equaliser by Danny Welbeck ruled out for a foul on David De Gea as Spain faded after a dominant start.
Shaw’s club manager, Jose Mourinho, will have been concerned after watching the left back, who has been an ever-present for the Reds this season, taken from the field of play although news from the England dressing room at full time was positive with the Reds full back walking and talking by the end of the game.
The United boss will also have been frustrated by Rashford’s hat trick of chances saved by club team mate David De Gea during the game.
World Cup 2018 Golden Boot presented to Harry Kane
Harry Kane was presented with the Golden Boot from the World Cup by Gareth Southgate and played in a Gold Boots for this one-off match. Both were cheered by the capacity Wembley crowd whereas Spain captain Sergio Ramos was roundly booed for his role in injuring Liverpool forward.
There were three changes for England from their last game in the World Cup 59 days ago and the UEFA Nations League saw a greater urgency from both sides rather than a slower paced friendly making for a much more competitive game.
Joe Gomez came in for Kyle Walker who dropped to the bench, Luke Shaw replaced his Manchester United team mate Ashley Young, who had been dropped by Southgate, for his first England start in three years, while Rashford replaced Raheem Sterling who withdrew from the England squad a few days ago with a back injury.
And Rashford capitalised on a low ball in from Luke Shaw to beat their Manchester United team mate David De Gea and Nacho after Jordan Henderson intercepted a loose ball and started a counter attack with Kane within 11 minutes.
Rashford made it four goals in six appearances at Wembley for England and it was the first England goal made and scored by Manchester United players since November 2012 when Ashley Young found Danny Welbeck for a goal against Sweden.
Spain were level quickly with Saul levelling exactly 120 seconds later. A sleeping Shaw allowed Dani Carvahal in down the Spain right and he combined with Rodrigo to find Saul for a low finish.
Harry Kane had an appeal for a penalty turned down after a Carvahal challenge and had a weak header easily saved by De Gea.
But it was Spain who scored next, with Rodrigo stabbing in from inside the six yard box in the 32nd minute after Harry Maguire played Spain onside at a Thiago Alcantara free kick from the left.
Jesse Lingard’s cross for Rashford whose header was acrobatically palmed away by De Gea who protected Spain’s lead with a great save.
Luke Shaw goes from assist maker to mistake maker before going off injured
Shaw had had a mixed first half but was pole-axed early in the second half after an accidental clash of heads with Carvahal leaving him possibly unconscious after falling heavily to the ground and was gently stretchered off with his head strapped after lengthy treatment to be replaced by Danny Rose.
Thiago’s volley touched the crossbar as Spain continued to press England with their technical superiority – the game seemed becalmed after Shaw’s departure after six minutes of treatment.
Henderson was next to be replaced, suffering with an injury, and he was replaced by Eric Dier.
Although Spain remained in control of the game but it had long lost its edge after the departure of Shaw.
England missed a great chance to level matters with less than ten minutes to go when Kane put Rashford through. Rashford went past Nacho but his shot went too close to De Gea and Spain were saved by their goalkeeper again.
Rashford was denied again by De Gea – this time from an offside position – as England still couldn’t claw back an equaliser.
Spain had been suffering from England set pieces and the home side got a chance to put in their World Cup set piece speciality but Maguire headed wide.
There were nine minutes of added time after the injury to Shaw and Danny Welbeck came on with Spain in retreat as the home side pushed up.
Welbeck had the ball in the net deep into injury time after appearing to snatch the ball from De Gea, who had collected an aerial ball sliced into the air by Ramos, and but his goal was ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Ramos cleared a Trippier cross for a corner, as England tried to level matters, but De Gea collected the ball before Kane could reach it and Spain held on to win at Wembley for the first time since 1981.
Match Stats – England 1, Spain 2 – UEFA Nations League
England: Pickford, Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Henderson (Dier 63), Trippier, Lingard, Alli, Shaw (Rose 53), Rashford (Welbeck 90+3), Kane
Booked: Henderson 20, Shaw 41, Stones 64, Rose 90+4
Goal: Rashford 11
Spain: De Gea, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Alonso (Martinez 87), Alcantara (Roberto 79), Busquets, Saul, Rodrigo, Aspas (Ascensio 67), Isco
Booked: Carvahal 81
Goal: Saul 13, Rodrigo 32