Game 3: England 1.2 Spain (UEFA Nations Cup) 08.09.18
After watching the Barnet game I caught the tube down to Wembley with a stop off at Morrisons to pick up some supplies for tea. Arriving just as the turnstiles opened I went in to the ground and found my seat. The atmosphere built up towards kick off and as the teams came out there were thousands of England flags waving in the air. Harry Kane was presented with the Golden Boot for his World Cup exploits and the crowd got behind the team as the game started. It didn’t take too long for the first goal, Shaw breaking down the left wing and pushing the ball forward into space. I thought that Spain would close it down as it looked like he had overhit the ball but their defence didn’t see the danger. Shaw played a great ball low into the area that curved beautifully into the run of Marcus Rashford and he finished low past De Gea.
Sadly the lead didn’t last long. A couple of minutes later Cavajal took the ball past Shaw who dived in with a challenge and played it into the area to Rodrigo. He took a touch to beat Maguire and get a cross to Niquez who beat two defenders to the ball and hit a first time shot low past Pickford. The Spanish frontline were making some great runs off the ball and Ramos was controlling the ball and sending some excellent accurate passes around the pitch. The second Spanish goal came when Trippier made a late challenge on Alonso near the touchline. There were a couple of Spanish players standing offside just before Alcantara hit the ball low into the area. Neither of them interfered with play but it seemed to lull the English defence into claiming offside while Rodrigo ran from an onside position to knock the ball in from close range. England came close to equalising from a short corner. Lingard played a cross into the area which Rashford headed towards goal only to see De Gea make a good save.
The second half was only minutes old when Luke Shaw played a header and immediately went down after inadvertently hitting the attackers elbow. After a long period of medical attention he was stretchered off the pitch. England seemed to be affected by the injury. They didn’t manage to gain control the midfield while the tempo of the game suited Spain. It wasn’t until late that they created any real chances of note. Rashford got in a great position but hit a shot too close to De Gea who managed to deflect the ball away to Kane. He took a shot first time but only found the side netting. Deep into injury time De Gea went up to collect a ball with Rashford beneath him. As the ball came down it hit Rashford on the head and came out of De Gea’s hands. Rashford acted instinctively and turned to hit the ball into the empty net but as England fans celebrated the official behind the goal indicated to the referee that there had been a foul and the goal was disallowed.
England – Pickford, Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Lingard, Henderson (Dier 64), Ali, Shaw (Rose 53), Rashford (Welbeck 90), Kane.
Spain – De Gea, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcos Alonso (Martinez 87), Thiago Alcantara (Roberto 80), Busquets, Niquez, Rodrigo, Aspas (Ascensio 68), Isco