The U21 team were subjected to it last night, so it's no surprise that England's Wayne Rooney's temper got the better of the youngster which saw
Erikkson substitute the Manchester United forward before he received a red card.
England were 1-0 down inside the first ten minutes when Spain were awarded a corner. Xavi took the corner kick and played it to del Horno who
headed the ball past Robinson. On 24 minutes of play Spain could have been further ahead when the home team were given a penalty after
Robinson was seen to have brought Raul down by the referee, when in fact England's goalkeeper got two hands to the ball. Justice was served when
Robinson saved Raul's spot-kick.
The latter stages of the first half were dominated by Rooney's temper. The English forward received a yellow card for recklessly pushing Casillas into
some seated police officers. He was then a loose cannon, and moments later committed a late, high challenge on Marchena. Erikkson fearing
a red-card for his striker, decided he'd seen enough from Rooney and replaced him with club-mate Alan Smith. This also incensed
Rooney who ripped off his black armband (worn as a mark of respect for Emlyn Hughes and Keith Weller who both died last week) - however this
was an act of frustration rather than disrespect.
England were left in the shadow's of their Spanish counterparts for most of the game which was very disappointing. Smith appealed for a penalty
but was turned down by referee George Kasnaferis. Beckham was substituted after an hour of play with sore ribs (he broke a rib during the
encounter with Wales back in October), but it was nice to have the captain back playing after missing the game in Azerbaijan. The game was
marred by racism and Rooney's temper which was Spain's 500th match. What a way to reach such a milestone with their own fans behaving in such
a disgraceful way.
England players now have a break from international duty until February when they host Holland at Villa Park. Let's hope that the next
game is played in a friendly manner as this one should have been.
Casillas, Salgado, Marchena (Ibanez 46 mins), Juanito, del Horno, Joaquin (Romero 80 mins), Alonso (Orbaiz 69 mins), Xavi, Reyes (Angulo 57 mins),
Torres (Guti 46 mins), Raul (Luque 46 mins).
Subs Not Used: Canizares.
Robinson #1, G Neville #2, R Ferdinand #5 (Carragher 62 mins - #14), Terry #4 (Upson 65 mins - #13), A Cole #3 (Defoe 78 mins - #15), Beckham #7
(Wright-Phillips 60 mins - #16), Butt #6, Lampard #8 (Jenas 60 mins), Bridge #11, Rooney #9 (Smith 42 mins - #12), Owen #10.
Subs Not Used: James, Kirkland, P Neville, Hargreaves. (Full Squad)
Spain Goal: del Horno (9 mins)
England Cautions: Rooney (39 mins), A Cole (45 mins)
Referee: George Kasnaferis (Greece)