World Cup 2010
Match Reports

Spain 2 England 0
Friendly
Ramon Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, Seville, Spain - Wednesday 11 February 2009


England's first defeat since 26 March 2008 came at the hands of the current European Champions, Spain. Losing to FIFA's number one ranked team in the world is certainly no disgrace, especially as England were without Wayne Rooney (not match fit after recovering from an injury), Steven Gerrard (hamstring injury) and Rio Ferdinand (virus), who are regular starters for the Three Lions. That said, it's not clear if having these players would have turned the game around for England against a very good Spanish side.

Gabriel Agbonlahor had an early miss in the match after latching on to a cross from club-mate Gareth Barry. Agbonlahor's volley went just wide of Casillas' net. Barry later headed a Downing corner wide, and Heskey, clean through on goal was fouled, however officials mistakenly ruled him offside. Then came a break through in the deadlock. After a couple of earlier scares from Spain and unsuccessful attempts to get on the scoresheet from Heskey and Terry, Jagielka (getting his first start for England) made an error. Alonso picked up the ball and played it to Villa who put the ball past David James, after getting by John Terry and Phil Jagielka.

With England trailing by a goal at half-time, Capello made five changes to his line-up, which included replacing Downing with David Beckham. This brought the number of caps for the former England captain to 108, equalling Bobby Moore's record number of appearances in an England shirt for an outfield player.

Carlton Cole made his England debut with 15 minutes of the match remaining. However, Llorente extended Spain's lead in the 82nd minute when he headed to ball to beat Rob Green, who had replaced David James at half-time, following a free-kick from Xabi. Carlton Cole had a shot cleared off the line by Marchena in the dying moments of the match but England were unable to break through Spain's defence.

So, England's players leave Spain and go back to domestic action for a few weeks, before their next international game which is another friendly on 28 March, followed by a World Cup Qualifier on 1 April. Against a world class side, this result won't cause sleepless nights for England, however Capello will be more aware of the work required to turn England into World Champions next year.


Teams

SPAIN:
Casillas #1 - Captain (Reina 46 mins - #25), Pique #3, Albiol #2 (Marchena 75 mins - #4), Capdevila #11 (Arbeloa 46 mins - #23), Ramos #15, Alonso #14, Senna #19, Iniesta #6, Xavi #8 (Guiza 85 mins - #17), Villa #7 (Silva 56 mins - #21), Torres #9 (Llorente 64 mins - #16).
Subs Not Used: Riera #10, Juanito #20, Busquets #5, Cazorla #18.

ENGLAND:
James #1 (Green 46 mins - #12), Terry #6 - Captain, Jagielka #5 (Upson 46 mins - #14), A Cole #3, Johnson #2, Barry #8 (Lampard 46 mins - #18), Carrick #4, Downing #10 (Beckham 46 mins - #17), Wright-Phillips #7, Agbonlahor #11 (C Cole 75 mins - #21), Heskey #9 (Crouch 46 mins - #20).
Subs Not Used: Hart #22, Bridge #13, A Young #16, Milner #19. (Full Squad)


Match Details

Spain Goals: Villa (36 mins), Llorente (82 mins)

England Caution: Beckham (90 mins)

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

Attendance: 42,102