Spain gave Roy Hodgson’s England side a bit of a lesson in Alicante on Friday night, with the classy hosts’ possession football ultimately earning them a deserved 2-0 win.
The Three Lions started with Michael Carrick back in midfield alongside Fabian Delph, with Phil Jones partnering Chris Smalling in the centre of defence.
However, from the off the visitors struggled to hold onto the ball while the Spaniards knocked the ball around with ease.
Still, despite their inferiority in the first period, it was the English who mustered the only two shots on target of the half, with Harry Kane and then Delph testing Iker Casilllas in the Spanish goal.
The hosts were dealt a blow on 27 minutes, with Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara forced off with injury, to be replaced by Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla.
The goals eventually came for the Spanish in the second-half, albeit after 72 minutes, with Villarreal full-back Mario Gaspar producing an incredible volleyed finished from a Cesc Fabregas pass.
Wayne Rooney then made a sub appearances to take him level with Bobby Moore on 108 senior caps, but the Man Utd man struggled to make a mark on the game.
Cazorla then added a second, courtesy of a superbly controlled effort as the English were outclassed.
After a doddle of a Euro 2016 qualifying group, Hodgson’s charges will have brought right back down to earth in Alicante, with the likes of Carrick, Delph and Kyle Walker failing to shine. Indeed, one wonders if the fact that England tend to have such easy qualifying groups actually fails to prepare them for the quality of major tournament football?