Two late goals secured a draw for Spain at Wembley on Tuesday night, as Gareth Southgate’s four-game interim stint as England boss came to a disappointing end.
England started well and took the lead after just nine minutes, when Jamie Vardy was felled in the Spanish ‘keeper by Jose Reina. Adam Lallana, whose superb pass had set up Vardy in the first-place, converted the subsequent spot-kick.
Worringly for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Lallana would eventually be forced off with injury on 27 minutes.
Spain, as expected, were impressive in possession, with Barcelona’s Segio Busquets shining in midfield. However, a lack of cutting-edge up front meant much of their good build-up play came to nothing.
Not long after the break, England would score again, with Jamie Vardy heading home from a Jordan Henderson centre. That goal ended the Leciester striker’s 14-game goal-drought for club and country.
Vardy’s diving header prompted the Foxes’ star to pull off an impromptu (and rather impressive) mannequin challenge along with Raheem Sterling and Theo Walcott…
Jamie Vardy, Walcott and Sterling’s Mannequin celebration. pic.twitter.com/QKczWvnz2v
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) November 15, 2016
Southgate sent on full-back Aaron Cresswell for his England debut. However, rather than shore things up and see out the game, England would concede two late goals.
Ex-Liverpool attacker Iago Aspas, who has impressed in La Liga this season, fired home a superb effort in the last minute to give the Spanish hope.
Then, deep into injury-time, Real Madrid schemer Isco fired home at the far post to secure a hard-fought draw for the visitors.
Despite a decent performance from his side, Southgate will no doubt be disappointed to end his interim stint in charge with a draw, particularly after leading for so long.
However, the former U21 boss is still likely to be offered the England job on a permanent basis, before their schedule resumes in the new year.