Spain 2-3 England: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Raheem Sterling Scores Twice in Three Lions Win

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England scored their first win in the Nations League after surviving a late scare to beat Spain 3-2 in a thriller in Seville.

With Spain strolling into the match as Group 4’s leaders with six points, the Three Lions were well aware of the repercussions of a loss and certainly played like it in the first half.

By half time, it was the hosts who found themselves behind, by 3-0 at that, with Gareth Southgate’s young Lions having run riot in Seville for the first 45 after two goals from Raheem Sterling and one from Marcus Rashford.

Paco Alcacer came on in the second half to cut England’s lead down and Sergio Ramos popped up with another at the death, but that would be all the England defence would allow as they registered a huge victory over one of the best international opponents they’ve had to face in recent times.

Below is our breakdown of the game.


Key Talking Point

The Spanish side managed to find the back of the net to write a better-looking scoreline. But having gone down 3-0 before half time, they left many shocked.

Before Monday night, Spain hadn’t conceded three goals in a competitive home game and hadn’t lost a match at home since 2003. But Gareth Southgate’s men were looking to rewrite history and wasted no time doing so as they absolutely crushed Spanish hearts in a matter of a half.

Of course, there was a fightback as Spain cut the deficit to a single goal, with an in-form Alcacer and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos both getting goals in the second half.

Chelsea’s trigger-happy defender Marcos Alonso had to great opportunities to score in either half, forcing an early save from Jordan Pickford while scores were still locked at zero and hitting the bar with a shot near the end.

Player Ratings

Spain XI: De Gea (6), Castro Otto (6.5), Nacho (6), Ramos (6), Alonso (6.5), Thiago Alcántara (7), Busquets (6), Saúl (7), Iago Aspas (6), Rodrigo (6.5), Asensio (7)

Substitutes: Albiol, Morata (6), Koke, Alcácer (8), Suso, Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Hernández, Gayá, Bartra, Ceballos (6.5), López

Star Man 


Striker Paco Alcacer, now plying his trade in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, is in red-hot form and has scored six goals in three substitute appearances for BVB this season.

Coming on as a sub for Saul Niguez in the second half, it only took him a minute to find the back of the net for Spain as he glanced a header past Pickford off of a corner with impeccable precision.

Alcacer has shown immense value coming off of the bench for both club and country. And he’s sure to prompt consideration for a starting role very soon.

Worst Player

While he did score the second for Spain, Sergio Ramos hardly helped his side out defensively and allowed Harry Kane to get the better of him almost all game.

There’s no denying Ramos is still one of the best centre-backs in Europe, but he had a very poor night against Southgate’s men and will be disappointed with his performance.


Key Talking point

There was plenty to talk about where England is concerned. Unlike their showing against Croatia last week, Southgate’s troops appeared very confident and moved the ball with purpose.

They were quite deadly on the counter and scored three times before the half time whistle, becoming the first international side to score three goals in one game against Spain on Spanish soil in a competitive game.

Raheem Sterling scored twice on the night, wither side of Marcus Rashford’s goal, registering his first goal on his 44th appearance for the Three Lions and wasting no time getting a second.

The defending was not as impressive as the offense, however, and it nearly caved all the way in by the second half.

Southgate would have much preferred it if his side had kept the clean sheet but he must be absolutely overjoyed to overcome the Spanish side in their own backyard.

Player Ratings

England Starting XI: Pickford (7), Trippier (7), Gomez (7), Maguire (7), Chilwell (7), Dier (7), Winks (7), Barkley (7.5), Sterling (9), Rashford (8), Kane (9)

Substitutes: Walker (7), Alexander-Arnold (N/A), Chalobah (N/A).

Star Man

Raheem Sterling was the man for England on the night. And he will hope to have opened the floodgates with his first pair of international goals.

The Manchester City star had found goals difficult to come by in and England shirt but was clinical against the Spanish defence, exhibiting excellent movement, pace and intelligence to leave the grounds after scoring a first-half brace for his country.

Worst Player

Hard to pick one for this game as, in spite of the late concession, all of England’s players did pretty well.

Looking Ahead

Spain still lead the group despite Monday’s loss but will need a win against Croatia next month to seal a finish at the top before they face Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly.

Enrique will be unhappy with the result but it’s likely he’ll be pleased with the attitude he saw in the second half.

England simply have to be encouraged after putting in such a performance and Ross Barkley, who has finally made his way back into the reckoning, didn’t do himself much harm with another composed performance.

Fans will hope to see Southgate integrate the likes of Mason Mount, James Maddison and Jadon Sancho in future but will be glad with what they’ve seen so far. England face the United States and Croatia in fixtures at Wembley in October.

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