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England 2-2 Spain

England 2-2 Spain: match report and goals

A lacklustre Spanish side came to life in the last 15 minutes of the friendly game at Wembley with Aspas and Isco securing a tie for Lopetegui's men
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Isco of Spain (22) celebrates with team mates as he scores their second and equalising goal during the international friendly match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2016 in London
Shaun BotterillGetty Images

Follow the coverage match of World Cup 2018 qualifier : Spain vs Israel

England 2-2 Spain: match report

Late, late drama at Wembley stadium tonight saw Spain claw back a draw with in a game where for great periods "La Roja" were outplayed by a slicker England team.

Britain Football Soccer - England v Spain - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium - 15/11/16 Spain's Pepe Reina fouls England's Jamie Vardy and a penalty is awarded to England Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic
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Britain Football Soccer - England v Spain - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium - 15/11/16 Spain's Pepe Reina fouls England's Jamie Vardy and a penalty is awarded to England Reuters / Eddie Keogh LivepicEddie KeoghREUTERS

An early penalty for England after Pepe Reina upended Leicester's Jamie Vardy was calmly dispatched by Adam Lallana and Spain were tormented by the pace of Rahim Sterling who time after time left Dani Carvajal in his tracks on the Spanish right hand side.

For all their neat passing play and territorial domination, Spain mustered no shots on target on the first period and is a matter that the national team coach will need to address going forward.

The second half started with an electric England quick out of the blocks as the home side doubled their advantage when Henderson found Vardy on the far post and the striker dived past a static Iñigo Martinez to put England in control.

Britain Football Soccer - England v Spain - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium - 15/11/16 Spain's Alvaro Morata comes on as a substitute to replace Spain's Aritz Aduriz
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Britain Football Soccer - England v Spain - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium - 15/11/16 Spain's Alvaro Morata comes on as a substitute to replace Spain's Aritz AdurizCarl RecineREUTERS

Both coach's made a series of changes with the Spanish side slowly finding their feet with the introduction of Herrera, Aspas, Morata and in particular Isco providing a more purposeful visiting side. 

In the final minute debutante Iago Aspas burst into the area and toyed with John Stones before executing a sublime left footed curling shot that made the scoreline respectable for "La Roja". It didn't end there, as a great majority of the capacity Wembley crowd made for the Jubilee Line, Isco latched onto a lofted Carvajal ball, the Real Madrid midfielder chested, controlled and sent the ball through Heaton's legs to give Spain a draw which flattered.

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Julen Lopetegui closes his year as Spain coach unbeaten and has time to reflect before Spain resume their Road to Russia campaign when Israel visit at the end of March. On the basis of tonight's performance he'd be well employed to look at players from his "B" team who produced a dramatic comeback and late finish at the iconic Wembley stadium. 

England 2-2 Spain: full time

No time for a restaart, amazing late, late comeback from Lopetegui's side to claw back a draw

Min 96 | Incredible scenes at a emptying Wembley as the Malaga born player chests beautifully a Carvajal assist and fires bwteeen Heatons legs to tie the game. 

Min 96 | Isco scores ...2-2 !

Min 93 | Isco had the draw on a plate but miscues his shot. It has to be said that this Spain"B" team have shown more than the "A" team!  Lingard fires a deflected shot off the stanchion.    

Min 90 | Five minutes to be added .... that Aspas goal ! Toys with Stones and unleashes a sublime left foot curler which ricochets in off the post. A beaut !  

Min 89 | My word, what has Iago Aspas just done ... a stonking goal from the Celta man to make it 2-1! 

Min 87 | Big gaps appearing now in the stand with fans heading for the Jubilee line. it's one of those night's where Spain could be here all night and would struggle to find the net. A night of frustration for Spain. 

Min 85 | England face Lithuania as Spain welcome Israel in their respective groups.  

Min 84 | We now have to wait to the end of March when the qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 gets back on track.    

Min 82 | Fans heading for the exit hoping to avoid the infamous post Wembley crush. They've seen enough as the curtain comes down on international activity for the year. 

Min 81 | Dangerous free kick for Spain as Isco fires in a right footed drive thet deflects off the wall. 

Min 80 | Into the last ten at Wembley. Difficult to see a way back for Spain as the camera pans to Cazorla and Pique in the Wembley crowd. Another England change with Cresswell on for Rose. 

Min 78 | Last change for Spain as Busquets makes way for Nolito. 

Min 77 | Rose trys his luck from long range but the left foot drive lacks accuracy as Morata, one on one with Heaton is flagged for offside.  

Min 75 | A rash challnege from Carvajal on Rose which is worthy of a yellow which the Romanian offical duly issues. 

Min 73 |  Rashford almost finds a route in as he sidesteps Reina but runs out of space.

Min 70 | Twenty to go at Wembley as Spain start to look improved with Isco, Aspas and Morata already making an impression.   

Min 67 | Another change, England's Marcus Rashford comes on for Vardy.

Min 66 | Immediate reaction from Isco, feeding Morata with a sublime defence splitting pass. Sadly for the Madrid due Morata was slightly offside.

Min 63 | Isco and Morata on as Aduriz and Silva make way. Townsend on for England with Sterling giving way.

Min 61 | Morata set to make way with Aduriz most likely to make way for the Real Madrid player as England almost make it 3.  

Min 60 |  Possession at 60': England 36/64 Spain (%) 

Min 57 | England fans enjoying themselves as a Mexican wave breaks out in the stand.

Min 56 | As soon as I say that, Silva gets a shot on target but Heaton stands strong to repel the ball. Thiago off for Spain with Herrera making his debut for La Roja. 

Min 54 | David Silva has been outstanding for Spain tonight, at the heart of all the build up play for the visitors but almost an hour on the clock and the England goal mouth still being un-troubled by the men in red. 

Min 50 | Spain changes at the break: off Vitolo and Mata, on Aspas (debut) and Koke

Min 49 | Ok, those half time changes. England (off) Hart & Cahill (on) Heaton and Jagielka 

Min 48 | Vardy latches beautifully on to a Henderson cross heading home as Iñigo Martinez does his version of the "mannequin challenge".

Min 48 | Vardy scores ! England 2-0 Spain 

Min 46 | Welcome back to our coverage from Wembley with England immediately on the attack. Changes too at the break...   

England 1-0 Spain: first half analysis 

Gareth Southgate will be the happier of the coach's at the interval as England have been comfortable against a very poor Spanish side struggling to deal with the pace of Rahim Sterling and the attacking threat of Jamie Vardy. Spain as is so often the case have dominated possession but have yet to register a strike on target with Athletic Club's Aduriz a virtual spectator. Expect changes as Julen Lopetegui will be anxious that his year as new Spanish coach is not tainted by a defeat and poor perfomernce against this solid England side.

England 1-0 Spain: first half

Min 45 | We're into added time as Spain get a free-kick. Mata to take...England deal with the danger as Mr. Ovidiu Alin Hategan calls time on the proceedings.

Min 43 | Shots on target Spain (0). A stat that speaks volume of how the first 45 minutes have been for Lopetegui's men. 

Min 41 | Very sloppy defending from the Spanish rear-guard again with the ball been given away far too often. We'll check the stats at the break but Aduriz seems to have touched the ball 2, 3 times max during the half. 

Min 38 | Once again... the Spanish right hand side and Rahim Sterling ....Lopetegui needs to address this at the interval as the Manchester City player is "skinning" Carvajal each and every time. 

Min 35 | Iñigo Martinez almost slides the ball into his own net following excellent build up work from Sterling, once again down the Spanish right hand side.

Min 33 | Good spell from Spain now with Vitolo and Silva pulling the strings but as so often is the case with the national team, plenty of neat touches but lacking that final finish ! 

Min 30 | ..and another card, Theo Walcott hacks down Azpilicueta and his name too goes into the book. 

Min 28 | ..and we have a yellow card.... Sterling has the honour of being the first man in the Romanian official's notebook this evening... shortly followed by Iñigo Martinez. 2 in a minute..like the London buses !  

Min 27 | Silva unhappy with the referee's decision as he skips away from his man but the linesman flags for an infringement as Aduriz gets on the ball (possibly for the first time this evening). England in control of proceedings.   

Min 25 | Change for England: Arsenal's Walcott on for the injured Adam Lallana.

Min 24 | Lallana in touuble now and will need assistance. The Liverpool player limps from the pitch where the England medical team gesture to make a change as Theo Walcott gets ready for action. 

Min 23 | Another poor foul which would be normally worthy of a card as Thiago trips a free flowing Adam Lallana.

20' possession: England 42% vs. Spain 58%  

Min 20 | Great burst from Sterling as the City player continues to cause problems on the Spanish right hand side.

Min 17 | England spring the offside trap again and catch the Spanish rear-guard out as the home side start to move the ball around with cool and poise.  

Min 14 | The match is being played at a high tempo and one would struggle to identify tonight's match as a friendly with the intensity being employed by both sides as Vitolo fails to connect and rolls a poor shot wide for Spain.

Min 10 | No cards brandished by the Romanian match offical for either the Vardy or Reina offences. A red and a yellow would have been correct in our view. 

Min 9 | Cooly slotted home from the Liverpool player despite Reina's best efforts. We have a game on out hands !

Min 9 | Lallana takes and scores. England 1-0 Spain.

Min 7 | Penalty for England as Reina brings Vardy down.

Min 5 | Early possession for Spain at the minute as Vardy makes a really nasty challenge (two footed) on Azpilicueta. A tackle worthy of a straight red for the Leicester striker. 

Min 3 | Despite the FA announcing the game was a sell-out, a considerable quantity of empty seats are visible at the iconic stadium tonight.

Min 2 | England play in all white with red socks and Spain in their traditional red shirts, blue shorts and black socks. 

Min 1 | A burst on the whistle from ref. Mr. Ovidiu Alin Hategan and we're underway at Wembley. Spain start. 

England - Spain: starting XIs

Spain XI confirmed: Reina, Carvajal, I. Martinez, Nacho, Azpilicueta, Busquets, Mata, Thiago, Vitolo, Aduriz, Silva.

England XI confirmed; Hart, Clyne , Rose, Dier, Cahil, Stones, Sterling, Henderson, Vardy, Lingard, Lallana.

England - Spain: latest news

20:57 | God Save the Queen is over...handshakes all round and we're about to get underway.

20:56 | National anthem time...first up España...a snappy instrumental ...lyrics are over-rated anyhow.  

20:55 | A mild autumnal night in London this evening with a temperature of 14C. A 25% chance of showers warn the Met. Office.  

20:50 | Wembley stadium, a sold-out game, high calibre world class talent on display. England v Spain...all the ingredients for an excellent evening of top class football. We're 10 minutes away from kick-off. 

20:46 | Euro 96 marks the last competitive game between Spain and England with both teams coming head to head at Wembley in the ko stage of the competition. England progressed on penalty kicks  after a 0-0 draw in normal time.  

20:45 | The last five meetings between both nations have seen Spain win on four occasions with a England win in November 2011 (1-0) 

20: 42 | Mr. Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania) is our match official for this evening's encounter.

20:20 | Good news for Spanish football with the U-21 squad going through in a play-off game against Austria in Albacete this evening to play in next summer's European Championship in Poland.

20:05 | Lopetegui rings in five changes for La Roja with Reina, Azpilicueta, Mata, Aduriz and Martinez non starters in Saturday's game against Macedoinia in Granada. 

20:04 | Southgate makes three changes in his England XI with Clyne in for Walker, Vardy for Sturridge and Lingard for Rooney. 

19:30 | The bookies are tipping Spain to win this evening with a victory for Lopetegui's men paying out at 2.26 per euro wagered.  A draw pays at 3.20/1 and a win for the home side 3/1.  

18:58 | Like Aspas - and Sevilla's Sergio Escudero - Ander Herrera is also in the frame for a Spain debut tonight, and this Guardian interview with the Manchester United midfielder definitely makes for worthwhile pre-match reading.

18:40 | Meanwhile, Aritz Aduriz is a potential starter for Spain this evening, fresh from becoming his country's oldest ever scorer on Saturday. Here's AS editor Alfredo Relaño on the very late-blooming striker.

18:25 | Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas may make his international debut for 'La Roja' tonight. The former Liverpool was awarded LaLiga player of the season for the month of October.

17:25 | With Wayne Rooney ruled out of this evening's friendly, Liverpool's Jordan Henderson will captain England.

17:05 | We have a starting XI for Spain's under-21s who play Austria tonight. Here is it: Kepa, Jonny, Gaya, Mere, Vallejo, Merino, Niguez, Torres, Deulofeu, Denis Suarez, Mayoral.

16:00 | Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (who wasn't called up to the Spain squad) has reportedly rejected an invitation from the Spanish Football Federation to watch the game tonight in Wembley. 

15:23 | Reports in the UK this morning are suggesting that the FA are set to offer Gareth Southgate a permanent contact as England coach following tonight's game.

14:22 | Our very own Guillem Balague believes England have talent but are lacking a vision.

13:43 | With these two sides seen as major forces in the world (yes, we haven't forgotten about that Iceland game in the summer!) it's unlikely that we'll have any "playing these minnows is not worth it" outbursts. If there was, though, we wouldn't expect to see a response as strong as the 10-point rebuttal to Germany from San Marino?

13:14 | Did you know that Spain beaten England in four of their last five meetings, all of them without conceding a goal? You do now.

12:55 | Stop the sex! Will Manchester City's representatives tonight be following Pep's advice?

12:22 | Spain's manager, Julen Lopetegui spoke ahead of the game and isn't overly impressed by England's style.

11:09 | AS editor Alfredo Relaño acknowledges that England haven't pulled up any trees in international football recently but they're still a prestigious opponent.

10:33 | If you're looking to have some sound or imagery behind out text then here's a quick guide to how you go about doing that.

09:40 | Following their 4-0 win against Macedonia, Lopetegui's squad were quick to get across to London to start preparing for the friendly match.

England - Spain: match preview

Tonight's two teams meet for this friendly after coming through relatively comfortable World Cup qualifiers at the weekend. A 3-0 win over Scotland and a 4-0 victory over Macedonia mean that both top their groups and can be postive about putting on a show with no points at stake.


With interim manager Gareth Southgate expected to have his full-time contract handed to him this week, how better than to demonstrate progress from these recent disappointing years than a good showing against a team still highly regarded around the world. 3-0 against their bitter rivals in the group was a much needed boost - although the home side's clinical finishing was the only stand-out difference between the sides - and being able to go toe to toe with the possession heavy Spaniards will take the pressure off the coach as he looks to develop a style of play that can be effective in tournaments, rather than just the route to them.

Whether Southgate rests a few key names for the friendly is yet to be confirmed but with some  Premier League clubs looking on nervously, he may chose to limit the playing time of several. Wayne Rooney captained the side against the Scots but will be missing tonight due to injury with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson taking over the armband. Another absentee is Harry Kane who has been sent back to Tottenham after not featuring in the last game as he continue his recovery from a knock against Sunderland mid-September. Liverpool duo, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana were on the scoresheet at the weekend and will look to impress again against tougher opposition. Leicester City's Jamie Vardy may be given a starting role, however, as Southgate looks to test his options and stretch a Spanish defence without some regulars.


The 4-0 win over Macedonia was comfortbale enough but manager Julen Lopetegui will be mindful of the slightly flattering nature of the scoreline as he aims to continue the new Spanish project. Possession of course was dominated but the personnel changes due to injuries stifled the fluidity we've become accustomed to. David Silva captained the side and was at the heart of most of what was good about the play with new-boy Vitolo impressing as he has done of late in LaLiga and the coach, still in his infancy at the helm, will look to them to provide much of the threat at Wembley, however, knows that Silva is a doubt.

There are likely to be several changes to the team tonight with, for one, Pepe Reina expected to start in goal in place of David De Gea. If Silva is unable to play, his Man City teammate, Nolito, should take his place and along with Vitolo, Isco and Thiago will look to provide the creativity.  Ahead of them Real Madrid's Morata could well keep his place although the assured finish from veteren Aduríz when he came on late may see him get more of a run out as he looks to extend his new record.

England - Spain: potential starting line-ups

England XI: Hart, Clyne, Stones, Cahill, Rose, Dier, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge, Vardy

Spain XI: Reina, Carvajal, Íñigo Martínez, Bartra, Monreal, Busquets, Thiago, Isco, Nolito, Vitolo, Morata

England - Spain: live match build-up