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Wales 1-4 Spain match report: international friendly

Update:
Wales' defender James Chester (R) vies with Spain's striker Alvaro Morata during the international friendly football match between Wales and Spain at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on October 11, 2018. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK
GEOFF CADDICKAFP

Wales 1-4 match report

Spain continue their fine start under Luis Enrique with utter domination versus Wales at the Millenium Stadium on Thursday night. They have now notched 12 goals in three games and have conceded just twice. Most importantly, however, is that they have three wins in three.

The result in Cardiff was never in doubt once Paco Alcácer curled home after eight minutes of the game and Spain continued to pile the pressure on for the rest of the encounter until they ran out of steam late on when Wales suddenly found their attacking intent, spurred on by 

Wales were handicapped with the absence of Gareth Bale but given Spain's dominance, it's hard to know how much influence the Real Madrid man might have had on the end result regardless of his fitness. Giggs kept him stashed in the stand with Ireland on Tuesday in the Nations League still a possibility for the attacker.

Their task was made no easier when Sergio Ramos headed home in open space after 19 minutes when Wales switched off collectively at the back. Suso's delivery was on point just like it was all night as the AC Milan man returned to the fold under Luis Enrique.

After 29 minutes, Alcácer had his second when Wales, again, decided defending was optional as Joe Allen and Harry Wilson collided in the penalty area as they tried to clear and the rest of their teammates stood looking at the Borussia Dortmund man slotting home to make it 3-0.

Giggs made changes at the break to shore up his midfield to prevent Wales from getting a hiding but it also stymied their attack. Luis Enrique made changes too to have a look at certain players he had called up.

One man who came on as a substitue, and who is in a fine vein of form for Real Betis, was Marc Bartra and he rose high to head a corner home from Suso, once again, after 74 minutes. Wales had conceded the ball to sit deeper but they were undone once again by weak defending from a cross.

With nothing to lose and with little else for Spain to gain, the momentum swung. Wales wanted to find a goal and they had chances late on. The goal eventually came when Brooks, who was one of the protagonists for Wales since his introduction on the right, delivered a perfect cross for Vokes to direct home. It was scant consolation, however, after 80 odds minutes of pressure from the visiting side.

Wales will play Ireland on Tuesday looking to regain some form to finish up the international break while Spain move on to England in Sevilla at the Benito Villamarín on Monday night. They are the side who gave Spain the most trouble since Luis Enrique took over but that was his first game with players still adapting. Based on what we've seen since from Spain under the former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder, England will have to bring their best form to the Sunny south of Spain.

Wales - Spain live online: updates

Wales - Spain live online: preview

It's a Bale-less Wales versus a very Luis Enrique Spain side in Cardiff at the Millenium Stadium on Thursday night as both Ryan Giggs and the former Barcelona manager, Enrique, prepare for their next games in the Nations League. It will be reffed by Anthony Taylor, who was the man in the middle for Spain's demolition of Argentina at the Wanda before the World Cup when they won 6-1 under Julen Lopeteguis.

Wales will not be taking any risks with Gareth Bale as his 'muscle fatigue' forces him out of the game. He is the only absence and looks like he will be replaced by Tyler Roberts potentially. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey missed training during the week but is okay to play for Giggs' side. With a game against neighbours, Ireland, coming up after the weekend, Giggs is expected to tinker with his side and after Croatia's demise at the hands of Spain recently, it might be a better option than trying to fight fire with fire on Thursday night.

As far as Luis Enrique's side goes, he will rotate heavily and give chances to plenty of the newcomers in the side. He has recalled Paco Alcacer, who is on fire for Borussia Dortmund, along with Alvaro Morata, who needs a boost in confidence after a so-so time in London with Chelsea since he moved last summer. Iñigo Martínez is definitely out after risking a muscle injury against Real Sociedad in the derby last Friday night and suffering because of it. 

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