UEFA Nations League: League A Group 4 – Sevilla – October 15, 2018 – England register memorable win in Spain
Result: Spain 2, England 3
The Three Lions registered their first win on Spanish soil in three decades when they overwhelmed the hosts 2-3 in a memorable UEFA Nations League fixture at Sevilla on Monday night. Gareth Southgate's men got off in sensational fashion leading 0-3 by half-time through a brace of goals from Raheem Sterling and one by Marcus Rashford.
Harry Kane for once took on the role of a provider in a 4-3-3 formation that saw him assisting in two of England's three goals. The Spaniards were all sea in the first half trying to cope with the blistering pace that Sterling and Rashford had set.
Sterling broke a 27-game goalless sequence for his country when Kane collected a pass in a breakaway move deep inside his territory which he quickly slipped in for the 23-year old Manchester City striker to complete an emphatic finish to the top-left corner of the net in the 15th minute.
The second goal in the 29th came owing to some quick-thinking by goal-keeper Jordan Pickford who didn't waste any time in launching a high ball to Kane, who plucked the ball out of the air before releasing the same to Marcus Rashford who showed great composure in getting the ball past his Manchester United colleague, David de Gea.
The third goal from open play came from a Ross Barkley chip over an immobile Spanish defense which Kane pulled back for Sterling to prod in for his second of the game. England were three up already in the 38th minute of play and approached half-time with their tails right up.
England could have gone four ahead immediately after interval when Spain escaped with a strong penalty appeal thanks to full-back Jonny clearly stepping on the toes of Sterling just inside the penalty area. But the referee chose to overlook the indiscretion.
The hosts looked to be clawing back when substitute Paco Alcacer pulled one back in the 58th minute with a superb header from a corner kick. Alcacer who has an average of a goal scored every 20 minutes, came close a little later when one of his crosses from just outside the penalty area caught Pickford cold but the English custodian somehow managed to save the situation.
Southgate introduced Man City back Kyle Walker in the 78th minute in place of attacking mid-fielder Ross Barkley and a 3-4-3 formation was resorted to, suggesting that the Three Lions were choosing to dig in deep and defend their 1-3 lead.
There were scares for them when Marco Asensio's 25-yard thunderbolt whistled past the post.
With the game slipping away from the hosts, Sergio Ramos provided some consolation adding a second goal off an Alvaro Morata rebound seconds before the final whistle.
What was astonishing was that the Spaniards despite an overwhelming 73 per cent ball-possession did not seem threatening in anyway and it was England who looked like scoring anytime, which they did with wanton.
It was the first time since 1963 that any visiting team had scored three goals in Spain.
Manager Luis Enrique's cockiness following the emphatic wins of 6-0 and 1-2 wins over England in earlier Group encounters came crashing to the earth post the loss at Sevilla.
England are now comfortably placed in the Group 4 cluster after 3 games with 4 points, two behind Spain's 6.
The Spanish have a tough outing on their hands next, heading for Croatia, who are at the bottom of the 3-team Group with just a point.