It’s been a while since England last enjoyed an away win over Spain – 31 years to be exact – however Raheem Sterling fired Gareth Southgate’s men into the lead in the 16th minute last night and from that point onwards the Three Lions took control of the game with Marcus Rashford doubling the visitors’ advantage and Sterling adding his second just seven minutes before the interval.
This was a much better England performance than that which ended in a 2-1 defeat to Spain at Wembley Stadium last month, however with a single point earned from the goal-less draw with Croatia coupled with last night’s win, the Three Lions sit second to the Spaniards in their group and Ladbrokes Bookmakers have responded by slashing the odds on them winning the UEFA Nations League to just 10/1.
It wasn’t all one way traffic and the hosts made life difficult for England in the second half, Paco Alcacer heading in to give them some hope that they might manage something for their efforts. They very nearly did manage something with the woodwork hit and a penalty claim wrongly refused close to the end before Sergio Aguero cut their deficit to a single goal in the dying seconds of the nine minutes added time.
The time finally ran out for Spain and they were left to rue their first competitive defeat on home soil since 2003. Gareth Southgate was full of praise for the effort which his players put in, the England boss saying:
“The players should be incredibly proud of their performance. We spoke to the forward players before the game to remind them what a threat they are and they were outstanding, causing all sorts of problems.
“Then it was up to the rest of the team to be brave and we did that really well at times. We are encouraging them to take risks. The young players put on a mature performance and withstood pressure really well.”
England remain two points adrift of Spain with just a single match left to play and as such the Three Lions will need to beat Croatia at Wembley and hope that the Croats can avenge their 6-0 defeat to Spain last month by winning the reverse fixture, something that the bookmakers are far from optimistic about.
As such England are very much outsiders to win the competition with Ladbrokes Bookmakers going 10/1 on the Three Lions while Spain are favourites at 3/1 despite their hugely disappointing defeat last night.
UEFA Nations League Winner – Ladbrokes Odds
3/1 – Spain
10/1 – Belgium
10/3 – France
7/1 – Portugal
10/1 – England
12/1 – Germany
25/1 – Italy
33/1 – Netherlands
33/1 – Switzerland
40/1 – Croatia