5 things we learned from England´s Nations League…

England returned to action for the first time following their run to the final four of the World Cup as they began their UEFA Nations League campaign with defeat to Spain.

The Three Lions took the lead early on at Wembley before falling to a 2-1 loss, with a serious injury to Luke Shaw only adding to a damp squib of a homecoming.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned form the match.

Summer of love heading for winter of discontent?

England undoubtedly reconnected with the nation as they went all the way to the semi-finals in Russia.

But they were somewhat off the pace of Spain here, creating very little after the half-hour mark and looking unconvincing in defence.

Southgate kept faith with eight of the side that started the semi-final defeat to Croatia but will be slightly concerned with how they were outplayed by a Spain side supposedly in transition.

Enrique evolution

Speaking ahead of his first match in charge of Spain, Luis Enrique said his country had been the reference point of international football for a decade.

That changed as pre-World Cup disarray led to a round of 16 exit but the former Barcelona boss had Spain playing some good football.

He fully deserved a winning start as the visitors recovered from a goal down to dominate England – something Enrique will be keen to continue as he aims to take Spain back to the summit.

Thoughts with Shaw

After an injury that almost cost him his right leg and falling out of favour at Manchester United, Luke Shaw made his first England start in 1096 days.

But his comeback was cruelly cut short when he was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, wearing an oxygen mask, after a heavy collision with Spain’s Dani Carvajal.

Shaw spent some minutes on the pitch, receiving attention from more than 10 medical staff before being replaced by Danny Rose in the 53rd minute.

Ser-jeer-o Ramos

After injuring Mohamed Salah in Real Madrid’s Champions League final win over Liverpool, Spain skipper Sergio Ramos became public enemy number one in and around Anfield.

The Real Madrid defender admitted on the eve of this clash that he expected that ill-feeling to spread to the Wembley stands – and he was proved correct.

Roundly booed when his name was read out ahead of kick-off, Ramos continued to be jeered throughout the game, although it appeared to have no impact on a classy display.

Rashford shows he has the value of Sterling

A back injury ruled Raheem Sterling out of the England squad and the Manchester City man may find his place in the side has also slipped out of his grasp when he returns.

A divisive figure among England fans throughout the World Cup, Sterling was replaced by Marcus Rashford at Wembley – and the Manchester United man took his chance.

In his 10th senior start, Rashford slotted England in front with his fourth international goal – double that of Sterling – and also drew a two fine saves out of club-mate David De Gea.


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