Pain in Spain as England suffer loss

David Beckham entered the history books on a night England will otherwise want to forget as European champions Spain won 2-0 in Seville.

Last Updated: 11/02/09 at 23:19 Post Comment

Villa: Slots home Spain's opener

Villa: Slots home Spain's opener

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Beckham's introduction as a second-half substitute allowed him to equal Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an outfield player.

But if the midfield maestro is to emulate Moore's World Cup win in South Africa next year, England now know they have plenty of work still to do as David Villa and Fernando Llorente condemned Fabio Capello to his second defeat in 11 games as Steve McClaren's successor.

The evening was not without its encouraging aspects as Emile Heskey and Glen Johnson were among those who shone and Carlton Cole produced a late cameo.

But with Xavi a class above anyone else on the pitch, Spain were simply too good and too effective in too many areas for the visitors.

Thankfully there was no hint of racist abuse from a capacity crowd, which meant they could fully concentrate on the action.

England started brightly too. Had it been a competitive international they really would have had cause to grumble when Heskey was sent tumbling by former Manchester United man Gerard Pique on the edge of the area.

Heskey thought it was a penalty. At the very least it was a free-kick and a red card given the striker had rolled Pique perfectly to give himself a clear sight of goal.

Instead, incorrectly, the offside flag went against him.

It marked the start of an industrious display from the newly installed Aston Villa man.

Partnered by club colleague Gabriel Agbonlahor, Heskey was a constant menace to the Spanish defence, which was missing the formidable presence of Carles Puyol.

Heskey sent one header wide, as John Terry had done earlier, while wide pair Stewart Downing and Shaun Wright-Phillips both caused the hosts problems in their own unique way.

For long periods, it was an absorbing contest between two pretty decent teams, a label that certainly could not have been attached to England 12 months ago as they took their first tentative steps under Capello, trying to make up for the shattering disappointment of what had gone before.

Indeed, as Capello felt it was the defeat to France in his second game that he felt England were a project with promise, he presumably was not too disheartened at eventually falling behind to the European Champions.

It has to be said, some of Spain's passing is fantastic and in Barcelona's Xavi they have one of the most stylish players on the planet right now.

Fernando Torres and Marcos Senna both went close on a couple of occasions and Xabi Alonso threatened the England goal with a rising shot.

As Terry and Johnson were throwing themselves wholeheartedly - and literally at times - at their opponents, England's 4,000-strong travelling army had every reason to cheer.

How galling therefore that Spain's opener should have arisen from a pretty basic error from Phil Jagielka, making his first England start after Rio Ferdinand had pulled out with a stomach upset.

It is difficult to assess precisely what Jagielka was trying to do when he rolled the ball purposefully away from his own penalty area.

The intention was presumably not to give it straight to Alonso in space. He quickly transferred possession to Villa, who only made things worse for Jagielka by skipping past his attempt to make amends, holding off Terry, then sliding a precise shot past David James.

Five changes at half-time included Beckham's introduction for Downing, allowing a player whose career is littered with notable milestones to claim one of the most cherished.

It was Xavi who put his stamp on the second half first though with a magnificent nutmeg of Terry which goaded the England skipper into bundling him over, completely and utterly outfoxed.

Torres departed the scene after 63 minutes, which should meet with Rafael Benitez's approval given the Merseyside title chasers are not in action again until February 23 when they entertain Manchester City.

The introduction of Cole for a 15 minute debut was more notable, or at least it would have been had his first touch been directed goalwards instead of blazing Johnson's right-wing cross over.

There should be no surprise Xavi should provide the free-kick that allowed Llorente to wrap up Spain's victory eight minutes from the end.

Cole still had time to threaten the home goal with a powerful surge that took him past Jose Reina, only for Pique to block the shot that followed, and a bad tempered ending, out of synch with the rest of the contest, saw Beckham booked.

But Capello has plenty to reflect upon ahead of another friendly with Slovakia on March 28, followed by the key World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine at Wembley four days later.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 07 August 2014
Peru 3-0 Panama  
Sunday, 29 June 2014
China 1-3 Mali  
Sunday, 22 June 2014
China 0-0 Macedonia  
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
China 2-0 Macedonia  
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Rep Ireland 1-5 Portugal  
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Ghana 4-0 Korea Rep  
Sunday, 08 June 2014
France 8-0 Jamaica Report
San Marino 0-3 Albania  
Trin & Tob 0-2 Iran  
Saturday, 07 June 2014
USA 2-1 Nigeria Report

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger confirms injured Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will be out until New Year

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is unlikely to play again this year after having surgery on his injured ankle.

Villa and QPR shocked, Leeds lose

Aston Villa were shocked 1-0 at home by Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup second round, while QPR lost at Burton and Bradford beat Leeds.

Arsenal book Champions League group stage place with victory over Besiktas

Arsenal survived the final 15 minutes with 10-men to defeat 1-0 Besiktas to reach the Champions League group stages.

Mail Box

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property