England were taught a lesson in ball retention against the technically superior Spain.

Spain defeat serves as reality check for England in build up to Euro 2016

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It was a familiar feeling for England fans, with Spain ensuring the hopes and dreams of Three Lions fans were brought to a crashing halt by a true Euro 2016 contender. 

The first 25 minutes will go down as one of the worst for England in terms of ball retention, with the visitors almost afraid of asking for the ball against such technically superior opponents. The two goals Spain scored were as brilliant as they were inevitable for anyone who watched the match.

England set up with a defensive 4-4-1-1 system in the hope to get the best out of Ross Barkley, who struggled to make an impact on the game and was starved of service throughout.


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Harry Kane was isolated also, with Adam Lallana proving ineffective and Michael Carrick providing one of his worst performances in recent memory.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at least showed promise as a defensive partnership, while Raheem Sterling looked more like the player that first broke onto the national team. 

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In reality, though, too many players looked out of their depth against a team filled with world class. The majority of Spain's squad players would easily get into England's first team, such is the gap in quality between the two nations.


The fact England were decimated by injuries only highlights the lack of depth in certain positions. The greatest concern from Friday night was in central midfield, with Carrick and Fabian Delph looking out of their depth throughout. 

The hosts, meanwhile, were very impressive, with Cesc Fabregas particularly standing out for his dominant performance as playmaker. Spain's first goal will be remembered for quite some time, while the second showed off Spain's class and ruthlessness.

Spain v England - International Friendly

England's friendly with France on Tuesday night is to go ahead despite the atrocious events that took place in Paris on Friday night, and during such times football becomes utterly irrelevant, but were the Three Lions to lose against the French, the gulf between Roy Hodgson's men and Europe's elite will become all the more obvious.

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