Photography by Jon Enoch

International Friendly, November 15 2016

England 2
  • Lallana (9 pen)
  • Vardy (48)
Spain 2
  • Aspas (89)
  • Isco (90+6)

Having been appointed England manager on a temporary basis in September 2016, in his first three games in charge, Gareth Southgate led his team to victories over Malta and Scotland and a draw against Slovenia. Those three games came in the qualifying stages for the 2018 World Cup, but it was a friendly in his fourth match in temporary charge that provided his biggest test up to that point, as Spain visited Wembley.

Southgate’s energetic team made a promising start when Jamie Vardy was brought down in the penalty area by Pepe Reina, before then-Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana scored from the spot. Early in the second half Vardy headed in from Jordan Henderson’s cross to give England a convincing lead.

Substitute Theo Walcott missed a chance to extend England’s lead and Southgate’s side were made to pay for that profligacy in the game’s closing stages. After Iago Aspas scored with a curling effort in the 89th minute, in the sixth minute of time added on, Real Madrid’s Isco scored a sucker punch of an equaliser. An impressive performance helped convince those above him that Southgate was the right man for the job – it was after this draw that he was given the job on a permanent basis – and the England manager also learned valuable lessons that contributed to his team’s success at the 2018 World Cup. Speaking exclusively to The Coaches’ Voice, he revisits his approach to playing against a team of Spain’s quality.

Starting teams and formations

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