December 16, 2018, 6:13


Luis Enrique lauds world-class England attacking trio after Spain are dismantled

Luis Enrique lauds world-class England attacking trio after Spain are dismantled

Luis Enrique commended England’s “world-class” front three for inflicting “severe punishment” on Spain in the UEFA Nations League.

Raheem Sterling’s first international goals since October 2015, either side of Marcus Rashford’s strike, secured a sensational 3-2 victory at the Estadio Benito Villamarin – England’s first win in Spain since 1987.

It was the first time in history that Spain had conceded three goals in a competitive game on home soil, and Luis Enrique was left in no doubt who was responsible.

“Right from the beginning they were fluid,” the Spain boss told his post-match press conference.

“They defended very well, were well positioned in their half and then came out on the counter with world-class players like (Harry) Kane, Rashford and Sterling.

“Sometimes a rival is better than us and they were in the first half. The punishment was severe. We were not expecting to suffer that much.

“They created a lot of transitions on the ball and were very strong. We made mistakes individually under pressure and the goal was medicine for them and venom for us. In the end it became very hurtful.”

4:04

Highlights of England's historic 3-2 win against Spain at the Estadio Benito Villamarin

Spain still hold the cards in Nations League Group A4, with victory in their next game in Croatia on November 15 enough to secure them top spot.

Luis Enrique was keen to draw the positives, highlighting his side’s response after half-time.

4:17

Gareth Southgate praised his young England side after they played without fear and with bravery in the win

“Like every game there are positives to take and I’ll take the positives from the second half,” he added.

“The result was exaggerated but fair, they deserved to win. Luck comes into play, that didn’t help us.

“England are a fantastic team, our Nations League group is very difficult. But we have still got one more game, we have to win to qualify and that’s the best news because we depend on ourselves.”

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