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Spain manager Luis Enrique has praised England’s performance against Spain, saying that they inflicted ‘severe punishment’. England beat Spain 3-2 at Seville to register their first Nations League win. It is also their first win in Spain since defeating them 4-2 at the Bernabeu in 1987.
For Enrique, it was his first defeat as Spain’s manager, a role he took over from his former Spain teammate Fernando Hierro who resigned after the World Cup. Barring Celta Vigo, Enrique’s first defeat as manager for all the teams he has managed has come in home matches.
This was also the first competitive home game where Spain conceded three goals.
Enrique said, “Right from the beginning they were fluid. 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.”
Despite the defeat, Spain are at the top of their group. Their next Nations League match is against Croatia at Zagreb next month. Provided Spain win, they will confirm their berth in the Nations League finals.