The Welsh were slapped with a big reality check earlier tonight as Spain ran out 4-1 winners in their international friendly. While this wasn’t a Nations League game it was certainly taken fairly seriously by both, with Wales probably hoping for a slightly better result – but it didn’t come. They were always going to have their back against the wall from the first minute until the very last, and while this indicated that they do indeed still have a long way to go before being considered as one of Europe’s elite, it was a nice reminder of what it is their striving for.
Still, the positives are few and far between for Ryan Giggs’ men, with Paco Alcacer opening the scoring in under 10 minutes courtesy of poor defending. Sergio Ramos, everyone’s favourite defender, made it two with a nice header as the Welsh defence continued to fall apart.
They barely had time to gather themselves with half an hour gone when Alcacer made it three, as the home fans were left to wonder why they didn’t just stay at home instead of choosing to soak in some international football during the domestic break.
An important lesson
The parade of substitutions in the second half helped to settle things down quite dramatically, although the atmosphere had already been sucked out of the stadium by that point. The Spanish were just so good and so clinical that they didn’t even really need to step up into that next gear, as has been the case throughout all of their post-World Cup games so far. They may have struggled in Russia, but they should certainly be viewed as legitimate contenders for the title when Euro 2020 rolls around in a few years.
Marc Bartra added insult to injury with a fourth, only for Sam Vokes to give the fans something to cheer about with just a few minutes remaining. Now, with this game behind them, Wales will turn their attention towards a slightly more important encounter against Ireland next week in the Nations League. Spain, on the other hand, will face England as their recent resurgence continues.
Wales: Hennessey (5.5), Gunter (5.5), Williams (5), Davies (5.5), Roberts (5.5), Ampadu (5.5), Allen (5), John (6), Wilson (6), Vokes (6.5), Ramsey (5.5), Chester (6), Richards (6), King (6), Smith (6.5), Lawrence (6), Brooks (6)
Spain: De Gea (6.5), Azpilicueta (7), Albiol (6.5), Ramos (7.5), Gaya (7), Ceballos (6.5), Hernandez (6), Saul (6.5), Fernandez Saez (6.5), Morata (6), Alcacer (8), Arizzbalaga (6.5), Otto (6), Bartra (7), Koke (6.5), Rodrigo (6), Aspas (6)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Goals: Vokes :: Alcacer x2, Ramos, Bartra
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
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