UEFA Nations League: Luis Enrique hails De Gea after victory over England

"In the second half we knew how to cope under pressure and that's an important thing for us, that we stuck together in tough moments like in the second half".

Gareth Southgate handed starts to Marcus Rashford in the attack as Raheem Sterling missed out through injury, while there was also a start for defenders Luke Shaw and Joe Gomez.

Following a disappointing World Cup campaign, Luis Enrique was appointed to take the reins at the Spanish national team.

Spain were fluid and fluent throughout their first match under Luis Enrique and, after their shock World Cup last-16 exit to hosts Russian Federation ended a tumultuous campaign, will go confidently into their next game against Croatia, though a late foul by substitute Danny Welbeck meant they will not do so on the back of a draw.

The football fervour that swept through the country during June and July was punctured by a 2-1 loss to Spain as England's homecoming that turned into a letdown at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

"We are under no illusion that Spain were the better team for long periods", he said.

Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford had put the home side in front after just 11 minutes but goals from Saul and Rodrigo before half-time sealed the win for Luis Enrique's side. I have no doubts that, by sending a message to a United player, he was not just simply exhibiting good sportsmanship. "So there's a lot of good individual positives for us and for me, as a collective, they gave everything to get back into the game and I have to commend them for that".

England were forced into a change early on in the second half after a sickening clash of heads left Shaw needing seven minutes of treatment by a posse of medics before being carried off the pitch on a stretcher. During the World Cup she posed in the Spain goalkeeper's kit and makes a point of congratulating him whenever possible. Another viewing of replays might have reversed the decision to rule out Danny Welbeck's stoppage time goal for a foul on David De Gea when the goalkeeper went to collect a high ball.

  • Angelo Rivera