England 1 Spain 2: Luis Enrique off the mark after comeback victory

Goals from Saul Niguez and Rodrigo Moreno earned Spain a 2-1 victory over England in its Nations League opener.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique   -  Getty Images

Luis Enrique won his first game in charge of Spain as La Roja came from behind to beat England 2-1 at Wembley in the Nations League.

It was a disappointing night for World Cup semifinalists England, which took an early lead through Marcus Rashford, but was behind within 22 minutes after goals from Saul Niguez and Rodrigo Moreno.

Luke Shaw, making his first international start in three years, was taken off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace and oxygen mask early in the second half after a clash with Dani Carvajal, and the host failed to mount a comeback in his absence.

READ: Fears for Shaw after injury in England vs Spain

Spain was fluid and fluent throughout their first match under Luis Enrique and, after its shock World Cup pre-quarters exit to host Russia ended a tumultuous campaign, will go confidently into its next game against Croatia, though a late foul by substitute Danny Welbeck meant it will not do so on the back of a draw.

Harry Kane released Shaw down the left and the full-back picked out his Manchester United teammate Rashford with a precision pass that was slotted past David de Gea in the 11th minute.

Two minutes later Carvajal rounded Shaw and squared to Rodrigo, who cut the ball back to Saul for a first-time finish inside Jordan Pickford's near post.

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Having played the better football, Spain deservedly took the lead in the 32nd minute, Rodrigo losing his marker and side-footing Thiago Alcantara's curling free-kick home.

The loss of Shaw early in the second half deprived England of a valuable attacking outlet and it struggled to create chances thereafter.

Welbeck had the ball in the net deep into the allotted nine additional minutes only for him to be judged to have fouled De Gea in the process and the goal was ruled out, ensuring Spain left with all three points.

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What does it mean: Southgate must ponder porous defence

England has conceded six goals in their last three games in all competitions and Gareth Southgate will feel Spain were allowed back into the contest far too easily, particularly after Harry Maguire played Rodrigo onside for its second.

Pat on the back: De Gea back to his best

Criticised for his poor shots-to-goals-conceded ratio at the World Cup, De Gea produced a superb save to deny Rashford's header and preserve Spain's lead in the 35th minute, giving his defence the confidence to shut England out from then. The keeper was perhaps fortunate referee Danny Makkelie deemed he was fouled by Welbeck before the Arsenal striker tucked home late on.

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Boot up the backside: Henderson must learn to relish big games

After struggling in the World Cup semifinal against Croatia, Jordan Henderson once again failed to rise to the occasion against one of Europe's best teams and if England is to become a major force, he must begin to dictate play from midfield.

What's next?

England must wait until October to attempt to make up lost ground in the Nations League with games against Croatia and Spain, but before the,n it faces Switzerland in a friendly. Spain, meanwhile, faces another group game at home to the World Cup finalist on Tuesday.

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