A flurry of first-half goals – including two from Raheem Sterling – saw England stun Spain 3-2 in the Nations League on Monday as they moved back into contention in League A Group 4 of Uefa’s new competition.
Sterling gave England the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute by finishing off a swift counter-attack after a precise pass from Marcus Rashford.
Rashford turned scorer on the half-hour, fired into the bottom corner for England’s second after a superb pass from captain Harry Kane.
Sterling, who had not got an England goal for three years, doubled his international tally, again from another Kane assist to give Gareth Southgate’s side a big halftime lead against Spain, who had scored 12 goals in their last three games and beat England 2-1 at Wembley last month.
Spain hit back with a header by substitute Paco Alcacer just before the hour and were almost gifted another goal after an error from Jordan Pickford although the keeper managed to tackle Rodrigo Moreno, sparking fierce penalty appeals from the hosts.
Captain Sergio Ramos got a second for Spain in the eighth minute of added time with a thumping header.
But it was too little too late as the referee blew his final whistle to bring a pulsating game to an end.
Spain still lead the group with six points after three games while England are second on four, leaving Croatia bottom with one point, although the World Cup runners-up have a game in hand.