England’s Gary Cahill went face to face on the Wembley pitch with his Chelsea team-mate Cesar Azpilicueta and could only watch as the Three Lions threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Spain in an international friendly this evening.
The Chelsea vice-skipper played 45 minutes by which time England had taken a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot – Adam Lallana doing the honours after Jaime Vardy was hacked down by Jose Reina.
An early second-half header by Vardy should have sealed victory for Gareth Southgate’s men.
Southgate, who be expected to be named permanent England boss within weeks was ably supported by Steve Holland, who is also first team coach at Chelsea.
But a last-minute goal from Iago Aspas, a beauty of a curler from just inside the England penalty area gave the visitors a deserved goal before Isco popped up to slam the ball home between Heaton’s legs.
The opening period of play was a case of England trying to keep possession as Spain harried and pressed.
Too that extent, a case of frustration resulted in an needless early lunge, after five minutes by Jaime Vardy on Chelsea’s Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta,.
It left the defender crumbled on the ground.
However, in England’s first foray up the Spaini half, they scored.
Vardy was on hand a minute later to get on to a defence-splitting pass by Nathanial Clyde. The Leicester striker attempted to round Jose Reina and was subsequently hauled down in the penalty area.
Up popped Liverpool’s Adam Lallana to comfortably slam the ball past the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper.
Vitolo had a chance on 14 minutes to equalise, but his edge of the penalty area shot was scuffed and went well wide of Joe Hart’s goal
Lallana lasted until the 25th minute before getting a whack which resulted in his substitution by Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
A couple of quick breakaways from the Three Lions almost resulted in a second goal but the final ball wasn’t good enough.
Tom Heaton replaced Joe hart at half-time. And the impact was immediate as England doubled their lead three minutes after the restart.
It looked as if Spain had cleared their area, but a simple cross by Jordan Henderson, was met full on the forehead by a diving Vardy at the far post and the ball bulleted into the back of Reina’s net.
Spain should have scored after excellent set-up play on 54 minutes but David Silva’s shot was inches wide of Heaton’s goal.
A terrible misplaced pass by Sergio Busquets on 61 minutes let in Raheem Sterling who rounded Reina. But his left-footed slice had the ball goal-bound before it was hacked off the goal line.
Alvaro Morata had a shot on goal, from 20-yards, but his daisy-cutter was well held by a diving Heaton.
But Celta Vigo’s hitman Aspas, scored the best goal of the night. He weaved his way inside the England penalty area before letting fly with a smart left-footed shot.
Isco could have scored a sensational leveller deep into added time, but his shot inched past Heaton’s right post.
But he made upo for it when Spain launched a final attack, and Real Madrid’s Isco made up for his error before by smashing home a low shot from an acute angle to silence the 83, 716 crowd with the final kick of the match.