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England’s Spain win ranks among their best in the modern era

| 16.10.2018

3-2 win is up there with Germany and Argentina victories

England produced a masterful display of counter-attacking football to defeat Spain 3-2 in Seville on Monday night.

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling bagged the goals, but it was performance full of committed displays all over the pitch.

Critics have repeatedly stated England’s inability under Gareth Southgate to beat quality opposition. They’ve failed to beat Croatia twice in 2018, and lost to Spain last month.

But victory in Seville is a big statement from the Three Lions and their boss. It shows they can execute a game-plan to perfection against the best teams.

The win has been widely lauded as one of England’s best. And it unquestionably ranks among their other great 21st century successes…

Germany 1-5 England (September, 2001)

The one by which all other modern England successes are judged.  The Three Lions ran riot in Munich to put five past the Auld Enemy with goals from Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey and a Michael Owen hat-trick.

It was a sensational display, one which kick-started England’s route to the 2002 World Cup, and arguably sparked the hype and expectation of the Golden Generation.

Argentina 0-1 England (June 2002)

England’s win over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup was one of their most composed and disciplined performances in recent times.

The Argentine side was packed full of quality. Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo, Juan Sebastian Veron, Diego Simeone were just some of the globally-renowned names up against the Three Lions in Sapporo.

But Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men held firm, and when Mauricio Pochettino tripped Owen in the box, David Beckham fired home the resulting penalty to make amends for his own personal demons back in 1998.

Croatia 2-4 England (June 2004)

That Golden Generation arguably peaked in 2004, with a rip-roaring win over Croatia at that year’s Euros.

Wayne Rooney had already scored twice in England’s previous group game versus Switzerland, but he really announced himself on the global stage with another double versus Croatia.

It was a fine performance from the then-19-year-old, as England came from behind to whack four past a highly-respected Croatian side.

Germany 2-3 England (March, 2016)

This was as good as things got for England under Roy Hodgson, with a sensational second-half display in Berlin.

Germany were 2-0 up before an hour had been played, but Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and an injury-time winner from Eric Dier stunned the home crowd into silence.

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Richard Marsh