Wales 1-4 Spain: Spain spoil Wales’ Principality Stadium return with sublime display
Spain inflicted a heavy defeat onto Wales’ in their first fixture in seven years at the Principality Stadium.
A crowd of 50,532, Wales highest home attendance in seven years, saw Spain nullify the attacking threat of Wales, who found it hard to compete with the 2012 European Championship winners.
Three first-half goals, all scored before the half-hour mark and a second-half header from substitute Marc Bartra, gave Luis Enrique’s side a convincing victory before they play England on Monday. Sam Vokes scored a consolation goal for Wales.
Alvaro Morata tested Hennessey, as he tried to find Alcácer in the box, but the Crystal Palace keeper dealt with the early chance.
The early pressure paid off as Paco Alcacer opened the scoring for Spain. Jose Gaya fed the ball to Saul, who laid the ball to Alcacer, unleashing a powerful effort at Hennessey’s goal.
The Spain attack continued to pepper the Wales goal and they conceded through a set piece. Morata was fouled by Gunter, allowing Suso to swing in a free-kick, to the unmarked Sergio Ramos who headed home to double Spain’s advantage.
Wales’ first opportunity of the half was presented from a set-piece, as Harry Wilson was fouled by Sergio Ramos. Wilson opted to shoot from the far side, trying to attempt his heroics against Manchester United, but his free-kick went over De Gea’s goal.
Just before the half-hour mark, Spain asserted their dominance by scoring a third goal, with Alcácer scoring his second. Strike partner Alvaro Morata was down injured in Alcácer volleyed home, as Spain opted to play on. Paco Alcácer has now scored nine goals in five games for club and country this season.
Wilson who had Wales’ first chance, almost set up a consolation goal, as his corner was met by Ampadu, who headed a shot at the post.
Giggs made two changes at the break, as David Brooks and James Chester replaced Harry Wilson and Ashley Williams. However, he was forced into another substitute, as Ampadu picked up an injury, walking straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Andy King.
Spain ensured they scored in both halves, as Marc Bartra rose above James Chester, to header home his sides fourth goal of the game.
Andy King worked the ball well to Tom Lawrence and he made Kepa dive to his left, to save his effort.
Quickly after the save, Spain broke as Rodrigo snuck an effort into the corner of Hennessey’s goal, the Palace keeper saved and was alert to Jonny’s rebound.
Wales did have their goal, reducing the deficit to three. A David Brooks cross was met by Sam Vokes, who headed past Arrizabalaga in the 88th minute.
Hennessey, Gunter, Davies (Richards 61), Williams (Chester 45), Allen (Smith 61), Vokes, Ramsey, John (Lawrence 61), Roberts, Ampadu (King 48), Wilson (Brooks 45)
De Gea (Arrizabalaga 45), Raul Albiol, Saul Niguez (Koke 45), Morata, Alcacer, Suso (Rodrigo 80), Azpilicueta (Jonny 62), Sergio Ramos (C) (Bartra 45), Rodri, Gaya, Ceballos.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)