Spain had 54.7 per cent of possession against England, a marked contrast to playing more than 1,000 passes against Russian Federation, but they compensated by shutting down their opponents with remarkable efficiency thanks to an intense pressing game, and maintained 85 per cent passing accuracy when they did have the ball.
Having reached the semifinals at Russian Federation 2018 before losing to Croatia in Moscow, England's return to action was an unhappy one, with Spain dominating for large parts of the game before emerging with their first win on English soil since a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in February 2007.
"I thought we played well, especially in the second half, and we deserved a draw, at least", said Kane.
"But we can see there's a period of time for those players to come through".
"We're seeing that with some of our junior teams".
"They pressed extremely well and it took us a while to work out where that press was coming from and find a solution to it".
Modric battles Ronaldo Salah again — FIFA BEST AWARD
Salah's strike in last December's Merseyside derby also makes the shortlist, with FIFA .com users voting for the victor . Messi says Barcelona are desperate for European success this year after three consecutive quarter-final exits.
"Now we have a choice".
Luis Enrique knows all about taking on a talented team that has performed well below its level, having lifted Barcelona from their post-Pep Guardiola slump to become Champions League winners again, so managing Spain will not faze the 48-year-old.
But Croatia will fancy their chances of beating Spain at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero in Elche, in their first competitive game since they lost 4-2 to France in the World Cup final. "A lot of these guys who are coming into the team have played zero minutes in the league".
"I think at the moment we have to stick with the plan, stick with what we're doing and just get better at doing it".
Southgate also revealed he was contemplating switching back to a four-man defence in the coming months and, analysing the shortage of obvious replacements for Kane, appeared to end any hopes that Glenn Murray and Troy Deeney might have of a call-up.
Most notable was Gomez's forward passing, with the Liverpool defender showcasing a rare ability, or perhaps willingness, to play vertically rather than horizontally.