International Matches

Friendly international

Spain 1 - England 0

Spain: Casillas; Salgado, Juanito, Marchena (Pablo 46'), Del Horno; Xavi, Xabi Alonso (Orbaiz 69'); Joaquín (Romero 80'), Raúl (Guti 46'), Reyes (Angulo 58'); Fernando Torres (Luque 46'). 4-2-3-1.
England: Robinson; Gary Neville, Ferdinand (Carragher 62'), Terry (Upson 65'), Cole (Defoe 78'); Beckham (Wright-Phillips 60'), Butt, Lampard (Jenas 60'), Bridge; Owen, Rooney (Smith 42'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 09. Del Horno. Got behind defence to head Xavi corner over Casillas.

Spain followed in the footsteps of their under 21 side, beating England 1-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Luis Aragonés used the occasion to try out a new starting line up and give a trial to Pablo and Angulo, who were making their debuts, and also a second cap to Orbaiz, who was called up late on to replace the injured Helguera and Puyol. Two players who ply their trade in England, Xabi Alonso and Reyes, were also in the starting eleven, and Real Madrid's Beckham nd Owen lined up for England.

Spain were to dominate the match throughout, with Alonso and in particular Xavi controlling midfield and hardly allowing their opponents time on the ball. And Spain took the lead in the ninth minute when Del Horno slipped in behind the defence to head Xavi's long corner over the head of the out of position Robinson.

The keeper made up for it a few minutes later though, saving a penalty from Raúl after the two had been involved in an incident in the penalty area. It appeared though as if Robinson had cleared the ball legally, and even Raúl didn't appeal at the time. However Greek referee Georges Kasnaferis waved away England's appeals.

But it was an angry match, with a frustrated England side resorting to hard tackles against a technically better opponent, in particular by Rooney who was taken off by Eriksson shortly before half time after trying to push Casillas into a group of photographers as well as producing a couple of dangerously high tackles. The young England striker also upset watching commentators by throwing away his black armband, which the side were wearing as a mark of respect for the recently deceased Hughes and Weller.

By now the atmosphere was getting ugly, and racist chants from the Madrid ultras against England's black players grew in volume as the game wore on, a serious stain on the local fans and the country. The game fell apart in the second half as both managers made the maximum six changes, and there were virtually no attempts at goal in the second 45 minutes. A match in the end which contributed nothing positive, and anything but a friendly fixture.