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UEFA Nations League 2018-19, Wales 1-4 Spain: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.89K   //    12 Oct 2018, 09:01 IST

Spain players celebrate during a dominant display against Wales
Spain players celebrate during a dominant display against Wales

There was certainly a gulf in class on display at the Principality Stadium, as Luis Enrique's Spain side cruised to a 4-1 victory over Wales on Thursday evening. 

It proved a useful warm-up fixture ahead of their UEFA Nations League game against England in midweek, though the visitors were keen to rotate their squad.

Paco Alcacer's brace, as well as strikes from Sergio Ramos and substitute Marc Bartra proved more than enough for La Roja, though Sam Vokes' headed finish minutes before full-time gave the hosts something to celebrate. 

With all of that in mind, here are five players who experienced contrasting fortunes during this affair: 


#5 Hit: David Brooks

Brooks was Wales' standout performer during a frustrating evening
Brooks was Wales' standout performer during a frustrating evening

It was surprising to see the Bournemouth playmaker not feature from the offset here, but he certainly made his mark nonetheless.

Replacing Harry Wilson at the interval, the 21-year-old was easily Wales' best player on a frustrating night for all concerned.

Spain was already 3-0 up before his introduction and in fairness to him, he worked tirelessly out of possession to ensure damage limitation for the Dragons down his right-hand side.

If not for an important sliding challenge by Gaya to deny the onrushing Conor Roberts, he would have probably created an assist - having glided across the pitch into the final third with a refreshing youthful exuberance that we've come to enjoy from Wales in recent years.

Eventually earned his reward after an excellent outside of the boot delivery fell nicely for Burnley's Sam Vokes, who benefited from a fortuitous deflection to slightly reduce arrears, giving the hosts something to celebrate late on.

An impressive cameo appearance from the bench, Brooks is certainly a talented youngster with plenty of potential to fulfill at both club level and internationally too.



#4 Flop: Chris Gunter

Gunter was continuously getting out-muscled by Morata and struggled to win his individual battles
Gunter was continuously getting out-muscled by Morata and struggled to win his individual battles

Despite making a few timely interventions, he was kept busy and had an increasingly tough time on the right side of Wales' backline. 

Álvaro Morata, despite his poor finishing, persisted in getting the better of him during their individual battles - while Jose Gaya was a continuous threat down the left, bombing forward where possible to create both useful width and an additional problem for the hosts to deal with out of possession.

Although he was up against better opposition, it was a disappointing display from the Reading centre-back, who made his 90th international cap here.

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ANALYST
Sports writer and editor - European and youth football analyst. PSG news correspondent. Email: mosope.ominiyi@gmail.com
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