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Marcus Rashford shines but ruthless Spain teach England harsh lessons | Dominic Fifield

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Manchester United striker’s slick opener and a frantic finale cannot mask the deep-rooted problems England still face when playing against top-grade opponents

Gareth Southgate must have feared the homecoming might turn out this way, with a slap in the face to shrug the nation out of all the giddiness of the summer’s exploits. The Nations League will clearly have the capacity to thrill, the tempo and edge to this contest so much more appealing than a humdrum qualifier against a minnow’s massed defence. But this young side’s development will have to continue in the unforgiving environment of competitive fixtures against pedigree opposition.

Related: England 1-2 Spain player ratings: Nations League winners and losers

Related: Rodrigo consigns England to defeat by Spain in first post-World Cup match

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