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    Gareh Southgate hails "mature" and "brave" England against Spain


    FM-News

    Gareth Southgate has expressed his delight with an "incredibly mature" and "brave" performance from England after they stunned Spain 3-2 in the UEFA Nations League on Monday.

    Raheem Sterling scored twice either side of a goal from Marcus Rashford in an impressive first-half display from the Three Lions.

    Spain struck back after the break but England held on to become the first side to beat Spain in a competitive game on home soil since 2003.

    Southgate, who had named England's youngest average starting XI in 59 years, told Sky Sports: "They should be incredibly proud of their performance.

    "We spoke to the forward players in particular before the game to remind them what a threat they are. The three of them were outstanding and caused all kinds of problems. Then it was for the rest of the team to provide and be brave enough and I thought at times we did that really well.

    "You have to accept at times we will concede possession in dangerous areas as we are encouraging people to take risks, but for a very young team I thought it was an incredibly mature performance. We withstood pressure reasonably well and they should all be very proud of what they have done.

    "We knew it would be unlikely to get a result if we came here and defended for 90 minutes, so we needed to be brave on the ball. We talked about the threat that our front three have, they need to believe in themselves, but then also we need to get the ball to them.

    "We knew today the way that Spain press that we had to get the first couple of passes out. We ran the risk of losing the ball in front of goal but when we got out of that press we were a huge threat on the counter-attack. The quality of the play and the bravery of the players was the thing that pleased me the most."

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