Spain power past Wales thanks to Alcácer’s double: Match Report

A double from Paco Alcácer helped Spain to a comfortable 4-1 win over Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The Borussia Dortmund striker put the visitors ahead before Sergio Ramos found the net with his head.

Alcácer’s pounced on Welsh defensive frailty to notch his second before Marc Bartra added a fourth in the second half.

Sam Vokes managed to pull one back during the closing stages but the lopsided scoreline reflected Spain’s dominance from start to finish.

 

Wales looked out of depth from the first whistle in their first game at the Principality in over seven years. Wayne Hennessey came to claim a cross but could only punch the ball to a white shirt. The ball eventually fell to Alcácer and the Bundesliga top scorer found the top corner with pinpoint accuracy.

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Ryan Giggs’s side could not cope with Spain’s possession-based style of play, with the 2010 World Champions controlling the game with ease. Rodri, making his first start in the Spain shirt, was dictating the tempo as if he’d won 100 caps previously.

Sergio Ramos added a second when he benefitted from poor Welsh marking to head Suso’s free kick past a rooted Hennessey and into the far corner. Minutes later, with some players distracted by a stricken Alvaro Morata lying in the penalty area, Joe Allen and Harry Wilson got in each other’s way as Wales once again failed to clear the ball.

Alcácer pounced on the loose ball to volley past Hennessey and put Spain out of sight before half time. Since his move to Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Alcácer has managed a scoring streak of 9 goals in his last 203 minutes of action for club and country (that’s a goal every 23 minutes). These goals saw him get on the scoresheet for his country for the first time since scoring another brace against Luxembourg in 2015.

Wales went close through Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu shortly after when the 18-year-old’s header came off the outside of the post. Changes were made by Enrique at half time with Kepa, Koke and Marc Bartra all introduced while David Brooks and James Chester were brought on by the hosts.

After his delightful delivery for Sergio Ramos in the first half, Suso provided yet another accurate cross to find Marc Bartra as the Real Betis defender rose highest to head home in the 74th minute.

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Chelsea’s Kepa was beaten late on by Burnley’s Sam Vokes when he guided Brooks’s cross into the bottom corner. Wales now face a crunch Nations League face-off against neighbours Ireland while Spain welcome England to the Benito Villamarín on Monday night.

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