Spain beat England as Beckham equals record

David Villa (far right) scores the opening goal in Spain's 2-0 victory over England in Seville.
David Villa and Fernando Llorente scored the goals as European champions Spain extended their amazing unbeaten run to 29 games with a 2-0 victory over an England side for whom David Beckham equalled the Three Lions record of 108 caps for an outfield player.

A tight match between two in-form sides in Seville came to life in the 36th minute when Xabi Alonso’s pass found Villa in the area — and the Valencia striker twisted defender Phil Jagielka one way then another before slotting the ball into the corner of the net. Beckham — who has been told by Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber that a Friday deadline has been set for AC Milan to agree a deal to sign the midfielder from the Los Angeles Galaxy — came on as a second-half substitute to draw level with World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore in the England all-time appearanced list. England started brightly and could have taken a sixth minute lead when Gareth Barry crossed from the left for his Aston Villa team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor to swivel and fire just wide. John Terry flashed a header just wide four minutes later, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as Spain began to dominate proceedings. Marcos Senna had a long-range drive saved by goalkeeper David James while Villa had the ball in the net five minutes late but was ruled offside. Just two minutes later, Spain could have doubled their lead but Sergio Ramos’ dipping drive flashed inches over the crossbar with James rooted to his line. Then Villa, who was proved a handful for Everton center-half Jagielka in his first full appearance for England, had a shot blocked before Alonso fired the rebound just wide.

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A host of second-half substitutions broke play up in the second-half, but Spain were always in control and doubled their advantage eight minutes from time when Athletic Bilbao striker Llorente headed home his second international goal from Xavi’s pin-point free-kick. England could have scored a late consolation goal when debutant striker Carlton Cole had his shot clear off the line after being superbly found by Beckham.