Luis Enrique calls Spain performance ‘atrocious’ after England loss

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Luis Enrique was not a happy man after Spain fell 3-2 to England in UEFA Nations League Group A play, marking the first home competitive loss for Spain in over 15 years.

The former Barcelona manager conceded that thanks to a second-half improvement, the hosts were actually quite close to a thrilling comeback, but ultimately the first half letdown was too much to overcome.

[ RECAP – England knocks off Spain 3-2 ]

“The first half, atrocious, it has to be recognized,” Enrique told the media after the match. “We arrived late pressing, the first goal killed us. And we made so many individual errors.”

Enrique said that despite the disappointing opening 45 minutes, he did not make any halftime substitutions because he believed the team would improve with an encouraging halftime talk. “I told them [at halftime] great teams have suffered,” Enrique said. “We forced the opposition back, and it’s a shame we didn’t score earlier because we would have had 3-3 and the comeback.”

The Spain boss was especially focused on how the team pressed, blaming that for the first-half struggles but also for the improvement after the break. “I think in the second half we changed everything. We pressed better, and again we were very close.”