Gareth Southgate had won two and drawn one of his first three games – all World Cup qualifiers – in charge of the England national team, but in November 2016 he faced his first genuine test with a visit from 2010 World Cup winners Spain at Wembley. His side flew out of the blocks, as Jamie Vardy ran in behind a static Spanish defence and was brought down by former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Adam Lallana duly slotted home the penalty, and when Vardy rose to head home a Jordan Henderson cross early in the second half England looked in control.
Substitute Theo Walcott wasted a chance to extend the lead to three, and the hosts were made to pay at the death. Another former Liverpool man, Iago Aspas, curled home what looked a consolation on 89 minutes, but Real Madrid midfielder Isco popped up to equalise in the sixth minute of added time. In this exclusive piece for The Coaches' Voice, Southgate explains his approach to the game, the part his team played in the tactics on the day, and what lessons he learned as he continued to build a squad towards Russia 2018.