Spain unleash a juggernaut in Cardiff

Wales fans endured a miserable night as Ryan Giggs’ side were outplayed by Spain in a 4-1 defeat in their friendly in Cardiff.

Paco Alcacer scored twice, with Sergio Ramos and Marc Bartra also scoring for the visitors, and Sam Vokes heading in for Wales.

The hosts were missing star man Gareth Bale through injury.

Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, winning only his third cap, impressed in midfield for Spain while Valencia left-back Jose Gaya also caught the eye in his second appearance.

It was in attack, however, where Luis Enrique’s team were particularly impressive.

Suso had a hand in all four goals, with Wales unable to clear his eighth-minute cross, allowing Saul Niguez to lay the ball off for Alcacer to score.

The visitors’ second goal came from a free-kick from the former Liverpool forward that reached Ramos who headed into the bottom corner.

Alcacer seized on a mishit Harry Wilson clearance to volley in Spain’s third after less than hour but the hosts were saved major embarrassment in a low-key second half in which Suso delivered the corner that substitute Bartra headed high into the net.

Sam Vokes scored from a David Brooks cross in the 89th minute to give Wales some consolation at the Principality Stadium, where the hosts were playing for the first time since 2011.

“We got taught a lesson in many aspects,” Giggs said after the game, “but the main thing we got taught was to do the basics right.”

Wales’ return to Welsh rugby’s 74,500-capacity home – formerly known as the Millennium Stadium – has split opinion. Fans have packed the smaller Cardiff City Stadium to create a fervent atmosphere and some were reluctant to play a home game at the vast Principality Stadium.

However, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) wanted to capitalise on Spain’s appeal by moving the fixture while stressing that competitive matches would remain at the Cardiff City Stadium.

A healthy crowd of 50,232 justified the FAW’s decision from a commercial point of view, even if a section of the Welsh fans voiced their anger at the switch.

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