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Match report and player ratings as Spain beat Wales 4-1 in Cardiff

Paco Alcacer opens the scoring in Cardiff
Paco Alcacer opens the scoring in Cardiff

Spain produced a Cardiff masterclass to stun Wales 4-1 and send a warning shot to Nations League rivals England.

Luis Enrique's stylish side strolled to a 4-1 victory on a night when Wales returned to the 74,500-capacity Principality Stadium for the first time in seven-and-a-half years.

Paco Alcacer, with a brace, and Sergio Ramos scored inside 29 minutes before substitute Marc Bartra added a fourth with a towering second-half header.

Sam Vokes headed a consolation a minute from time but it was a sobering evening for Ryan Giggs' side ahead of their Nations League game against the Republic of Ireland.

Paco Alcacer celebrates against Wales
Paco Alcacer celebrates against Wales

Wales player ratings:

Wayne Hennessey: Could do little about Spain's first-half scoring blitz that ended the game as a contest. Looked on as Wales' defence was shredded. 6 (out of 10)

Chris Gunter: Attempted to utilise all his experience of 90 international caps to push Wales off the back foot, but it was a lost cause far too early. 5

Ashley Williams: An uncomfortable night for the Wales captain, who allowed his opposite number Sergio Ramos the freedom of Cardiff for Spain's second goal. He did not appear for the second half. 4

Ben Davies: Often uneasy at the back as Spain looked as though they could cut Wales open when they felt like it. A first half re-run would not offer pleasant viewing. 4

Connor Roberts: Unquestionably one of Wales' brightest future stars, he will probably learn more from Spain's masterclass than many games he wins. 6

It's a tough night for home fans in Cardiff
It's a tough night for home fans in Cardiff

Joe Allen: Tried to get himself into the thick of it, yet Spain's pinpoint passing meant he had little time on the ball. High work-rate, though. 6

Ethan Ampadu: Forced David De Gea into a save - a rarity in itself - and was not overawed either by the occasion or Spain's majestic midfield unit before he limped off early in the second period. 7

Declan John: Could make little impact on the contest, spending much of the game chasing Spanish players who at times had the ball on a metaphoric piece of string. 5

Harry Wilson: The 21-year-old was a busy, lively presence for his team, providing a rare shaft of light. Plenty to enthuse about during his 45-minute stint. 7

Aaron Ramsey: Started in an advanced midfield role, before gradually tracking back for possession in an attempt to assert authority. Took over as captain after Williams departed. 6

Sam Vokes: Kept a lonely vigil up front at times. Ran hard, and although he only had crumbs of possession to live off, scored a late goal. 7

Substitutes

James Chester (for Williams, 46 mins): Took over from Wales skipper Williams for the second half. 5

David Brooks (for Wilson, 46): Started the second period, but had few opportunities to shine. 5

Andy King (for Ampadu, 50): Summoned off the bench after a hobbling Ampadu left the action. 5

Matthew Smith (for Allen, 61): Among three Wales substitutes sent on after 62 minutes as coach Ryan Giggs looked for overdue impetus. 5

Tom Lawrence (for John, 62): impressed against Ireland earlier this month, and he was soon in the action. 6

Jazz Richards (for Davies, 62): featured for the final 28 minutes, but could only look on as Spain added a fourth goal. 5

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Most Read Football

The latest from the back pages1

Paper Talk: Blues in for right-back

Chelsea 'hold talks' with Serie A right-back, Man United have 'no intention' of selling Paul Pogba and more in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Our best bets for the Champions League2

Wednesday's Champions League tips

The final matches of the 2018/19 Champions League group stages take place on Wednesday evening. George Pitts has four best bets.

The latest Champions League standings and what teams need to do to qualify3

Champions League permutations

It's the final week of Champions League group action with Liverpool and Tottenham two of the big names facing final-game deciders in their bids to make the last 16.

Yaya Toure in action for Olympiakos against AC Milan in the Europa League4

Toure fancied for MLS move

Yaya Toure has parted company with Olympiakos after just three months in what was his second stint at the Greek club.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa5

The EFL needs a Farke and Bielsa

With comments this week suggesting Daniel Farke and Marcelo Bielsa are bad for English football, Tom Carnduff believes that they should be celebrated.

Football Tips

Our best bets for the Champions League

Wednesday's Champions League tips

The final matches of the 2018/19 Champions League group stages take place on Wednesday evening. George Pitts has four best bets.

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