LONDON — This is how it goes for England, a team seemingly locked in a loop of unending misery. High hopes, great promise, then a kick in
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Adam Lallana celebrates his goal
Spain snatched a late 2-2 draw against England at Wembley. Here is how PA rated the players.
JOE HART: The on-loan Torino goalkeeper would have expected a more difficult outing but he did not have to make a save before coming off at the interval. 6 (out of 10).
NATHANIEL CLYNE: Drafted in at right-back in place of Kyle Walker, the Liverpool defender proved an able deputy. 6.
GARY CAHILL: Only played the opening half and went largely untested against a weakened Spain attack. 7.
JOHN STONES: Less playing out from the back from the Manchester City defender who, with an ill-placed first-half pass aside, showed he can be as solid as he can be spectacular. 6.
DANNY ROSE: Did not have the same attacking threat as in Friday's win over Scotland but is starting to make the coveted left-back spot look like his own. Booked. 7.
ERIC DIER: Quiet but effective night marshalling the England back four. 7.
JORDAN HENDERSON: Captain for the night. Anchored midfield and delivered perfect ball for Vardy to double England's lead after half-time. 7.
RAHEEM STERLING: England's brightest spark in a promising all-round attacking display. Booked. 8.
ADAM LALLANA: Arguably England's best player of 2016, the Liverpool man opened the scoring from the penalty spot before he was forced off with a knee injury with less than 25 minutes on the clock. 7.
JESSE LINGARD: Third start under Gareth Southgate and impressed alongside Sterling. Looks like becoming a staple if Southgate lands the job full-time. 7.
JAMIE VARDY: Lucky to escape punishment for an early challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta before being upended for England's penalty. Headed home the second with aplomb to end a barren spell which stretched back to September 10. 8.
THEO WALCOTT (for Lallana, 26) Looked lively but missed a good chance to make it 3-0 with just 50 minutes on the clock. Booked. 7.
TOM HEATON (for Hart, 45) Smart stop to deny David Silva and could do nothing about Aspas' strike – but he will be disappointed to have conceded a last-gasp equaliser that flashed between his legs. 5.
PHIL JAGIELKA (for Cahill, 45): Like for like change as he became Southgate's experienced campaigner for the second half. 6.
ANDROS TOWNSEND (for Sterling, 65): With the game petering out the Crystal Palace winger could not inject the same sort of energy as the man he replaced. 6.
MARCUS RASHFORD (for Vardy, 67): Teenager did not have an impact after replacing the impressive Vardy. 6.
AARON CRESSWELL (for Rose, 79): A debut for the West Ham defender but he had little time to make his mark. 6.
Isco slams home the late equaliser for Spain
England were caught cold by a late Spain comeback but a positive performance at the end of a turbulent year will have only strengthened Gareth Southgate’s grip on the manager’s job.
Few connected with the national team will look back at 2016 with any fondness as a handful of impressive performance were overshadowed by the humiliating European Championship exit to Iceland.
England lurched from one crisis to another as Roy Hodgson's successor Sam Allardyce left after a mere 67 days, but interim manager Southgate has steadied the ship impressively and looked crestfallen after Isco secured Spain a 2-2 draw deep into stoppage-time.
Adam Lallana's early penalty and the end of Jamie Vardy's goal drought had brought a smile to those inside a sold-out Wembley, producing football which will have pleased those in the top echelons of the Football Association.
Such a positive display on top of Friday's 3-0 win against oldest foes Scotland surely makes Southgate a shoo-in for the job full-time, although the closing stages underlined the work that remains.
Many inside Wembley applauded Liverpool flop Iago Aspas' stunning 90th-minute strike, but the overriding feeling was dejection as substitute Isco slotted a last-gasp equaliser.