England were beaten 2-1 in their UEFA Nations League opener
Harry Kane claimed the referee “bottled it” after England were robbed of the stoppage-time goal that would have prevented their UEFA Nations League opener ending in defeat to Spain.
Back in action for the first time since equalling their best-ever World Cup performance on foreign soil, the Three Lions got off to a superb start as Marcus Rashford swept home Luke Shaw’s exceptional pass.
But Saul Niguez and Rodrigo turned the match on its head as Spain ran out 2-1 victors on a night when Shaw’s nasty-looking injury early in the second half took the sting out proceedings.
England rallied late on – perhaps buoyed by positive news from the dressing room about the left-back’s condition – and looked to have snatched a draw through substitute Danny Welbeck.
But referee Danny Makkelie infuriated the hosts by ruling that the forward had fouled David De Gea when collecting a high ball, leading to sharp words from captain Kane.
Asked if the goal should have stood, the England striker told Sky Sports Football: “Yeah, 100 per cent.
“In those big environments you need the ref to stay strong and unfortunately he’s bottled it.
“Danny Welbeck just stood there, the keeper went to catch it, he’s put it away – I don’t know how it’s a foul.
“You need a firm ref who under the pressure doesn’t give wrong decisions.
“Disappointing to finish that way, I thought we played well – especially second half – and deserved a draw at least.
“It was a good game, it was a real test against a team that keep the ball really well. We probably created the better chances throughout the game.”