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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
Read

'Quick thinking' beat England, says Aragones

Spain coach Luis Aragones said his team's ability to 'think quickly on the ball' was the underlying difference in quality as La Seleccion beat England 1-0 in a friendly at Old Trafford.

Steve McClaren's lacklustre England were booed off the pitch after a second-half goal from Barcelona's Andres Iniesta consigned England to the first home defeat of his reign.

McClaren refused to blame his players, insisting they showed the right attitude and effort but the candid verdict of Aragones gave is opposite number something to ponder.

He said: 'We began nervously but what did surprise me was how we got two against one down England's left hand side. That gave us a few opportunities.

'It is hard to play England. They are a strong team but perhaps Spain are more technical and good on the ball. We were thinking quicker as footballers. That was one of the main things between the sides.

'The performance was no different to that against Ireland when we dominated play but got caught out. Tonight England had chances to score but we were very quick on the counter. I'm pleased Iniesta scored because we had talked about getting midfielders forward quickly into attacking positions.'

Meanwhile, despite a series of below-par displays from key men, McClaren refused to pin the blame for England's first home loss since November 2003 on his players.

'I don't feel the players are letting me down,' he said.

'The attitude and effort was there. It was the quality we lacked, especially in the final third.

'Nobody is blind to the fact we lacked that final pass and cross and finish. That is what wins you football matches.'