Desperate Arsenal star fails to stop defeat to team ranked 60 places lower in FIFA Rankings

Nacho Monreal Arsenal 2

Nacho Monreal almost saved Spain's blushes, but could not stop Bernard Parker's lob from crossing the goal-line in defeat to South Africa.

The Spanish national team has looked unusually out of rhythm for a while now and last night they were given the wake-up call they might have just needed - as they were defeated by South Africa in Soccer City.

In 2010 Spain rejoiced in Johannesburg after winning their first ever World Cup trophy - last night was a start realisation that since the European Championships triumph last summer Spain have not been their swashbuckling selves.

It is perhaps a note of just how good they were that poor form constitutes losing just two games in the past year - but the manner of the defeat against a team ranked 61st in the world is most worrying for Spain.

It comes just a few days after they were pushed all the way by an Equatorial Guinea side - and the side simply seems slightly disjointed at the moment.

The goal in this game came from Bernard Parker, and it was a delightful finish.

The Bafana Bafana played some delightful football which slot the Kaizer Chiefs striker through on goal - before he hit a deft chip over the advancing keeper and watched the ball creep goalwards.

One player who did not give up on the ball however was Nacho Monreal.

The Arsenal full-back was brought in for the fixture - and needed to impress with his place in the Spain squad well and truly unassured.

With Jordi Alba recovering from injury and Alberto Moreno knocking at the door he knows he must impress when given the chance.

And at least he showed effort here, when his acrobatic clearance from behind the goal-line came off the post and was then cleared. But despite Oscar winning performances from ‘convinced’ Spanish stars that the ball did not cross the line the officials were not fooled, the goal stood, and South Africa savoured a famous victory.

Here is the goal…

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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