Two out of four Premier League stars featured for Spain on Friday night at the Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium in Sevilla, as Spain edged to a far from comfortable 1-0 victory, in EURO 2016 qualifying Group C.
Manchester City forward David Silva was the only man amongst the Premier League contingent, to be given the nod by coach Vicente Del Bosque in the starting eleven, whilst Manchester United 'keeper David De Gea, Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, watched on from the bench at the start. Ten of the initial eleven for La Roja, were from La Liga clubs.
Juventus striker Alvaro Morata gave Spain a 28th minute lead against a stubbornly tight Ukraine defence, with Isco on the left and David Silva on the right, forming the attacking trio for La Roja.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was unfortunate not to send his team in with a two-goal cushion, before half-time, rattling the woodwork with a good effort in the 41st minute, following a well delivered free-kick from David Silva.
In the second half, Spain needed experienced ´keeper Iker Casillas on full alert as Ukraine threatened to turn the game around. With the team struggling to control possession in midfield, midway through the second period, an anxious Del Bosque sought to make changes, sending on Santi Cazorla for Barcelona's Andres Iniesta. Moments later, Bayern Munich's Juan Bernat replaced Jordi Alba at left-back.
The Arsenal midfield maestro was desperately unlucky not to double the lead for Spain in the 87th minute, denied by an excellent save from Ukraine ´keeper Pyatov, who tipped Cazorla's fine effort around the post. Inexplicably however, Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakir opted to give a goal-kick, instead of a corner.
In the end, a 1-0 victory had to be enough for Spain and one they'll be grateful for, having secured the three points in Group C of EURO 2016 qualifying, overcoming a potential banana skin posed by a tricky Ukraine side. La Roja remain second in the group behind leaders Slovakia, who comfortably eased their way past Luxembourg.
Spain 1-0 Ukraine
Spain XI: Casillas; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba (78'); Koke, Busquets, Iniesta (74'); David Silva, Morata (65'), Isco.
Subs Used: Pedro Rodrigues (65'), Santi Cazorla (74'), Bernat (78').
Goal: Morata (28')