With just the one Euro 2016 qualifying match taking place last night, as Belgium eased their way past Israel in Group B, many of the other national teams took the opportunity to play friendly games instead. The two stand out games as far as the neutrals were probably concerned, would have no doubt been the clashes between the Netherlands and Spain, plus another all-European contest between Italy and England. The Netherlands were able to continue their recent dominance over the Spanish with a solid 2-0 victory, while Italy and England shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw.

The Dutch shocked the World Cup holders in Brazil at last year's extravaganza, thrashing the Spanish 5-1, and they have continued their dominance over their European rivals with a controlled performance in Amsterdam yesterday. Manchester United's keeper David de Gea was beaten twice before the 16th minute mark, as two goals in four minutes from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen proved to be decisive.

Spain was like many national sides playing last night, a mixture of new players and more experienced ones, as the teams sought to experiment with new personnel, but even the familiar Premier League faces of Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla could not control the home side's early dominance. It maybe should have been even more flattering for the Dutch on the night, but they squandered other chances.

This was already bad enough for Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque's men with another friendly loss.

Italy was the better side in the first-half against England yesterday and deservedly led thanks to Graziano Pelle's astute glancing header going into the interval. Roy Hodgson's side saw a Wayne Rooney shot deflected against the Italian bar, but in the main they were sluggish and lacking in much of a goal threat.

They improved after the break, especially in the final quarter of the match, as the introduction from the bench of Andros Townsend which proved inspirational. His neat footwork on the edge of the penalty area made space for a shot and his right-foot strike proved deadly, leaving experienced keeper Gianluigi Buffon no chance of saving it.

Rooney had other chances to improve his goal tally, as he looks for two goals to draw level with Bobby Charlton as all-time leading international goal scorer for the Three Lions, but for once his aim was slightly off. Harry Kane started up front but could not add to his quickfire success against Lithuania, having a couple of sighters during the game but no end product for once. Italy also had some near misses at the other end, so a draw was about right overall at the end.