RYAN Giggs’ Wales were outclassed by Spain on a night that proved just how far they have to go before they can compete with the best sides in world football.

The former world and European champions were 3-0 up before the half-hour mark as Wales’ return to the Principality Stadium fell flat for the majority of the 50,000 crowd.

It was the first time Wales had played at the national stadium since a 2-0 defeat to England in March 2011 and their first meeting with the Spanish in 33 years.

Ian Rush scored twice in a memorable 3-0 victory for Mike England’s men in Wrexham back in April 1985, but the match is chiefly remembered for a stunning volley from Mark Hughes.

It became clear pretty early on that there was to be no repeat of those heroics against Luis Enrique’s supremely talented team.

The former Barcelona boss rested the likes of Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara, Iago Aspas and Marco Asensio ahead of their Nations League tie against England next week.

But Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea started behind captain Sergio Ramos in central defence and Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata up front.

And some of Spain’s newer stars, such as Rodri and Paco Alcacer, took centre stage as the visitors quickly got into their stride under the closed roof.

The pitch, which was a big problem when Wales were regulars at he stadium a decade ago, looked in good shape and it certainly allowed the visitors to implement their slick passing game from the off.

In contrast, a Wales side missing the injured Gareth Bale, looked slow and ponderous.

Giggs’ men were chasing shadows and when they did get the ball the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were given no time at all as Spain pressed hard.

The first goal arrived as early as the eighth minute when Wayne Hennessey’s punched clearance only reached the edge of the area and Alcacer fired into the top corner at the second attempt.

The second on 19 minutes saw Wales leave three men free at the far post as Suso lofted in a free-kick and Ramos guided in the simplest of headers.

And 10 minutes later it was three after more shocking Welsh defending.

The back three of Ashley Williams, Chris Gunter and Ben Davies seemed to be distracted by Morata lying prone on the turf clutching his face and midfielders Allen and Harry Wilson got in each other’s way and allowed Alcacer a straightforward volley from 12 yards out.

Wales came into it more in the closing stages of the first half and Ethan Ampadu headed against the post from a Wilson corner but it always felt as if the visitors were taking a breather.

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Williams, who endured a tough 45 minutes, was replaced by James Chester for the second half and Wilson made way AFC Bournemouth star David Brooks.

Ampadu then limped off five minutes after the break to be replaced by Andy King and Spain picked up where they left off in the first half hour.

Alcacer almost completed his hat-trick as he headed just over the top and Suso curled a shot onto the top of the bar with Hennessey beaten.

At the other end Ramsey tried his luck from distance but Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa, who replaced de Gea at half-time saved comfortably down low to his right.

Giggs then took his substitutions tally to six as he introduced Tom Lawrence, Matthew Smith and Jazz Richards for Allen, Declan John and Davies.

Brooks briefly got the crowd on their feet as he burst through and crossed for Sam Vokes, but the striker’s shot was quickly blocked.

Substitute Marc Bartra wrapped up the win for Spain on 74 minutes as he headed in from a corner.

But Brooks and fellow sub Lawrence caused the visitors problems late on and it was the former who created a consolation goal for Vokes in the 89th minute to end a chastening night on a minor high.

Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, A Williams (Chester, 46), B Davies (Lawrence, 62); C Roberts, Ampadu (King, 50), Allen (Smith, 62) John (Richards, 62); Ramsey, Wilson (Brooks, 46); Vokes

Subs not used: A Davies, Ward, T Roberts, Thomas, Rodon, Woodburn

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 50,232

Argus star man: Brooks