The brace ended an global goal drought of three years for Sterling, who has been heavily criticised by both media and fans for his performances in an England shirt. They hadn't lost at home in 27 matches or conceded three goals in a home match since 1991 when losing 4-2 against Hungary.
So, less than 100 days after the semi-final defeat by Croatia, is the future bright for England?
After an electric first half that had witnessed three slick breakaway goals, England were creaking, as Paco Alcacer headed in for 3-1 and Jordan Pickford nearly gifted Rodrigo a second. The break was actually started way back with Jordan Pickford, who touched past a charging defender and delivered an absolute bullet of a pass to Harry Kane just before the midfield stripe.
Dier's tackle was praised by fans and pundits, as England ran away with the first half, scoring three goals.
"It was a attractive feeling", Sterling said.
"It was a lovely feeling to score, I put pressure on myself, it's my position to score goals", Sterling told Sky Sports.
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'It means a lot to me - it's been three years, and it means a lot in a game like this'. Three years is a long time not to score.
The pace of England's forwards allowed them to get in behind Spain's defence time and time again.
The third goal came off a lovely move from the Three Lions, which found Sterling free on the box to convert from six yards.
This was not a World Cup, nor even a European Championship, and Southgate will not pretend the surprisingly compelling Nations League is as competitive as either. They just do not like losing.
Which team are you supporting in the 2018 World Cup?
When you put all of this together you can see how important Raheem Sterling is to this current City side.
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Dier was booked early on for a challenge on Sergio Ramos which set the tone for England, showing they would not be intimidated by their esteemed opponents.
"Even without Jordan Henderson and John Stones they don't look anxious, they look comfortable".
Obviously when Alan Shearer was captain of both Newcastle and England, that was a massive peak in the interest in the national team.
"England are world-class opponents with some very unsafe players".
Southgate was proud of the way that Rashford, Harry Kane and Sterling led from the front, with the latter grabbing the most attention after ending his goal drought so impressively.
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