European Championship Qualifying

March 26, 2011



0 - 2


Group G

15:00 +00:00, March 26, 2011

Millennium Stadium, Wales

Referee: Olegario Benquerenca

  • 93'

    But that's all from me for now. Thanks for following all the action with me on ESPNsoccernet. Look out for our wrap later on, covering all of today's international fixtures. Bye!

  • 93'

    And praise must go to Ashley Young, who won England's penalty and assisted England's second.

  • 93'

    Parker, Wilshere and Lampard all had good games in a new-look formation that seemed to work for Fabio Capello's side. Could 4-3-3 be the way forward?

  • 93'

    Wales, I'm sorry to say, are bottom of the group with 0 points. Euro 2012 looks a long way off for them.

  • 93'

    A polished and professional performance from England, who move ahead of Montenegro at the top of Group G by virtue of goal difference.

  • 93'

    And that's the last significant action of the game. It finishes Wales 0-2 England.

  • 92'

    They're all at it in injury time! This time Milner tries his luck from 25 yards and the shot causes Hennessey some problems, who gathers at the second attempt.

  • 91'

    At the other end, Bellamy sees a low drive from distance go just wide.

  • 90'

    Lovely play by Downing, who cuts in from the right and unleashes a venomous drive from the edge of the box. It flys narrowly wide of Hennessey's right-hand post.

  • 89'

    Every England pass being cheered (and jeered) here.

  • 88'

    Jagielka on, Parker off. Good day's work for Scott Parker, who should continue to keep Barry out of the game. Last England change.

  • 87'

    Jack Wilshere had a laser-pen shone at him as he came off, which also happened at Stamford Bridge last week. Not what we want to see in football.

  • 86'

    Yet another yellow card as James Collins is booked for dragging Bent down by his shirt. Good thing he wasn't booked for the penalty earlier.

  • 85'

    While Wales have been abject - and that's as kind as I can be - England have been excellent. A class above today.

  • 84'

    The England fans are belting out the national anthem as England look for a third in the closing stages here.

  • 83'

    England sub: Downing on, Wilshere off

  • 82'

    That's three in a minute! Glen Johnson is booked for a rash challenge.

  • 81'

    And now Bellamy sees yellow for speaking out of turn.

  • 80'

    Vaughan crashes into Wilshere, who has taken a few hits today, and getsv a yellow for hisv troubles.

  • 79'

    Ashley Cole carries the ball 60 yards but is tackled by Collins as he is about to release Bent.

  • 78'

    While Wales are enjoying more possession at the moment, England are looking comfortable in this three man midfield. Parker, Wilshere and Lampard are all flourishing in the formation.

  • 77'

    But again Joe Hart can punch it clear. Wales need to be a litle more inventive if they want to trouble England at set-pieces. How about a short corner to Ramsey next time Craig?

  • 76'

    But Wales have won another corner here, as Glen Johnson is forced into heading behind.

  • 76'

    Milner then looks to release Bent, who is marginally - very marginally - offside.

  • 75'

    Wales have won two corners in quick succession, but Hart makes a good take from the second one and finds his Manchester City team-mate Milner with an excellent throw down field.

  • 74'

    The Welsh doctor, that is.

  • 73'

    But Bellamy's corner is too high for everyone and goes straight out for a throw. Not what the doctor ordered.

  • 72'

    But Bellamy wins a corner for Wales. Their first of the match...

  • 71'

    Wales try to push forward again through Ramsey, but the Arsenal midfielder loses the ball. Just not happening for Wales today.

  • 70'

    Ledley sees yellow for a dive and then abuses the referee. Probably a deserved booking, then.

  • 69'

    Not a surprising change for England, as Rooney is already on a yellow card. Milner has just over 30 minutes to impress...

  • 68'

    England sub: Milner on, Rooney off

  • 67'

    Not sure what happened there, some gremlins in the system I guess. Just hit refresh guys...

  • 66'

    Rooney takes on instructions from Capello

  • 65'

    Rooney rolls the ball back to Wilshere who blazes over from 15 yards. Not the best thing Wilshere has done in this game, but Wales afforded the Arsenal man way too much space there.

  • 63'

    Double Wales sub: Vaughan on, King off & Evans on, Morison off

  • 62'

    That was impressive from Ramsey, who displayed such good close control to get away from Terry there.

  • 61'

    Best moment of the game for Wales as Ramsey shows what he can do for the first time. He collects a pass on the edge of the box, sidesteps the challenge of Terry superbly, but fires narrowly over the bar.

  • 60'

    Johnson and Lampard combine well on the England right but Williams breaks up the move for Wales.

  • 59'

    Ramsey picks out Morison with a clever little through ball but the Millwall player displays horrendous control and squanders what would have been a chance to shoot at goal.

  • 58'

    The move ends with Rooney going for glory from distance but his shot is something of a pea-roller.

  • 57'

    Wales are chasing shadows here as England are making triangular passes that are serving no purpose but to frustrate the home side. Impressive though.

  • 56'

    Andrew Crofts is booked for a late challenge on Wilshere.

  • 55'

    At the other end, Wilshere slips Bent in but Hennessey is quick to spot the danger and smothers the Villa forward, who did well to stay onside.

  • 54'

    Bellamy looks for King again with a long early ball this time; King does get on the end of it this time but blazes his shot over from an angle. Encouraging signs for Wales.

  • 53'

    Bellamy had England backpeddling there.

  • 52'

    Wales' brightest player, Bellamy, dispossesses Johnson on the halfway line and breaks forward into space before releasing a pass that is just too long for King.

  • 51'

    Just no movement for Wales in attack as another move comes to nothing. I will stick my neck out and say if England lose this game it will be the biggest shock this century.

  • 50'

    Gunter carries the ball forward but doesn't know what to do when he finds himself in the England half and Parker gets across to put the fire out.

  • 49'

    Young ducks and weaves his way into space on the right before dinking a cross in for Rooney, but the Manchester United forward is penalised for a foul in the box.

  • 48'

    Wales are faffing about at the back again as Hennessey plays the ball straight to Bent. Bent whips a cross in from the right but it's just too high for Rooney at the far post.

  • 47'

    England picking up where they left off with Rooney taunting Gunter on the England left.

  • 46'

    The second half is underway.


    Stat: Wales managed just one touch in the England penalty area in the first half.


    The only bad news for England is that Rooney's booking means he misses Switzerland game in June.


    They have been shaky in possession and have lacked any kind of imagination in attacking positions. The Welsh midfield has been swamped by England's and you could drive a train through their defence.


    Terry and Dawson have had very little to do. As for Wales, where do you start? Gary Speed must be wishing he could start the day all over again.


    Well that's the end of thoroughly one-sided half of football. England have taken their chances well, with Young, Bent and Rooney proving to be too much for Wales. Lampard and Wilshere have had their moments too.

  • 45'

    That's half-time in Cardiff. England cruising at 2-0.

  • 44'

    Cole cuts out a ball for King which trickles back to Hart, who picks it up. Optimistic cries of a back pass from the Welsh fans.

  • 43'

    Wales are playing for half-time here and, in all honesty, they've done well to keep the score at 2-0.

  • 42'

    Darren Bent celebrates after doubling the lead

  • 41'

    While England have played very well so far, they have only taken advantage of Wales' ineptitude at the back. They need to tighten things up at the back or this could be five or six.

  • 40'

    Quick throw-in from Cole finds Young in space on the edge of the box, who swivels and volleys just over the bar. Straight off the training ground and not far away at all.

  • 39'

    Wilshere spots another excellent run from Bent, but again Hennessey is quick off his line. Lovely pass from Wilshere.

  • 38'

    Incidentally, that's Rooney's second yellow card of qualifying.

  • 37'

    Rooney is booked for what can only be described as persistent fouling. Typical Rooney, that.

  • 36'

    Craig Bellamy and Wayne Rooney get involved in an early confrontation

  • 35'

    Bellamy looks for Morison with the free kick but Joe Hart punches it clear. Not entirely convincing from Hart but he did enough.

  • 34'

    Lampard is penalised for an over exuberant challenge on Morison and Wales have a chance to get the ball into the England box here...

  • 33'

    That was a fantastic pass by Rooney. England have a real swagger at the moment.

  • 32'

    England get the ball up to Rooney, who spots Bent's diagonal run with an early Hollywood ball, but Hennessey spots the danger.

  • 31'

    Bellamy is dropping deeper and deeper to see more of the ball but Ramsey gives it away and England can break...

  • 30'

    But Wales, spurred on by the home support, are trying to push England back with a spell of possession in the England half.

  • 29'

    Bellamy crashes in late on Cole and the Welsh are getting visibily frustrated. They just can't get a kick.

  • 28'

    Frank Lampard celebrates his opening goal with team-mates

  • 27'

    Glen Johnson, usually the more reserved of England's two full-backs, gets forward yet again but his cross is headed out.

  • 26'

    John Terry attacks the corner but his header his blocked by Collins. Terry gets another bite of the proverbial cherry as the ball drops at his feet again, but his shot goes wide.

  • 25'

    Young winds a corner on the right after neat interplay between Lampard and Wilshere.

  • 24'

    Frank Lampard fires home from the penalty spot

  • 23'

    But after a tap of the magic sponge, Wilshere is back on his feet. Wales will have appreciated that break in play.

  • 22'

    Wilshere is down here after taking a knock in a challenge with Joe Ledley.

  • 21'

    Wales, in their desperation, are already hitting the ball long for Bellamy. It's not working for them.

  • 20'

    England have spent 30% of the game in the final third of the pitch, while Wales have spent just 6%. That tells the story of the opening 20 minutes.

  • 19'

    Rooney comes close this time as Young, who is at the heart of everything for England, picks him out with a cross that Rooney tries to volley in, but Rooney can't quite wrap his foot around it.

  • 18'

    Lampard looks for Bent with a cross from the right but Gunter gets across to cushion a header back to his keeper.

  • 17'

    The Millennium Stadium has fallen silent.

  • 16'

    That really was a goal of the highest quality from England - Great pass from Johnson, good ball by Young and predatory finish from Bent. But Wales are all over the place.

  • 15'

    England are terrorizing Wales here. Glen Johnson splits the Welsh defence with a stunning pass to release Young, who squares the ball to Bent who fires clinically into the roof of the net.

  • 15'

    GOAL! Bent scores!

  • 14'

    Rooney wins a corner off Gunter as England continue to press...

  • 13'

    England break from that and Lampard finds Rooney, who plays the ball out to Cole on the left. Cole cuts inside and unleashes a right-footed shot from distance which is blocked.

  • 12'

    A collective roar around the stadium as Ramsey bursts forward but that man Scott Parker is there again.

  • 11'

    Wales are trying to take the sting out the game at the moment as they knock it about at the back.

  • 10'

    Wales manage to hack it clear but they are on the ropes here.

  • 9'

    England win a free kick on the right wing and Young is about to whip the ball in.

  • 8'

    Terrible, terrible start for Wales. But it was a definite penalty as Collins was caught the wrong side of his Villa team-mate Young, who was in a threatening position. Collins bundled him over, no doubt about that one.

  • 7'

    GOAL! Lampard scores from the spot, sending Hennessey the wrong way

  • 6'

    Big decision early on. Terry gets forward and exchanges a one-two with Cole. Terry finds Ashley Young, who is bundled over by Collins. Lampard to take...

  • 6'


  • 5'

    Ramsay gallops forward before receiving a return pass from Bellamy, but the new captain can't quite squeeze a cross in from the right.

  • 4'

    As Wales get into their stride Scott Parker puts in a good tackle to prevent the home side developing any kind of rhythm.

  • 3'

    Feisty start, you could say.

  • 2'

    Handbags already as Bellamy goes in hard on Ashley Cole. Cole doesn't like it and Rooney goes in hard on Bellamy, who has a few words for the Manchester United man.

  • 1'

    England knocking the ball about at the back before looing long down the left wing but Ashley Williams halts England's attack.

  • 1'

    We are underway.


    At a sunny Millennium Stadium let me use this opportunity to mention that the atmosphere is spine-tingling. The Welsh really want this.


    As well as the controversial absence of Gareth Bale, the lead up to this fixture has been dominated by Fabio Capello's decision to strip the injured Rio Ferdinand of the England captaincy, reinstating John Terry.


    Ramsey only returned to the Arsenal side in the past two weeks after having his leg badly broken in a tackle by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross 13 months ago.


    A big day for Aaron Ramsay who, at the tender age of 20, has been named Wales captain.


    England: Hart, Johnson, Dawson, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Parker, Wilshere, Young, Bent, Rooney. Subs: Green, Jagielka, Lescott, Milner, Downing, Defoe, Carroll.


    Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, James Collins, Williams, Danny Collins, Bellamy, Crofts, Ramsey, King, Ledley, Morison. Subs: Myhill, Eardley, Gabbidon, Vaughan, Allen, Church, Evans.


    Let me confirm the teams as we approach kick-off...


    While this fixture gets the pulses racing in the British Isles, on paper it should be a walkover for England. Six players from England's starting line-up have featured in this season's Champions League, while the same number of Wales players play in the English Championship.


    Hello everyone, Michael Da Silva here to guide you through all the action as England take on Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Here we go...


    Capello will be looking for a big performance from Jack Wilshere.


    For now, you can read about the flak Fabio Capello is taking in the English media ahead of the game.


    Live commentary will appear here from 1500 GMT.