International Friendly- Euro 2012 Warm-Up
England 1-0 Belgium

 

 

Danny Welbeck calmly finishes over his former Sunderland team-mate Simon Mignolet for England's only goal of the game

 

 

By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from Wembley Stadium

England warmed uo for the Euros with another win and clean sheet although again it was far from a classic as England scraped past Belgium at Wembley. 

Danny Welbeck, on his first senior start for the Three Lions, scored his first senior goal, with an equisite chip over Mignolet to win the match for England, with Roy Hodgson playing what should be his team for next week's Group D opener with France in the European Championships. 

The only downside was the unfortuante injury to Gary Cahill while former Captain John Terry will also have a scan on a troublesome hamstring problem tomorrow. 

Manager Roy Hodgson changed a few personnel around from last week's 1-0 win in Olso, now that all of the Chelsea players- with the exception of Frank Lampard who was ruled out through injury- are back in the squad. He picked what well could be his starting eleven for Monday's game with Les Bleus- the hardest game the Three Lions are going to have to face in the group stage. 

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Ashley Young has scored or assisted 11 of England's last 20 goals.

 

England named Glen Johnson with the Chelsea trio of Cahill, Terry and Cole in defence. James Milner started consecutive games on the right hand side, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left, and Ashley Young behind Danny Welbeck in attack. The Belgian side, with an average age of just 25, featured four Premier League players including Mignolet, Vermaelen, Fellaini and Dembele, plus Chelsea's new signing Eden Hazard, and Jan Vertonghen, who looks like he may be in his way to Spurs with Harry Redknapp watching on.

As you would expect, the match began in a typical slow way, with the Belgians having the more of the possession. England fashioned a chance on seven minutes: A mistake by Simons let in Milner, and although he couldn't find Welbeck with a driven cross, it found Oxlade-Chamberlain in acres of space, but his first time shot was off target. 

On 14 minutes, the Arsenal man did a repeat shot. This time it was Welbeck doing some of the hard work by staying onside, and his pull back for Chamberlain to meet with a thumping shot that went harmlessly over the bar.

On 16 minutes, England were dealt a huge blow when Gary Cahill had to leave the field through what looked like a nasty injury. A long ball over the top was well covered by the Chelsea defender, but Joe Hart hesitated and Cahill was barged from behind by Mertens straight into the City keeper - for which the Belgian forward was cautioned. He was replaced by Joleon Lescott. 

Belgium nearly broke the deadlock on 23 minutes through young midfielder Witsel: After a patient build-up, it was laid off to him by Mertens, but saw it fly just over the crossbar. 

England were conceding possession far too easily - and often - something that needs to be rectified. And that led to a few tackles flying in for both sides. Eventually, Scot Parker was booked for a lunge on Dembele. 

England finally awoke and took the lead through Welbeck on 36 minutes. England put pressure on Demebele, who conceded possession to the United man. Then a lovely return pass by Young, and Welbeck finished it off with a sublime finish.

Belgium registered their first shot on target 5 minutes before the break, when Hazard found himself in a bit of space and let fly - but Hart just about held on.  

England could, and should, have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Milner's pull back fed Gerrard on the edge of the box, but his first effort was blocked by Vertonghen, and then his follow-up effort was blocked by Vermaelen which ended a fruitless first half, for both sides; improvement was needed. 

Unfortuanately it was an even more drab affair as the second half never really got ahead of steam, not helped by the continuous stoppages for substitutions: Wayne Rooney, who will miss the first 2 games due to suspension, came on for Welbeck whose ankle was just making him struggle a bit. Forward Mirallas was subbed for Chadli. 

Eden Hazard was making his prescence known and he tested Hart again, albeit from another long way out, but seconds later, Fellaini should have done better when found in the box, but couldn't hit it cleanly and Hart gathered. 

More subs followed with Jermaine Defoe, going to be used as an impact sub replaced Young and Theo Walcott replaced Arsenal teammate Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

John Terry came off with a niggling hamstring on 72 minutes, so Phil Jagielka replaced him, whilst Chelsea striker Lukaku came on for Mertens. 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

England's last five wins in all competitions have all been 1-0 victories.

And Belgium came within a post's width of salvaging a draw as right back Gillet's thunderous 25 yard strike hit the post with Hart beaten. 

However, after that let-off England nealy sealed it - and 2 substitutes combined. Walcott fed Defoe who shot across the keeper but saw it come back off the upright and didn't fall for Rooney. Jordan Henderson then replaced Captain Steven Gerrard with 8 minutes remaining. 

In a now frantic finish, Vertonghen headed over from a corner, despite being unmarked, before, again on the counter-attack, Walcott and Defoe combined but the latter was greedy and shot wide. 

And in the final minute, Fellaini was denied by Hart in a frantic penalty area, and England held on. 

 


 

Saturday 2nd June 2012

Euro 2012 Warm-Up: International Friendly

Wembley Stadium

 

England 1-0 Belgium                                KO 5:15pm               (HT 1-0)

Welbeck 36

 

England:  01. Hart- 5.5/10, 02. Johnson- 5/10, 05. Cahill- 6/10 (Lescott 19- 6/10), 06. Terry- 6.5/10 (Jagielka 70- 3.5/10), 03. Cole- 7/10, 07. Milner- 6/10, 08. Parker- 5.5/10, 04. Gerrard (C)- 8/10 (Henderson 83- 1.5/10), 11. Oxlade-Chamberlain- 7.5/10 (Walcott 66- 5/10), 10. Young- 6.5/10 (Defoe 66- 4.5/10), 09. Welbeck- 7/10 (Rooney 53- 4.5/10).

Subs not used: 13. Green (GK), 23. Butland (GK), 12. Jones, 14. Baines, 18. Downing, 21. Carroll

Booked:       Parker (30)

 

Belgium:  01. Mignolet- 6/10, 02. Gillet- 7/10, 06. Simons- 6/10, 05. Vermaelen (C)- 6.5/10, 03. Vertonghen- 6.5/10, 07. Mertens- 6/10 (Lukaku 72- 4/10), 08. Witsel- 7/10, 11. Fellaini- 6/10, 10. Hazard- 5.5/10, 09. Mirallas- 5/10 (Chadli 59- 4.5/10), 18. Dembele- 6.5/10.

Subs not used: 21. Renard (GK), 15. Pocognoli, 22. Odoi, 23. Nainggolan, 25. Defour, 14. De Camargo, 17. Beneteke, 19. Vossen, 24. Benjmain De Ceulaer

Booked:       Mertens (16)

 

My Man of the Match:      Steven Gerrard (England)- Rating 8/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:      Glen Johnson (England)- Rating 5/10

 

 

Referee: Peter Rasmussen (Denmark)- 6.5/10
Attendance: 85,091

 

 

Match Facts


Possession:
England- 47%                Belgium- 53%

Shots: England- 9                Belgium- 16

Shots on target: England- 3                Belgium- 7

Shots off target: England- 6                Belgium- 9

Corners: England- 3                Belgium- 4

Fouls: England- 8                Belgium- 12

Offside: England- 2                Belgium- 3

Assists: England- Young               Belgium- None

 

 


Roy Hodgson - England Manager

"Well it was very tough, made even more with the loss of Gary Cahill early on. In the second half I had already decided I wanted to make some more substitutions because this is my last chance [before the Euro's start] to look at my players, and of course it's always a little bit disjointed, because we are constantly changing it around, and some times we have no choice."


Full interview with Roy here

Gary Lineker interviews Roy Hodgson ahead of the France game

Injuries concern Gerrard here

Reaction of Joe Hart - Click here

Expert analysis - Belgium here

Injuries blight England performace

Match Highlights - click here

 

 

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