Sunday, 5 June 2011

Poor England Fight Back

I would have got ten if I started...

England came down from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw with Switzerland meaning that they stay top of their Euro Qualifying group on goal difference with three games left to play. The game largely had an end of season feel to it, after all the season did finish a month ago.

England started the brighter side and Glen Johnson almost gave England a brilliant start when he met a corner at the back post but was easily saved.

Joe Hart had an eventful first half which started when he saved well from a Derdyok shot but then had to scramble as Inlers shot quickly followed and deflected of Ferdinand sending the young England keeper scrambling.

Hart was having a tough time and was constantly being tested by intelligent player, Shaquiri. Once again Hart made a smart save to deny him but Switzerland had control of the game and fans at Wembely could tell a goal was coming.

However it was England with the chance next as Ferdinand glanced a header narrowly over the bar.

Not long after Ashley Cole had to be replaced by Baines after a challenge from Cole on Behrami left himself injured and in need of a replacement. However, moments after this change, there was nothing Baines could do as some poor England defending gifted Switzerland their first goal. The first goal came from a free kick just outside the area which was floated across the goal aiming for a head just to tap it in. However no England player could deal with the ball, including Ferdinand who jumped and completly missed , imparing Harts vision and allowing the ball to find it way in to the bottom corner of the net, Barnetta the goalscorer.

Only moments after the first goal England showed their lack of ability when it comes to dealing with set pieces again leaving Capello infuriated in his touchline and giving Barnetta his second goal from a free kick in just two minuets.

This time, the free kick was from a much tighter angle, to the left of the penalty area, in line with the 6 yard box. Barnetta swung the ball in hard at the near post and would off it the two man wall, but Milner was distacted by Inlers run and so broke the wall, much to the annoyance off Walcott. The ball went through the broken wall and Hart desperatly spread his legs to make the block but it was too late and Hart failed to keep the ball out as it squeezed between his outstretched leg and the post, leaving England in dire trouble.

England knew they would have to get a goal back from half time as they knew Switzerland had heeld for a clean sheet against Spain at the world cup, so a goal before half time was neccissary. Djourou provided a huge chance for England as the game approached half time when Wilshire used his guile and skill to creep in to the box and his Arsenal team mate slide in on him, clearly catching him and giving England a stone wall penalty.

Lampard stepped up to take the kick and sent it calmly in his usual way to the bottom left, the keeper guessed the right way but was unlucky as the ball crept under his arm, giving England a lifeline going in to half time.

The players were too tired...
The atmosphere at Wembley was not a happy one at half time and Cappello reacted by giving England extra attacking options by replacing Lampard with Ashley Young, who many had expected to start.  Once again, England started the half very brightly. Immediatly from kick off Young and Walcott exchanged passes, sending Walcot through on goal where he was brought down again by Djourou just outside the box a clear foul, the referee just had to decide whether it was inside or outside the box, but insteadd the referee faultered and waved play on.

England were rewarded for bringing Ashley Young on just moments later, when Milner sent a cheeky chip in to the box which Baines chested down perfecly in to Youngs path, who hit the ball sweetly on th volley drawing England level, no long in to the second half and with plenty of time to look for a dramatic winner.

The beautifully crafted goal seemed to make England more comfortable and they were retaining possesion more. Darren Bent recieved a golden opportunity not long later when Wilshire showed why he is rated so highly whn he danced past three Swiss midefielders before sending a wonderful ball on the ground which curled round Djourou and in to Bents path but he went for goal with his right foot being parrried extremly well by the Swiss keeper who spread himself expertly, but Bent may have been better off going around the keeper with his left foot.

Bent, usually so reliable in front of goal, especially since his move to Aston Villa, somehow recieved another chance that he once again blew. Villa teammate, for now, Ashley Young sent a hard shot at goal that the keeper could only parry straight to the onrushing Bent who, with the keeper stranded, managed to blaze the ball over the bar from inside the area with an open goal in front of him, leaving England wondering if they would ever be able to do it.

Ashley Young was having a great game and nearly got his secind goal with fifteen more minuets to play as Milner cleverly glanced past two defenders and cut the ball back in to Young, who was unluck as his shot went over the bar due to great pressure from Djourou.

Both teams were to have one more chance to take the win, Switzerlands coming first as Mehmedi took a shot from just outside the area which had Hart well beaten but was just inches wide of the post. Englands last chance fell to Stewart Downing, yet another Villa player to have a chance in that second half. The ball came back to him from a tight angle free after a corner, but he sent a wild shot smashing in to the side netting with the last kick of the game.

Although the England performance was poor they are still on top of their group after Montenegro failed to capitalise as they dre 1-1 with Bulgaria, leaving England top on goal difference.

The game was a qualifier to reach the Euro 2012 which will be held in Poland and Ukraine in the summer of next year. Wayne Rooney was suspended for the game after picking up his fith card against Wales at Cardiff so England were left with just three striking options in just Bent, Zamora and Crouch.

Young was mysteriously kept on the bench after he made a game winning display against Wales and only proved Cappello's ignorance when he came on and was man of the match after just one half, he completly changed the game.

England have now failed to win at Wembley for the last four games, their longest streak for thirty years. Switzerland however, deserved at least a point.

Englands next Euro qualifier will be against Bulgaria in September.

Saturday, 4 June 2011
Euro 2012 qualifying
Home Team Score Away Team Time
England 2-2 Switzerland FT
(HT 1-2)
  • Lampard (pen) 37
  • Young 51

  • Barnetta 32
  • Barnetta 35

England

Substitutes

Switzerland

  • 01 Benaglio
  • 02 Lichtsteiner
  • 03 Ziegler
  • 04 Senderos
  • 20 Djourouyellow card
  • 07 Barnetta (Emeghara 89)
  • 08 Inler
  • 11 Behramiyellow card (Dzemaili 58)
  • 23 Shaqiri
  • 09 Derdiyok (Mehmedi 74)
  • 17 Xhaka

Substitutes

  • 12 Wolfli,
  • 05 Von Bergen,
  • 15 Dzemaili,
  • 16 Fernandes,
  • 22 Margairaz,
  • 14 Emeghara,
  • 18 Mehmedi
Ref: SkominaAtt: 84,459
ENGLAND
SWITZERLAND

Possession

  • England 52%
  • Switzerland 48%

Attempts on target

  • England 5
  • Switzerland 9

Attempts off target

  • England 9
  • Switzerland 6

Corners

  • England 7
  • Switzerland 2

Fouls

  • England 11
  • Switzerland 15

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