Saturday, 26 March 2011

Top of the group

It was an easy an much welcomed victory for the three lions of England this afternoon as they sealed the victory in the first half against a Wales side who never got going nor threatened that they would either.

Both sets of fans were up for the game and this wasapparent in the players too as the game started off at a high tempo, with Bellamy and Cole having a few words after a challegen by the fiery Welshman on the England left back, that was calmed down by Wayne Rooney.

From the off England were creative, in control and showed leadership - the latter being something that Wales seemed to lack in their starting line-up. The break-through came just six minutes into the match after a clever run and a nice ball into the box from reinstated captain John Terry. The ball wrong-footed James Collins whose untimely slip made sure the ball went straight through to Villa team mate Ashley Young, whom Collins subsequently bought down.

The referee made no hesitation and pointed confidently to the penalty spot after a clear foul by Collins on Young, and Frank Lampard stepped up to slot in a well taken penalty which quelled any nerves in the England camp and gave Wales a set back.

The only good thing about conceding early, although it dents your confidence and ruins your game plan, is that it means you have 80+ minutes to get back into the game. Unfortunately for Wales, they showed no signs of a come back. England continued to press and the stats re possession speak for themselves. Joe Hart barely had anything to do and would have been forgiven for lapsing in concentration with the few clearances he had to deal with after back passes from the defence - who had little to do themselves. The midfield and the front three had the majority of the ball; Jack Wilshere and Ashley Young particularly impressing and Scott Parker also playing well.

With England playing an attacking formation the second goal was looming, and just eight minutes after the first goal, game was virtually over when the away side got their second goal of the game. Glen Johnson played a brilliant and precise ball down the wing which found Ashley Young, who crossed the ball into the box for Villa team mate Darren Bent to tap in with force.

After just fifteen minutes Wales now had a mountain to climb, and if they didn't look like they'd score before they certainly didn't now. The second half saw England go into cruise control, allowing Wales to get more of the ball, however mostly when they got it they struggled to keep on to it and there were plenty of timed when England regained possession quite easily.

Joe Hart eventually had something to do in the second half, with a few shots from King, Morison, and a shot just wide from Bellamy, but none came too close. A succession of Wales corners also made sure England';s current number one was kept on his toes but all in all it was a quiet game for the Manchester City keeper.

Substitute Downing came really close to giving the away side an even better win near to the en of the game with a well hit shot, that was always swerving to the left, which took an even bigger swoop at the last second and went just wide of the post.

The game finished 0-2 although it could have been more. It was a very comfortable win for England against a Wales team who are still working on new tactics. The three points made sure England went to the top of their group again, and all England fans can be happy after not only a win but an enjoyable game too. Well Done England.

Full Time: Wales 0-2 England

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