England climb to the top of Group G in the Euro 2012 Qualifiers after easing to a 2-0 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff this evening.
In a match that was billed as a compelling and competitive fixture between two British neighbours, it was the Welsh side who failed to follow the script, looking at times out of their depth against an England team brimming with Premier League talent.
The Three Lions got off to the best possible start after just seven minutes. Ashley Young, who has won the most penalties in the Premier League this season with five, was clumsily brought down in the box by his Aston Villa team-mate James Collins, leaving Frank Lampard to dispatch the subsequent penalty past Wales ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey. The Dragons’ task was made even more difficult a further seven minutes later when England full-back Glen Johnson played a lovely ball to the lively Young on the right-wing, who’s cracking delivery was slotted home by Darren Bent, scoring his third goal in as many games on the international stage.
Aaron Ramsey became Wales'
youngest ever captain in tonight's
game against England.
Wales certainly had more possession in the second half but it was England that so nearly added to their lead in the 47th minute. A poor clearance from Hennessey found Ashley Young whose tantalising cross was just too high for the onrushing Wayne Rooney at the far post. The Welsh sides’ best chance arguably came just after the hour mark, when Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey controlled well from a Steve Morrison pass before turning neatly to create space for a shot at goal, but he couldn’t muster a goal to celebrate becoming Wales’ youngest ever captain as he fired his shot high over the bar.
The Dragon’s had a short period of dominance in the second half, winning four corners in quick succession, but the deliveries from Craig Bellamy and Joe Ledley were poor and easily dealt with by England stopper Joe Hart. Stewart Downing went close to adding to England’s tally in the 90th minute when he cut inside and lashed a shot inches wide of Hennessey’s right-hand post, but in the end a two goal advantage was enough to see Fabio Capello’s men earn a valuable three points in Group G.
Aston Villa's Ashley Young continued his impressive
run of form at international level.
As England come away from Cardiff with a well-earned 2-0 win, no doubt Fabio Capello will be looking to some of the squad’s fringe players such as Matt Jarvis and Kyle Walker to show what they can do in the friendly against Ghana at Wembley this Tuesday night.
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