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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 25 March 2011

Wales   0 - 2   England

Darren Bent scores England's second goal
Aston Villa striker Bent put England 2-0 ahead after 14 minutes in Cardiff

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at the Millennium Stadium

England cruised to a comfortable victory against Wales in Cardiff as their campaign to reach Euro 2012 stayed on course at the Millennium Stadium.

Fabio Capello's side silenced the passionate home support with two goals inside the first 14 minutes - and those early blows were always too much for Wales as they slumped to their fourth successive defeat in qualifying to remain without a point.

New manager Gary Speed had the scale of the task facing him illustrated by the gulf in quality between the sides, especially after he was stripped of Tottenham's Gareth Bale through injury in the build-up.

Frank Lampard put England ahead with a penalty after only seven minutes following James Collins' rash foul on Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young and Wales were soon in even more trouble as Darren Bent swiftly added a second.

Glen Johnson released Young on the right flank and his inviting delivery offered Bent an open invitation to score his third goal in successive games for England, further evidence that he is adapting to international football.

The only blot on England's day came with a yellow card for Wayne Rooney that rules him out of the qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley in June.

But Capello will be delighted that his players delivered a performance that will finally turn the spotlight away from the saga of John Terry's restoration to the captaincy ahead of Rio Ferdinand.

Wales lacked a cutting edge without the thrust of Bale and a shortage of service meant Craig Bellamy was unable to exert any influence or pressure on England's defence.

There was a revival of sorts in the second half, when Wales at least enjoyed greater possession, but England's afternoon was more comfortable than they could have expected.

It was not only the victory that would have brought Capello great satisfaction.

Terry reclaimed the captain's armband with relish, while Young delivered a man-of-the-match display to press his case for a regular place.

And in midfield, Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker enhanced their reputations by dictating terms and refusing to give Wales any sort of platform to play.

England's performance must be placed in the context of Wales' struggles but the manner of the win was impressive.

Wales, on the other hand, must now revert back to Speed's plan to build for the future as their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign draws to a desperately disappointing conclusion.

PHIL MCNULTY'S BLOG

How Wales missed Bale's inspiration in a woeful first 45 minutes in which they achieved the seemingly impossible, reducing a passionate Cardiff crowd to periods of near silence.

The pre-match ceremonies were marred as Wales fans drowned out England's anthem - inevitably prompting an equally disrespectful response from the visiting supporters to the Welsh anthem.

Wales needed a fast start to build on the atmosphere but England were gifted the ideal opening when Collins needlessly bundled Young to the ground as he raced into the area.

The protests were in vain - and Lampard made no mistake with an emphatic spot-kick.

And England further deflated Wales when a sweeping move increased the sense of dejection by doubling their advantage seven minutes later.

Johnson's ball exposed Wales' left flank and Young provided the perfect cross for the incoming Bent to sweep a finish high past keeper Wayne Hennessey into the roof of the net.

Wales were providing little in the way of fight and resistance, usually the bare minimum in front of their own followers, although Bellamy and Ashley Cole appeared to be involved in a lengthy verbal battle that needed the intervention of Rooney to restore peace.

Rooney's own performance was patchy and he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Joe Ledley, doubly frustrating as the offence was committed in a harmless position.

Young was enjoying plenty of freedom and exploiting it to the full, almost getting on the scoresheet with a rising drive that flew narrowly over the bar.

England had barely broken sweat in the first half but Wales did find a little more of a spark after the break, only for any fleeting threat to be snuffed out by a glaring lack of quality.

The win was signed, sealed and delivered for England inside those first 14 minutes and the rest was simply a matter of completing the formalities against a disappointingly tame Wales.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Euro 2012 qualifying

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Wales 0-2 England FT
(HT 0-2)
    • Lampard (pen) 7
    • Bent 14

    Wales

    • 01 Hennessey
    • 02 Gunter
    • 03 Collins
    • 05 Collins yellow card
    • 06 Williams
    • 04 Crofts yellow card
    • 07 Ledley yellow card
    • 10 Ramsey
    • 11 King (Vaughan 65 yellow card)
    • 08 Bellamy yellow card
    • 09 Morison (Evans 65)

    Substitutes

    England

    Substitutes

    Ref: O BenquerencaAtt: 68,959
    WALES
    ENGLAND

    Possession

    • Wales 44%
    • England 56%

    Attempts on target

    • Wales 0
    • England 6

    Attempts off target

    • Wales 3
    • England 5

    Corners

    • Wales 4
    • England 5

    Fouls

    • Wales 13
    • England 8
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:42 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 90:00+1:54 Unfair challenge on Ched Evans by Michael Dawson results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Bellamy from right channel, John Terry makes a clearance.
    • 90:00+1:35 James Milner takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 90:00+1:04 Craig Bellamy has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
    • 89:47 Stewart Downing produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
    • Correction - 87:54 Craig Bellamy fouled by Michael Dawson, the ref awards a free kick. Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.
    • Correction - 87:54 Substitution (England) makes a substitution, with Phil Jagielka coming on for Scott Parker.
    • 87:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Dawson on Craig Bellamy. Aaron Ramsey takes the free kick.
    • 87:54 Substitution Joleon Lescott joins the action as a substitute, replacing Scott Parker.
    • 85:38 Foul by James Collins on Darren Bent, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
    • 85:38 Booking James Collins goes into the book.
    • 83:12 Glen Johnson challenges Ched Evans unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Collins.
    • 83:12 Booking Glen Johnson booked.
    • 82:26 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, save made by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 82:14 Corner taken short by James Milner.
    • 81:45 Booking Craig Bellamy is booked.
    • 81:06 David Vaughan challenges Jack Wilshere unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.
    • 81:06 Substitution Stewart Downing joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jack Wilshere.
    • 81:06 Booking David Vaughan receives a yellow card.
    • 76:41 Craig Bellamy takes the inswinging corner, save by Joe Hart.
    • 76:36 Centre by Chris Gunter, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance.
    • 75:49 The referee blows for offside against Ashley Young. Danny Collins takes the indirect free kick.
    • 75:09 Corner taken by Joe Ledley, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 74:43 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy, Frank Lampard makes a clearance.
    • 72:35 Inswinging corner taken by Craig Bellamy.
    • 71:33 James Milner sends in a cross, clearance made by Ashley Williams.
    • 69:53 Booking The referee books Joe Ledley for dissent.
    • 69:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Ched Evans. John Terry takes the direct free kick.
    • 69:03 Substitution James Milner is brought on as a substitute for Wayne Rooney.
    • 66:46 Effort on goal by Jack Wilshere from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 64:45 Substitution Ched Evans joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steve Morison.
    • 64:45 Substitution David Vaughan comes on in place of Andy King.
    • 62:58 Chris Gunter challenges Wayne Rooney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Frank Lampard, Wayne Hennessey makes a comfortable save.
    • 62:15 Shot on goal by Aaron Ramsey from just inside the area goes over the target.
    • 60:12 The referee blows for offside. John Terry takes the free kick.
    • 58:22 Joe Ledley concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.
    • 57:40 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Gunter.
    • 55:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Crofts on Jack Wilshere. Free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
    • 55:58 Booking The referee shows Andrew Crofts a yellow card.
    • 53:12 Andy King has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 48:39 Ashley Young produces a cross, Wayne Rooney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Collins. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.
    • 47:02 The ball is sent over by Ashley Young.
    • 45:27 Ashley Young fouled by Danny Collins, the ref awards a free kick. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:13 The players leave the pitch at half time.
    • 42:35 The ball is sent over by John Terry.
    • 41:45 Ashley Williams gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Bent. Ashley Young crosses the ball in from the free kick, Steve Morison makes a clearance.
    • 39:21 Shot from just outside the area by Ashley Young goes over the bar.
    • 38:51 Foul by Steve Morison on Michael Dawson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 36:32 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Rooney on Joe Ledley. Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.
    • 36:32 Booking Wayne Rooney booked for unsporting behaviour.
    • 33:36 Steve Morison fouled by Frank Lampard, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Bellamy from left channel, save made by Joe Hart.
    • 33:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Crofts by Ashley Cole. James Collins restarts play with the free kick.
    • 31:03 Darren Bent has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the left of the goal.
    • 27:37 The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, clearance by Ashley Williams.
    • 26:02 Corner taken by Ashley Young played to the near post.
    • 25:12 Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard to the near post, clearance made by Steve Morison.
    • 25:04 Glen Johnson produces a cross, clearance made by Ashley Williams.
    • 20:13 Ashley Young takes a shot. Save by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 19:23 Frank Lampard takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Joe Ledley.
    • 18:53 Frank Lampard fouled by Ashley Williams, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
    • 17:52 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
    • 13:58 Assist on the goal came from Ashley Young.
    • 13:58 GOAL - Darren BentWales 0 - 2 England Goal scored by Darren Bent from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Wales 0-2 England.
    • 13:30 The assistant referee signals for offside against Craig Bellamy. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
    • 12:54 Corner taken by Frank Lampard, save by Wayne Hennessey.
    • 11:59 Ashley Cole takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in.
    • 8:49 Jack Wilshere gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Bellamy. James Collins takes the free kick.
    • 8:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Ramsey on Scott Parker. Ashley Young crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance by James Collins.
    • 6:41 Penalty awarded for a foul by James Collins on Ashley Young. Assist by Ashley Young.
    • 6:41 GOAL - Frank LampardWales 0 - 1 England Frank Lampard scores a penalty. Wales 0-1 England.
    • 5:10 Andrew Crofts challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Parker takes the direct free kick.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    26 Mar 2011 23:59 UK

    • Albania1-0Belarus
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    • Andorra0-1Slovakia
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    • Armenia0-0Russia
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    • Bosnia-H2-1Romania
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    • Israel2-1Latvia
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    • Norway1-1Denmark
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    • Rep of Ireland2-1FYR Macedonia
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    • Wales0-2EnglandFT

    see also
    Capello pleased with 4-3-3 system
    27 Mar 11 |  Football
    Speed sees positives despite loss
    27 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    England players react to Wales victory
    26 Mar 11 |  Football
    Wales v England as it happened
    26 Mar 11 |  Football
    Wales v England photos
    26 Mar 11 |  Football
    Confident England please Capello
    26 Mar 11 |  Football
    Wales remain positive in defeat
    27 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    Wales stars blame playing surface
    27 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    Capello admits captaincy mistakes
    25 Mar 11 |  Football
    Ramsey delight at Wales captaincy
    25 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    Redknapp denies Bale injury claim
    25 Mar 11 |  Tottenham
    Injured Bale out of England clash
    24 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    Ratcliffe questions Ramsey choice
    25 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    Wales deputy's Twitter outburst
    24 Mar 11 |  Welsh
    England stars back captain Terry
    23 Mar 11 |  Football


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