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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Sunday, 12 June 2011 21:56 UK

England U21s v Spain U21s as it happened


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By Pranav Soneji

2155: So that's it for this evening, England begin their under-21s campaign with a draw in one of the more bizarre one-point matches you will see in this tournament. We're back again on Wednesday 15 for England's second group match against Ukraine. Hasta pronto amigos.

2151: England boss Stuart Pearce says his team are "gonna get better in the next game" before declaring England would have won "4 or 5-0" if they had the same amount of possession as Spain.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
From Anon, Text 81111: "Get in boys. For all their tippy-tappy stuff they never really went for the kill, we deserve our point for keeping on going. Smalling dominated their forwards."
The boy Anon has been prolific this evening.

2146: "Raring to go" says goalscorer Danny Welbeck when asked about England's next opponents Ukraine, who lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic earlier today. Defender Chris Smalling admits England had been outpassed but says the hard pressing in the second half was rightly rewarded. Just a shame they didn't start with the same intensity really.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
From Anon, Text 81111: "It's very fashionable to fall over ourselves to eulogise over how marvellous Spain are. Give our boys a bit of credit for hanging in there. Also 'nice' to see the Spanish youngsters have their senior team's love of surrounding the officials at any opportunity."

2140: I'm still unsure what to make of what I have just seen - one team completely outplay the other by scoring a suspicious goal before the team they are completely outplaying score a goal which looks suspiciously offside in the final five minutes of the match. Help me out people - just what exactly happened out there tonight?


2135: For all you fans of goals with hints of controversy, Welbeck's effort could well have been called offside, a point a few Spanish defenders were attempting to make to the assistant referee, whose flag refused to be parted from his side.

2133: Despite the purist eulogies and lamenting the apparent chasm in skill between the two teams, England are level courtesy of a very tidy finish by Danny Welbeck. The industrious Kyle Walker cuts inside the right flank before threading a perfect ball inside the penalty area for the Manchester United striker, who skilfully rolls the ball with his left foot before placing the ball from 12 yards into the bottom left corner with David de Gea nowhere in sight.

2129:GOAL: SPAIN 1-1 ENGLAND (Welbeck)

2128: Luis Milla's team are slowly strangling any hope of an England equaliser, decreasing their tempo while maintaining their incredible ball retention. Meanwhile, goalscorer Ander Herrera is replaced by Diego Capel.

2124: More changes for England as Scott Sinclair makes an appearance for Tom Cleverley while Barcelona replaces Barcelona with Bojan coming on for Jeffren.

2122: A quick free-kick finds its way to Jack Rodwell, who threads a testing through ball for Daniel Sturridge with only his marker to beat, but De Gea is off his line in a flash, smothering the ball at the edge of his area with the on-loan Bolton striker in hot pursuit. Rodwell provides the necessary invention England have been crying out for, but whether he can make enough of an impression in the final 10 minutes is seriously doubtful.

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From Paul, Oxford, Text 81111: "England are missing the opportunity to lump it up to someone of Carroll's size up front. That's worked for the last 35 years, right?"

2116: Sometimes all you can do is watch and admire some of the breath-taking football on offer from the Iberians. Martin Montoya is the architect as he surges towards England's box, exchanging a series of intricate passes with Herrera before the ball is drilled into Fielding's side netting. Shades of Carlos Alberto's fourth goal from the 1970 World Cup final in that move - only without the ball being absolutely hammered into the back of the net.

2111: Double substitution for England with Jack Rodwell replacing the ineffective Michael Mancienne, with Jordan Henderson talking the captain's armband. Henri Lansbury is also summoned off the bench as Danny Rose makes way for the Arsenal man.

2108: Heart-in-mouth time for Danny Welbeck as he scythes down Javi Martinez with a lumbering challenge, minus the nasty intent, but referee Strombergsson decides there was no intent there from the Manchester United striker and ignores the silent Spanish pleas for a second yellow card. Good officiating.

2106: More silky skills from Spain, this time from winger Adrian Lopez, skinning Kyle Walker on the left before pinging over an inviting cross - only for Fielding to pouch the ball mid-flight before finding the path of Alberto Botia. It's all one-way traffic. And not in a good way of you are an Anglophile.

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From Momo, London, Text 81111: "The Spanish are passing the ball with confidence (a bit under the level of arrogance) and their counterparts in white looks like owls pushed out of their nest on a bright sunny day..."
Everyone loves a bird-based football simile.

2101: Brilliant save from Frank Fielding as goalscorer Ander Herrera's deflected shot from the edge of the box loops towards the top-left corner, but the Derby County keeper scrambles across his goalline and manages to divert the ball at full stretch past his post for a corner. Top save, but yet more Spanish dominance in midfield - England are chasing Spanish sombras across the park.

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From Robert Hardie, Derby, Text 81111: "Arsenal have apparent been offered Thiago by Barcelona as part of a Fabregas transfer - on this performance, it might not be a bad deal for us!"

2057: Frank Fielding's attempts to play the ball out to his centre-back are verging on the ridiculous - he's clearly been told by Pearce to build momentum from defence, but what can you do when your centre-backs and full-backs keep passing the ball back to you because of incessant pressure from Spain's enterprising front line?

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From Martin in Welling, Text 81111: "Wouldn't matter if it went in via his hand we're being outclassed and not as though we deserve to be level anyway."

2048: Spain, who had a whopping 62% of possession in the first half, get the second-half under way. Somehwat surprisingly, Michael Mancienne, who looked thoroughly unconvincing in the first half, starts the second 45.

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From Jack in Belfast, Text 81111: "Bring on Connor Wickham, let's see if he's worth £10m!"

2042: Now then. If you, like me, have just been watching a close-up of Spain's goal, you would have seen Ander Herrera's hand - situated almost on top of his head - make contact with the ball in extra slow motion as he diverts it past Frank Fielding. But at full speed it's not the easiest infringement to detect. Thoughts?

NathanHarris18 on Twitter: "Keep it up Spain, cracking youth and first team. The new Brazil."


2033: England burst into life just before half-time as Kyle Walker bursts down the right wing before sending over a teasing cross for Daniel Sturridge, only for a Spanish defender to stick a large size 10 out and divert the ball goalbound. However, the very alert David de Gea shows why Manchester United are willing to shell out serious millions for his talent as he tips the ball beyond his right-hand post after being initially wrong-footed. Bright end for England, but still, they are a long way off the composure of their opponents in that first half.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
From another Anon, Text 81111: "Anon's text. Whilst I'm not overly convinced by the England management structure, I'm fairly sure they know enough about football not to pick some one just because they've joined a new club. Its possession football they know little about!"

2029: "It's like a first team playing against the youth team at the moment," says BBC Radio 5 live summariser Danny Mills attempting to describe what he is witnessing on the pitch. For those of you just tuning in, I think the youth team are England... Two minutes to go - half-time cannot come soon enough for Pearce's team.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
From Steve in Cheshunt, Text 81111: "This is men against boys. I mean, boys against er...? "

2025: BBC Radio 5 live summariser Danny Mills the sizeable skills gap between the two teams, although just as he says that some good old-fashioned English grit sees Danny Rose ping a superb left-wing cross for Daniel Sturridge, only for the striker to stumble at the crucial moment to completely miss his header from six yards.

Yellow card
2021: England's frustration is palpable as Spain continue to ping the ball around with impunity. Danny Welbeck becomes the second player in the referee's book as he scissors Jeffren on the touchline with a badly timed challenge, earning a deserved yellow card in the process.

2018: Beautiful skills from Thiago, little drop of the shoulder and a subtle flick with the outside of his boot and Mancienne is left looking like a fool, but the son of former Brazil international Mazinho shoots high and wide. But still, classy. His old man would be loving that flick.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
From Anon, Text 81111: "It's a real shame that Pearce hasn't opted for his best team in this match. Rodwell is the best player in the side and to leave him out of the game is criminal. Why is it that just because an individual club value a player so much (eg Henderson) the national teams follow suit instantly. Carroll was put straight in the England team following his big move, however before the move was not on the cards. Now Pearce seems to value Henderson higher than Rodwell based on a move? 2 years ago Rodwell was excellent in this tournament so why is he left out of such a key game?"

2013: Three rather earnest Spanish players surround Chris Smalling as he goes up for a free-kick, all three upset because they felt the Manchester United defender had stamped one of their comrades as he landed on the ground. Referee Strombergsson looks utterly livid - like a schoolteacher admonishing a bunch of 11-year-olds for leaving a load of drawing pins on his chair. Spain are dictating the tempo, lots of Barca-style keep ball and England look a tad lost at the moment.

2010: Apologies, but Frank Fielding is at Derby County rather than Blackburn, although one anonymous texter has demanded "R u the best the bbc has.?" Meanwhile, a rather ungainly challenge from Thiago Alcantara on Kyle Walker sees the Barcelona player become the first player to be shown the yellow card.

2005: A few questions from you lot via text and Twitter pondering whether Herrera's hand rather than his head made contact with the ball. Tellingly, there were no England protestations to Swedish referee Markus Strombergsson when the ball was bundled in, but we'll bring you more when we can analyse further angles of that goal.

2003: Poor misjudgement from Kyle Walker as he attempts to cut out a cross-field ball to Jeffren, allowing the winger to attack the left flank. England are rattled.

2001: Less than 15 minutes into the match and the tournament favourites are 1-0 up as Juan Mata's corner finds Javi Martinez unmarked inside the 12-yard box. The defensive midfielder's powerful header looks to be sailing past Frank Fielding's left-hand post until Ander Herrera nods a point-blank header past the Blackburn keeper and past the static man on the line. Oh dear, poor set-piece defending by the top seeds.

1958:GOAL: SPAIN 1-0 ENGLAND (Ander Herrera)

1957: The big guns are in the Herning Stadion; Sir Trevor Brooking and England boss Don Fabio Capello are shaking hands with a bunch of randoms in the stands, Capello in particular looking delighted to be out in Denmark. The camera cuts to Stuart Pearce, who has Steve Wigley beside him, although no early signs whether he will do what Capello did to him on the bench in South Africa last year. So far nothing of real note on the pitch, lots of pretty Spanish passing but nothing of real attacking intent. Saying that, England earn a corner through Danny Rose.

1_1andrew1_1 on Twitter: "Early signs are good. The young Spaniards are not so in the Barcelona mould."

1951: England boss Stuart Pearce is without four full internationals because of injuries/burnout fears. So that's no Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll, Micah Richards and Kieran Gibbs. Just imagine if that quartet where out on that pitch right now against the tournament favourites. Unfortunately for Pearce, it's all hypothetical.

1948: Ooooh, sloppy pass from Javi Martinez to David de Gea sees the goalkeeper toe-poke the ball beyond the onrushing Danny Welbeck, who almost pounces but in typical Iberian fashion, there's no panic as the ball is passed out towards midfield without any need of a Row Z hoof. Classy.

1945: England, in a brilliant all-white ensemble, kick things off. Spain are in their usual red and blue number.

1942: A few changes for England with Manchester United's Tom Cleverley starting on the right side of midfield with new Hamburg signing and England captain Michael Mancienne partnering Jordan Henderson in the middle. All 11 squad members are on the bench.

1940: With just over five minutes to go, sling over your best thoughts - and even your not-so-sage ones to me via Twitter #BBCFootball get chatting over or text me via 81111 (UK) on what is about to unfold this evening.

1935: For all you Manchester United fans - apparently there are a few out there - it's an ideal opportunity to see three-fifths of your defensive future in action with David de Gea, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all on the same pitch together, albeit with one playing for Spain. It's also an excellent opportunity for Liverpool fans to run the rule over Jordan Henderson and his £20m of talent. Spain have two World Cup winners in their starting XI in Juan Mata and Javi Martinez, along with the supremely talented Thiago Alcantara, who has stirred things with his assertion that he is not particularly au fait with England's line-up.

1932: Teams are in:

Spain: De Gea, Montoya, Botia, Dominguez, Didac, Thiago, Javi Martinez, Ander, Mata, Adrian, Jeffren. Subs: Mino, Azpilicueta, San Jose, Parejo, Bojan, Diego Capel, Nsue, Jose Angel, Victor Ruiz, Ruben Perez, Muniain, Marino.

England: Fielding, Walker, Smalling, Jones, Bertrand, Cleverley, Henderson, Mancienne, Rose, Welbeck, Sturridge. Subs: McCarthy, Muamba, Albrighton, Sinclair, Tomkins, Cork, Lansbury, Rodwell, Delfouneso, Wickham, Steele.

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (Sweden)

1930: In 1984, Dave Sexton's young whippersnappers successfully defended England Under-21s's European Championship title with a two-legged 3-0 victory over Spain. Only two of Sexton's crack commandos made the senior breakthrough - Mark Hateley, who was named player of the tournament, and Steve Hodge. So it's somewhat serendipitous to see Inglaterra begin their third successive European campaign against none other than tournament favourites Espana in Denmark. It's OK people, football hasn't deserted us this summer...

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12 Jun 2011 23:59 UK

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