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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
Wednesday, 16 August 2006




Peter Crouch and John Terry
England goalscorers Crouch and Terry celebrate
England made a flying start under new boss Steve McClaren with a four-goal first-half blast to beat Greece.

John Terry marked his first match as captain by nodding in the opening goal after Stewart Downing had headed the ball into the penalty area.

Frank Lampard then scored with a deflected shot and soon after it was his close-range effort which rebounded for Peter Crouch to stab home.

Crouch rounded off the scoring with a downward header into the top corner.

The Liverpool striker scored a hat-trick against Jamaica the last time England played at Old Trafford.

And he could have repeated the feat had he got on the end of a teasing low cross from Downing.

Crouch also steered a Steven Gerrard cross wide of the upright when he might have tucked the ball away.

Gerrard provided good width throughout for England in his role on the right, where former captain David Beckham has played for so long.

He was also able to cut inside, and it was his powerful burst through the centre which led to Crouch's second goal.

And there were other bright performances for England, from the tenacious patrolling of Owen Hargreaves in the holding role, to the return to goalscoring form of Lampard.

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One Hargreaves tackle on the edge of his area was outstanding and his man of the match display woud have further impressed Manchester United, who are reportedly ready to pay 13m to sign him.

But for McClaren, although it was a good result, his first match in charge since taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson was not the sternest test.

Greece barely managed a shot in the first half and England were fully in control.

However, it took two superb second-half clearances off the line from Ashley Cole to ensure the McClaren era begun with a shut-out.

And substitute keeper Chris Kirkland dived well to his right to palm away a decent Giorgios Karagounis strike.

Substitute Aaron Lennon looked lively when he came on late in the second half - and Jermain Defoe, on from the start, also showed good touches.

Overall McClaren will be delighted with the win and the performance.

And it should be remembered that he has Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole and Michael Owen to come back.

The McClaren evolution - in which he has promised the team will play without fear - has made a good impression after 90 minutes.

But he will need to help England improve their ability to defend set-pieces if the signs of promise are to be fulfilled.


England: Robinson (Kirkland 45), Gary Neville (Carragher 78), Ferdinand, Terry, Cole (Bridge 80), Gerrard (Bent 78), Lampard, Hargreaves, Downing (Lennon 69), Defoe (Richardson 69), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Young, Phil Neville, Brown, Dawson, Jenas, Wright-Phillips, Foster.

Goals: Terry 14, Lampard 30, Crouch 35, 42.

Greece: Nikopolidis, Fyssas (Lagos 29), Dellas (Anatolakis 64), Katsouranis, Antzas (Kyrgiakos 45), Vyntra, Zagorakis (Basinas 45), Karagounis, Giannakopoulos (Salpigidis 45), Samaras (Amanatidis 45), Charisteas.
Subs Not Used: Chalkias, Kafes, Gekas, Papadopoulos, Georgeas.

Att: 45,864

Ref: Wolfgang Stark (Germany).

SEE ALSO
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17 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Ashton breaks ankle in training
15 Aug 06 |  Internationals
McClaren and staff meet players
14 Aug 06 |  Internationals
McClaren ends Beckham England era
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Venables named England assistant
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Greece reveal England match squad
10 Aug 06 |  Internationals
England beaten on penalties again
01 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006


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