England had an easy win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon in the European Championships Group G match, with the score hardly showing the difference in class between the two sides.
Darren Bent – after scoring England’s second goal on 15 minutes
It was important that England got off to a strong start in front of 74,000 fans in Cardiff and they did exactly that.
England started the game in control and it seemed difficult for Wales to even get any possession of the ball, and the goal England really needed to quieten the patriotic crowd, came after only 7 minutes.
Aston Villa center-back James Collins, who hadn’t played since early February, slipped and his Villa team mate Ashley Young glided past him, only for the Welsh center-back to bring down Young in the penalty box.
And up stepped Frank Lampard in the 100th meeting between these two countries, to send Welsh goalkeeper Hennessey the wrong way, and easily put England 1-0 up.
And England has only to wait another 8 minutes before they were two up, as the England attack tore the Welsh defense apart with apparent ease.
Glen Johnson put Ashley Young through down the right wing with a beautiful clipped ball, and Young put in a nice right wing cross that former Sunderland striker and Young’s Aston Villa team mate Darren Bent clipped into the net. with predatory instinct and England were 2-0 up after just 15 minutes.
So the first two goals had a number of Aston Villa players involved with the goals, and England had started this game looking a very good side, and played really well in the first half, as the play off the ball was first class, and looked a little like the way Barcelona play the beautiful game.
At half time it was 2-0 and all England.
Wales did try to come back in the second half, but that probably was due as much with England taking their foot off the pedal as anything else, but of course a goal by Wales at any point in the second half would have put some pressure on England.
But for all of Wales advancing on England in the second half they had few chances, and England were able to see off what was a comparatively easy win for them, and puts them back at the top of Group G.
England have 10 points from their 4 games and are above Montenegro on goal difference (+8 against +3), and Wales are rock bottom with 4 defeats in their 4 matches.
For England, everybody played well in that first half, but then England labored too much in the second half, with Wayne Rooney again looking a very ordinary player in this match.
Former Newcastle midfielder Scott Parker, who started the game with Jack Wilshire in central midfield, had an excellent game for England today as did the 19 year-old Arsenal whizkid Wilshire, who is going to be some player for England.
Andy Carroll, the former Newcastle United striker, was on the England bench, but didn’t get any playing time, although former Newcastle winger James Milner did come on for the final 20 minutes.
Wales: 1-Wayne Hennessey; 2-Chris Gunter, 5-James Collins, 6-Ashley Williams, 3-Danny Collins; 11-Andy King (15-David Vaughan 65), 10-Aaron Ramsey, 7-Joe Ledley; 4-Andrew Crofts, 8-Craig Bellamy, 9-Steve Morison (18-Ched Evans 65)
England: 1-Joe Hart; 2-Glen Johnson, 5-Michael Dawson, 6-John Terry, 3-Ashley Cole; 7-Frank Lampard, 4-Scott Parker (13-Phil Jagielka 88), 8-Jack Wilshere (16-Stewart Downing 82); 11-Ashley Young, 9-Darren Bent, 10-Wayne Rooney (15-James Milner 70)
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)