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|Come On England!|
Match Report: England 2-1 Switzerland
By: Jake Olley
Date: 06/02/2008 (Last updated: 03/03/2008)
A second half tap in from substitute Shaun Wright Phillips sealed a win in Fabio Capello’s Wembley initiation as the three lions recovered from a poor start to beat Switzerland.
Capello rang the changes for his first game with a few surprises including the inclusion of Spurs’ Jermaine Jenas and West Ham’s Mathew Upson in the starting line up and the omission of Manchester City’s Micah Richards.
The game started rather doggedly on a newly laid Wembley surface with the three lions giving the ball far too easy – and failing to create barely anything against a astute looking Swiss side.
The game’s first notable chance occurs on fourteen minutes when Joe Cole puts through lone frontman Rooney who forces an impressive block from Swiss keeper Benaglio.
Despite England improving with the distribution of their possession from then on in it took another eighteen minutes until Capello’s new look side created another chance. After some good work by Bentley down the right he puts a through ball to Jenas who, unfortunately, delays his pass and allows Benaglio to smother what should have been a routine cross for Joe Cole to smash home.
As Capello prepares his first half team talk as England manager Spurs man Jenas gives the three lions the lead five minutes before the break. Following a decent ball from Joe Cole into the edge of the six yard box Jenas manages to bundle home to make it 1-0.
Half Time: England 1-0 Switzerland
England started the second half unchanged however their Swiss counterparts make three changes as they look to spoil Fabio Capello’s Wembley initiation.
England started the half brightly and after some good pressure by Rooney on the Swiss defence he would’ve been on the scoresheet had he made proper contact on fourty eight minutes.
The ever threatening Rooney came close twice in quick succession as a cheeky chip had Benaglio worrying before a volley deflected off Senderos into the side netting.
Goalscorer Jenas then forced another impressive stop by the Swiss keeper on fifty two minutes when his strike from the edge of the area forced the Wolfsburg keeper to tip round the post for another England corner to cap off a really bright spell.
Substitution 57 Minutes: Jenas and J. Cole for Wright Phillips and Cole
A matter of seconds after Capello’s first substitution as England manager the Swiss – who previously hadn’t really had a sniff – equalise following a decent counter attack. Eren Derdiyok (what a name!), who entered the fray only seconds before, latches onto a decent Yakin through ball to finish expertly with his first touch in international football. Statuesque defending didn’t help but nothing can be taken away from Derdiyok’s finish.
However, only four minutes later normal service is resumed when substitute Shaun Wright Phillips latches onto a ball from skipper Gerrard leaving an easy tap in for the Chelsea man.
As Switzerland looked to weather the storm Rooney hits a twenty yard drive just wide having beat four Swiss defenders with one trick before a Peter Crouch volley at the back post is stopped routinely by Benaglio.
England’s ability to recover from a disappointing equaliser was encouraging as Capello’s side begin to play some good stuff and mock their Swiss counterparts to the delight of the Wembley crowd.
72 Mins – Substitution: A. Cole (Boo!) and Barry are replaced by Hargreaves and Bridge
Rooney, who undoubtedly is England’s man of the match despite the sponsors naming Gerrard to everyone's dismay, plays a lovely ball over the top for Crouch who in turn puts Gerrard in before the stand in skipper gets under the ball and blazes over from twelve yards.
87 Mins – Substitution: Young for Rooney
Wayne Rooney leaves the Wembley pitch to a standing ovation to be replaced by the pacy Aston Villa winger Ashley Young. Despite not getting on the scoresheet there is no doubt Rooney has given England probably his finest performance since Euro 2004.
As the game peters out the Swiss force a goal mouth scramble in the closing stages but nothing comes of it and as the referee blows the final whistle to seal a 2-1 win the night belongs to manager Fabio Capello as he guides England to a comfortable victory. Venuto sull'Inghilterra! (Research it!)
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