England concluded their preparations for Euro 2012 with a win over Belgium that gave new manager Roy Hodgson his second successive victory since taking charge.
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck stated his case for inclusion in England's opening game against France in Donetsk with a cleverly taken first-half goal after fine work from Ashley Young.
As in the 1-0 win against Norway in Oslo, this was an England performance built on the foundations of solid defence and tactical discipline. Hodgson's approach may not illuminate proceedings in Poland and Ukraine but early evidence suggests they will be tough to break down.
Belgium, with Chelsea-bound Eden Hazard and a host of Premier League talent in their line-up, dominated territory for long spells but once again England demonstrated admirable resolve to ensure they leave for their Krakow base this week with another win to accompany them.
If there is a concern, it was the amount of possession England were prepared to concede to Belgium. The visitors were unable to take advantage but Hodgson will know his side must beware against superior opposition carrying a greater threat in front of goal.
Chelsea-bound Eden Hazard's Wembley highlights
- 0 mins - name roundly booed when announced at Wembley
- 12 mins - lovely first-time backheel as he links up with Kevin Mirallas down the left channel
- 40 mins - curls in decent shot from 35 yards which dips in front of Joe Hart but the keeper holds on to save
- 61 mins - curls a shot at Hart from 25 yards
- 82 mins - cuts in from left and thumps a rising shot over the top
And this friendly was not without its injury worries, with defender Gary Cahill substituted early on after a nasty, needless push by Dries Mertens that caused him to collide with goalkeeper Joe Hart, an incident that left the Chelsea defender requiring a precautionary X-ray at Wembley.
And Chelsea team-mate John Terry was also left needing a scan after going off with a hamstring injury.
Welbeck, in particular, will be happy with his work. Hodgson must now consider whether to promote him above Liverpool's Andy Carroll as Young's strike partner against France.
Belgium did provide an anxious moment late on when Guillaume Gillet hit the post, but substitute Jermain Defoe also had a similar near miss for England.
Hodgson, however, will be satisfied with another opportunity to see more of his squad play before the serious action starts, their number including Wayne Rooney, who came on as a second-half substitute even though he will miss the first two games of Euro 2012 through suspension.
As Hodgson continues to formulate his plans, he handed a first England start to Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the youngster showed no sign of nerves as he was prominent early on.
The Arsenal starlet slipped at the crucial moment as he shaped to meet James Milner's cross, then shot wide from the edge of the area - but his positive approach was clear to see.
He was replaced by Theo Walcott after 67 minutes as he faded, but Hodgson will have been pleased by his positive approach on his Wembley debut for England.
This was a friendly with a cutting edge and tackles flew in, the worst example being the incident that left Cahill shaken and replaced by Joleon Lescott.
Belgium had seen more of the ball than England but it was Hodgson's side that made the breakthrough after 36 minutes with a goal that was a delight in its creation and conclusion. Young's measured pass found his Manchester United team-mate Welbeck, who waited for keeper Simon Mignolet to make his move before scoring with a deft, lofted finish.
Hodgson was clearly keen to give Rooney some game time so he was introduced as a substitute for Welbeck after 53 minutes, his first action since Manchester United's final game of the Premier League season at Sunderland on 13 May.
The gifted Hazard, like his team, enjoyed plenty of possession without applying an end product. He did test Hart with a curling effort on the hour and seconds later Everton's Marouane Fellaini wasted a better chance by shooting tamely at Hart from only eight yards.
Belgium almost found the finishing touch that had eluded them when Gillet hit the outside of the post from 20 yards with Hart well beaten.
England's response came swiftly when substitute Defoe struck the woodwork with a low shot in a rare venture into Belgian territory - and as Hodgson's side took a lap of honour after the final whistle there was a mood of cautious optimism in the camp.
- 01 Hart
- 02 Johnson
- 03 Cole
- 05 Cahill (Lescott - 19' )
- 06 Terry (Jagielka - 70' )
- 04 Gerrard (Henderson - 83' )
- 07 Milner
- 08 Parker Booked
- 10 Young (Defoe - 66' )
- 11 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Walcott - 66' )
- 09 Welbeck (Rooney - 53' )
- 13 Green
- 23 Butland
- 12 Jones
- 14 Baines
- 15 Lescott
- 16 Jagielka
- 17 Henderson
- 18 Downing
- 22 Walcott
- 19 Defoe
- 20 Rooney
- 21 Carroll
- 01 Mignolet
- 03 Vertonghen
- 05 Vermaelen
- 02 Gillet
- 06 Simons
- 07 Mertens Booked (Lukaku - 72' )
- 08 Witsel
- 10 Hazard
- 11 Fellaini
- 09 Mirallas (Chadli - 59' )
- 18 Dembele
- 21 Renard
- 15 Pocognoli
- 22 Odoi
- 16 Chadli
- 23 Nainggolan
- 25 Defour
- 14 De Camargo
- 17 Benteke
- 19 Vossen
- 20 Lukaku
- 24 Benjamin De Ceulaer
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +2:51
The assistant referee signals for offside against Romelu Lukaku. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.90:00 +2:08
Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.90:00 +1:39
Nacer Chadli takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.90:00 +0:02
Jermain Defoe has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.88:48
Joleon Lescott challenges Timmy Simons unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.88:18
Moussa Dembele concedes a free kick for a foul on Glen Johnson. Free kick crossed by Wayne Rooney, Simon Mignolet makes a save.87:38
The ball is swung over by Guillaume Gillet, Marouane Fellaini has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.86:03
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.85:59
A cross is delivered by Jan Vertonghen, clearance made by Glen Johnson.84:51
The ball is swung over by Wayne Rooney.84:13
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by Axel Witsel.84:02
Ashley Cole sends in a cross, clearance by Jan Vertonghen.82:16 Substitution
Substitution Jordan Henderson comes on in place of Steven Gerrard.81:30
Eden Hazard has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.81:16
Jermain Defoe has an effort at goal from the edge of the area striking the post.80:31
Effort on goal by Axel Witsel from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.80:06
The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney, clearance by Jan Vertonghen.79:26
The ball is sent over by Jan Vertonghen, clearance by Joleon Lescott.78:30
Foul by Romelu Lukaku on Joe Hart, free kick awarded. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
Guillaume Gillet produces a right-footed shot from outside the box and strikes the post.75:32
Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Cole.74:52
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Guillaume Gillet.74:13
The ball is sent over by Scott Parker, clearance made by Timmy Simons.74:01
Centre by Jermain Defoe, Thomas Vermaelen makes a clearance.73:44
James Milner delivers the ball, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.73:10
Foul by Nacer Chadli on Theo Walcott, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Steven Gerrard, Marouane Fellaini makes a clearance.72:17
Effort from outside the penalty box by Eden Hazard goes wide left of the goal.71:42 Substitution
Substitution Romelu Lukaku joins the action as a substitute, replacing Dries Mertens.71:30
Thomas Vermaelen crosses the ball, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.69:01 Substitution
Substitution (England) makes a substitution, with Phil Jagielka coming on for John Terry.68:03
The ball is swung over by Nacer Chadli, save by Joe Hart.65:29
Free kick taken by Ashley Cole.65:29 Substitution
Substitution Theo Walcott joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.65:29 Substitution
Substitution Jermain Defoe on for Ashley Young.65:29
Free kick awarded for a foul by Moussa Dembele on Ashley Young.64:12
Dries Mertens delivers the ball, save made by Joe Hart.61:10
Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a comfortable save.60:51
Shot by Eden Hazard. Save made by Joe Hart.59:56
Dries Mertens takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.58:32 Substitution
Substitution Nacer Chadli joins the action as a substitute, replacing Kevin Mirallas.56:56
Ashley Cole is caught offside. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.54:13
Dries Mertens has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.53:28
James Milner produces a cross, clearance made by Thomas Vermaelen.52:31 Substitution
Substitution Wayne Rooney joins the action as a substitute, replacing Danny Welbeck.50:09
Jan Vertonghen has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.47:53
Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the right by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by John Terry goes harmlessly over the crossbar.47:44
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces a cross, clearance by Jan Vertonghen.46:29
Ashley Young takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Guillaume Gillet.45:51
A cross is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jan Vertonghen makes a clearance.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +2:10 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.45:00 +1:57
A cross is delivered by Dries Mertens.45:00 +0:24
Steven Gerrard produces a cross, James Milner produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.45:00 +0:15
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Guillaume Gillet gets a block in.45:00 +0:02
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Timmy Simons.39:43
Eden Hazard takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.39:06
Corner taken by Dries Mertens from the right by-line, John Terry makes a clearance.38:04
James Milner challenges Kevin Mirallas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevin Mirallas takes the direct free kick.36:51
Foul by Axel Witsel on Scott Parker, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.35:28
Ashley Young provided the assist for the goal.35:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Danny Welbeck - England 1 - 0 Belgium Danny Welbeck grabs a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. England 1-0 Belgium.33:56
Steven Gerrard is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Axel Witsel.33:06
The ball is swung over by Jan Vertonghen.30:47
Foul by Guillaume Gillet on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Ashley Young.30:10
Eden Hazard fouled by Ashley Cole, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Eden Hazard.29:42
Axel Witsel takes the free kick.29:42 Booking
Booking Scott Parker booked.29:25
Jan Vertonghen fouled by Scott Parker, the ref awards a free kick.28:59
Marouane Fellaini concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Parker. Scott Parker takes the free kick.28:47
Scott Parker fouled by Marouane Fellaini, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Parker takes the free kick.25:53
Outswinging corner taken by Eden Hazard from the right by-line, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance.25:08
Dries Mertens fouled by Glen Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Eden Hazard from left wing, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.22:54
Effort on goal by Axel Witsel from long range goes harmlessly over the target.21:38
Foul by Steven Gerrard on Marouane Fellaini, free kick awarded. Axel Witsel takes the direct free kick.20:08
Kevin Mirallas is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.19:50
The ball is crossed by James Milner, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.16:27
Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.16:27 Substitution
Substitution Joleon Lescott is brought on as a substitute for Gary Cahill.16:27 Booking
Booking Dries Mertens booked for unsporting behaviour.16:23
Gary Cahill fouled by Dries Mertens, the ref awards a free kick.13:35
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.11:23
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Scott Parker. Guillaume Gillet restarts play with the free kick.10:35
Axel Witsel challenges Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.7:23
The ball is swung over by James Milner, Effort from the edge of the box by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goes wide of the right-hand upright.6:51
Steven Gerrard fouled by Moussa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick. John Terry restarts play with the free kick.6:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Moussa Dembele on Steven Gerrard. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.4:46
Short corner taken by Eden Hazard from the left by-line.0:00
The game kicks-off.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers
CommentsJump to comments pagination
Comment number 93.38andstillwaiting
3rd June 2012 - 7:18
Comment number 86.Dizzee69
3rd June 2012 - 3:48
Comment number 81.misterjc
3rd June 2012 - 2:41
Comment number 61.stracepipe
2nd June 2012 - 23:20
Comment number 42.keeleboy
2nd June 2012 - 22:08