England fans were treated to a a hotly contested Wembley encounter last night as their side defeated fierce rivals Scotland 3-2 in their first meeting for 14 years. 

Despite only being a friendly, this fixture provided a great test for Roy Hodgson's men with vital World Cup qualifiers on the horizon in the coming months. 

At the heart of much of England's promising play last night were Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, who helped the Three Lions twice come from behind to avoid a surprise defeat to Gordan Strachan's team. 

The two youngsters have come become established members of both the national and United squads, but both receive vast levels of criticism from fans across the country that undermine their inclusion. 

This trend continued last night after the announcement of the England team, with Welbeck and Cleverley both receiving the nod from the England boss. 

This decision was once again heavily criticised as fans vented their anger on social media. 

But after a positive performance from both men which saw Welbeck pick up the man-of-the-match award, they may be on their way to winning over some of their doubters. 

 

Cleverley 

England were struggling in the early stages with Scotland taking a deserved lead through James Morrison. The home fans were crying out for a moment of quality to get back into the game, and it came through Cleverley. 

The United midfielder produced a brilliant pass to release Theo Walcott as he raced away for the equaliser, just one of many bright moments from the 24-year-old. 

Good on the ball, comfortable in possession and someone with a high-work rate, it's not hard to see why Hodgson continues to pick Cleverley in his starting 11. 

As the type of player England have required over recent years, Cleverley fits in well with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick, all of whom have the ability to retain the football - something we have struggled with in the past. 

The midfielder was unlucky to see an effort on goal blocked, with his goalscoring record something he will no doubt be keen to improve on over the coming season. 

But with a Premier League winners medal already under his belt, in addition to gaining valuable Champions League experience, the midfielder looks a good bet to make the plane to Rio next summer - providing his side make it. 

An accomplished performance in Sunday's Community Shield, backed-up by another impressive display last night, shows Cleverley has what it takes to win plenty more England caps. 

 

Welbeck 

After Cleverley's contribution to the first goal, his teammate Welbeck was on hand to rescue England for a second time after Kenny Miller's fine second-half strike had given the Scots the lead once again. 

The United forward headed home from Gerrard's free-kick to cap a fine man-of-the-match display, paying back the continued faith shown in him by Hodgson. 

Often blasted over a lack of goals, Welbeck works tirelessly for the team, continuously finding himself out of position on the left for both club and country. 

But the 22-year-old never lets this affect his game, and continues to put his head down and make the most of his opportunity. 

Welbeck has six international goals in just 17 appearances, including a memorable winner against Sweden in last summer's European Championships. 

Featuring 64 times for United, there is obviously real talent there, something he will be keen to show new manager David Moyes this season after starting in Sunday's Community Shield. 

Another player with a bright England future, Welbeck once again showed his effectiveness and ability to link up with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, with his latest performance possibly going some way to changing a few opinions. 

 

Rickie Lambert's late winner claimed the headlines this morning, and rightly so, but the impact of Cleverley and Welbeck should give England fans plenty of hope going into the next few matches. 

 

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Topics:
England Football
Danny Welbeck
Football
Tom Cleverley