England cruise past Welsh in Cardiff

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Football News

England went joint top with Montenegro at the top of their Euro 2012 Group G after a fast start against bottom of the table Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

The hosts were never able to recover after going two goals down inside fifteen minutes, and in-truth never looked like scoring against their British Isle rivals.

Frank Lampard opened the scoring from the penalty spot on seven minutes after James Collins brought down Ashley Young on the left hand side of the penalty box, and the England winger set-up club-mate Darren Bent for the second in the fifteenth minute.

The Villa wide man was found down the right hand side by a searching Glen Johnson pass, and his low cross gave Bent the simplest of chances from six yards out.

Fabio Capello's side dominated the first half without creating too many clear-cut chances, but the visitors' superiority made them worthy leaders at the early stage.

Wayne Rooney had a half chance just before the half hour, with Young again the provider from the right wing. His cross found an unmarked Rooney, but his first time strike from the angle went harmlessly wide.

The United forward was booked for back-to-back fouls minutes later, the only sour note of a half that saw goalkeeper Joe Hart as a spectator for the vast majority.


Gary Speed's side were improved after the break, and ten minutes into the second period created their first opportunity of the match. Craig Bellamy slid the ball through to Andy King, but the angle was against the Leicester City man and he fired into the crowd.

England's midfield trio of Lampard, Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker were dominating, with the West Ham vice-captain producing an impressive performance in the holding role to free the more attacking pair alongside him.

Chances remained at a premium though, with Wales having the marginally better one during the middle stages of the half. Aaron Ramsey, captain for the hosts, fired high and wide from outside the box while Steve Morison's first touch let him down when the striker had a sight of goal.

With Wales looking to apply some pressure, England looked dangerous on the counter, with Wilshere firing over from 18-yards out after Rooney picked out the Arsenal man.

A flurry of bookings and substitutions prevented the closing stages of the game from flowing, with Bellamy and England substitute Downing going close in the final minutes.

John Terry, returning captain for the Three Lions, never looked like he'd lose a precious clean sheet for Capello's side, and victory in the tactical battle gave England a convincing win.

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Darren Bent

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