Danny Welbeck brace fires England to victory over Switzerland

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Danny Welbeck struck twice for England in an impressive 2-0 victory away at Switzerland in the opening game of European Championship 2016 qualifying in Group E.

Whilst Roy Hodgson's side may not have looked at their best throughout, the victory was deserved thanks to a solid all-round effort and some much-needed creativity when it mattered after earlier frustrations.

Smart finishes

The Three Lions squandered a number of opportunities before Welbeck - who left Manchester United for Arsenal in the transfer window - shinned home the opener and cooly finished off the contest in injury-time.

Switzerland did have chances of their own, but Gary Cahill and Joe Hart denied them on separate occasions to help secure victory in what is likely to be the toughest match in the group for England.

Hodgson opted for a midfield diamond at St. Jakob's Park, and one of the four - Fabian Delph - found himself in the book early on an otherwise impressive night for the Aston Villa man, who was making his first start for the country.

Diamond not shining...yet

Jack Wilshere sat at the base of the diamond and looked a little unsettled at times, whilst Jordan Henderson's work-rate on the opposite side helped hurry the Swiss. Sterling was at the attacking tip, leaving Rooney and Welbeck at the business end when opportunities arrived.

Rooney couldn't take three that came his way in the first-half however, mis-controlling when he perhaps should have volleyed before forcing saves out of Yann Sommer. Phil Jones also produced the best from the keeper with a free-header, but looked shaky at the back at times.

That allowed Haris Seferovic in on one particularly dangerous occasion, but his shot was saved by the legs of Joe Hart after a clever pass from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Big save

Hart would deny the same man again with a high save early in the second period, but moments later England were ahead after Rooney latched onto a loose ball. He played in Sterling, whose low cross was met by Welbeck at the far post.

Josip Drmic had the perfect opportunity to equalise after racing clear of the defence and rounding Hart - but Cahill got back to block the goal-bound effort and keep Hodgson's men ahead.

Switzerland looked to keep up the pressure late but, in injury-time, Sterling found substitute Rickie Lambert, who in turn put Welbeck through on goal after some nice hold up play. The striker didn't disappoint, finding the corner to secure the win.

Next up

Next up, England face San Marino, Estonia and Slovenia in three less than exciting fixtures - although qualification for Euro 2016 depends on the results and Hodgson will be thrilled to pick up maximum points in the opener.

England Football
Danny Welbeck

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