Custom Search 1

England ease through another group fixture

NO 1: Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain broke his England duck

A brace a piece from Manchester United pair, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney and a first international goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain helped England flatter to deceive against minnows, San Marino.

While the 5-0 score rightly shows that England were the far better side, it was the least the fans could expect against opponents who last won a game in 2004, and who sit joint-bottom of the FIFA rankings. But after drawing against Ukraine last time out, a decent win was the only option in this World Cup 2014 qualifier.

In fact, you have to wonder how many England could have scored, had they taken their chances. Welbeck had a couple of opportunities where his head would have been a better option than his foot. While the crossbar and goal posts both stood in the way of the home team.

It was an eventful start to the game for England, which saw Theo Walcott being replaced by Aaron Lennon within the first ten minutes. The Arsenal striker was taken out by the visitors’ goalkeeper, Aldo Simoncini, and after a laboured and breathy walk around the pitch the change was made.

England manager Roy Hodgson was clearly not happy with the challenge and later told the press that Walcott would spend the night in hospital as the doctors scanned and investigated what appeared to be a chest injury.

Hodgson did have a point, as it did look reckless and dangerous; many will be surprised that neither a red card nor a penalty followed.

With a similar player in Lennon, the change didn’t affect the formation of the team and he slotted into Walcott’s position on the right.

It was already a less familiar Three Lions side with Leighton Baines starting ahead of Ashley Cole and Welbeck preferred to the in-form Jermain Defoe.

All the match previews had centred around how many San Marino would concede, but they managed to keep their clean sheet for the first half hour. They had conceded 13 in their last two games against England.

Simoncini saved from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kyle walker, while captain Rooney, sent balls high and wide.
It was after good work by Welbeck that England broke the deadlock in the 35th minute. The visiting goalkeeper came out for a ball he was never going to get at Welbeck’s feet.

After the Romanian referee pointed to the spot, Rooney stepped up to send the ball into the top left corner and get his first of the night.

The home side doubled their lead just three minutes later as a tidy cross from Lennon was tucked away by Welbeck with the inside of his left foot.

Somewhat predictably England started the second half with an air of nervousness. They appeared to consider every shot on goal as they took extra and sometimes unnecessary touches, which only gave the opposition the chance to clear the ball.

But twenty minutes from time Rooney scored his 31st international goal after the ball was headed into the box by Everton’s Baines. Two minutes later, his club teammate followed him onto the score sheet once again with a simple tap in about five yards from goal with 71 minutes on the clock.

To top it all off for England; the sell-out Wembley crowd got to experience a bit of history. In the 77th minute Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain followed his father into the history books by scoring his first international goal, it made them the first father-son combo to score for England.

Mark Chamberlain scored his only goal for England in 1982 against Luxembourg at Wembley. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first was England fifth as they rounded up a comfortable victory.

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments