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871 vs. Spain

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949 vs. Spain
Saturday, 12 November 2011
A Street League International Friendly Match

England 1 Spain 0 [0-0]

The National Stadium, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (GMT): 5:15pm.
Attendance: 87,189.

94 minutes 45:55 & 48:55 Andrés Iniesta kicked-off
[0-0] Darren Bent hit the post 48:28
[1-0] Frank Lampard header 49
 from a yard into an empty net after Bent's header from a Milner free-kick hit the post.

(Arbeloa fouled Milner 48:04)

[1-0] David Villa 18-yd volley hit the post
 James Milner 42 41:20  
  Sergio Ramos 60 59:30
bregas 61 60:15
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Andy Townsend

Match Summary

Officials from Belgium

England Squad


Spain Squad
Referee (charcoal) - Frank De Bleeckere
45 (1 July 1966), Oudenaarde, FIFA listed 1998.

Assistant Referees -
Peter Hermans, 45 (27 June 1966) and Walter Vromans, 45 (21 April 1968).
3 Goal Attempts 8
2 Attempts on Target 2
1 Hit Bar/Post 1
1 Corner Kicks Won 6
1 Offside Calls Against 4
18 Fouls Conceded 9
29.4% Possession 70.6%

England Team



FIFA (19 October 2011) 7th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 6th
Colours: The 2010 home uniform - White open-neck jerseys with coloured crosses across upper panel, royal blue shorts, white socks with royal blue tops.
Capt: Frank Lampard,
(second (8) captaincy 1).
Gareth Barry (56:21).
Manager: Fabio Capello, 65 (18 June 1946), appointed 14 December 2007, effective 7 January 2008,
41st match, W 27 - D 8 - L 6 - F 88 - A 35.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 24
207 days
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 15   8ᵍᵃ
2 Johnson, Glen M. 27
81 days
23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 35 1
3 Cole, Ashley 30
327 days
20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 93 0
4 Jones, Philip A., off 57th min. 19
264 days
21 February 1992 RM Manchester United FC 2 0
5 Jagielka, Philip N. 29
87 days
17 August 1982 CD Everton FC 10 0
6 Lescott, Joleon P. 29
88 days
16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 14 0
7 Walcott, Theo J., off 46th min. 22
241 days
16 March 1989 RF Arsenal FC 20 3
the 156th player to reach the 20-app milestone
8 Parker, Scott M., off 85th min. 31
30 days
13 October 1980 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 10 0
9 Bent, Darren A., off 64th min. 27
279 days
6 February 1984 CF Aston Villa FC 12 4
10 Lampard, Frank J., off 57th min. 33
145 days
20 June 1978 LM Chelsea FC 90 22
the 8th player to reach this milestone
11 Milner, James P., off 76th min. 25
312 days
4 January 1986 LF Manchester City FC 22 0
Milner cautioned in the 42nd minute for unsporting behaviour, following a harsh and late tackle on Sergio Ramos near the touchline in Spain's half.
England Substitutes
20 Downing, Stewart, on 46th min. for Walcott 27
113 days
22 July 1984 RF Liverpool FC 31 12 0
scoreline: England 1 Spain 0
1177 18 Rodwell, Jack C., on 57th min. (56:02) for Jones 20
246 days
11 March 1991 RM Everton FC 1 0
the 63rd Everton player to represent England
17 Barry, Gareth, on 57th min. (56:19) for Lampard 30
262 days
23 February 1981 LM Manchester City FC 50 39 2
the 53rd player to reach this milestone
22 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., on 64th (63:05) min. for Bent 20
351 days
26 November 1990 CF Manchester United FC 3 0 0
19 Johnson, Adam, on 76th min. (75:44) for Milner 24
121 days
14 July 1987 LF Manchester City FC 9 2 2
1178 13 Walker, Kyle A., on 85th min. (84:30) for Parker 21
168 days
28 May 1990 CD Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 0
the 68th Hotspur player to represent England
result: England 1 Spain 0
unused substitutes: 12-Scott Carson, 14-Leighton Baines, 15-Gary Cahill, 16-John Terry, 21-Bobby Zamora, 23-Daniel Sturridge, 24-David Stockdale.
records: England's first victory over the World Champions (eighth attempt) since they beat Argentina in 1980.
This is the first time England have beaten the number one ranked team (P7 W1 D1 L5 F4 A10)
Gareth Barry has now played in 22 of England's 26 home matches at the new National Stadium. He is two ahead of Steven Gerrard. Who, in turn, is two ahead of Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.
Frank Lampard has scored his ninth goal at the National Stadium, equal with the record goalcorer, Peter Crouch.
Coach Fabio Capello played for Italy against England in June (scoring one) and November 1973 (scoring another), and in May and November 1976.
4-3-3 Hart -
G.Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole -
(Rodwell), Parker (Walker), Lampard (Barry) -
(Downing), Bent (Welbeck), Milner (A.Johnson)
Averages (Starting XI): Age 26 years 9 days Appearances/Goals 29.4 2.7


Spain Team

Current World & European Champions Colours: Made by Adidas - Red v-neck jerseys with yellow collar/Adidas sleeve trim, royal blue shorts with yellow Adidas side trim, red socks with blue and yellow Adidas trim/yellow hoop.
Rank: FIFA (19 October 2011) 1st
EFO ranking Group 1 (3rd)
ELO rating 1st
Capt: Iker Casillas.
Xavi Alonso, second half.
Manager: Vicente del Bosque González, 60 (23 December 1950), appointed 11 March 2008, effective 15 July 2008,
49th match, W 42 - D 1 - L 6 - F 121 - A 38.
Spain Lineup
1 Casillas Fernández, Iker, off 46th min. 30
176 days
20 May 1981 G Real Madrid CF 126 0
17 Arbeloa Coca, Álvaro 28
299 days
17 January 1983 RB Real Madrid CF 31 0
15 Ramos García, Sergio, off 75th min. 25
227 days
30 March 1986 CD Real Madrid CF 81 6
Sergio Ramos cautioned in the 60th minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul on Darren Bent on the centre-circle.
3 Piqué Bernabéu, Gerard 24
283 days
2 February 1987 CD FC Barcelona 37 4
18 Alba Ramos, Jordi 22
236 days
21 March 1989 LB Valencia CF 2 0
14 Alonso Olano, Xabier 29
352 days
25 November 1981 RM Real Madrid CF 91 12
16 Busquets Burgos, Sergio, off 64th min. 23
119 days
16 July 1988 CM FC Barcelona 36 0
8 Hernández Creus, Xavier 31
291 days
25 January 1980 LM FC Barcelona 106 10
6 Iniesta Luján, Andrés, off 75th min. 27
185 days
11 May 1984 RF FC Barcelona 62 10
21 Jiménez Silva, David J., off 46th min. 25
308 days
8 January 1986 CF Manchester City FC, England 53 13
7 Villa Sánchez, David, off 46th min. 29
344 days
3 December 1981 LF FC Barcelona 81 50
Spain Substitutes
23 Reina Páez, José M., on 46th min. for Cassilas 29
73 days
31 August 1982 G Liverpool FC, England 24 0
13 Mata García, Juan M., on 46th min. for Silva 23
198 days
28 April 1988 CF Chelsea FC, England 15 5
10 bregas Soler, Francesc, on 46th min. for Xavi 24
192 days
4 May 1987 LM FC Barcelona 61 8
Fàbregas cautioned in the 61st minute for unsporting behaviour for barging over into Phil Jagielka on the centre-circle.
scoreline: England 1 Spain 0
9 Torres Sanz, Fernando J., on 64th min. (63:20) for Busquets 27
237 days
20 March 1984 LF Chelsea FC, England 90 27
5 Puyol Saforcada, Carlos, on 75th min. for Ramos 33
213 days
13 April 1978 CD FC Barcelona 97 3
20 Cazorla González, Santiago, on 75th min. for Iniesta 26
334 days
13 December 1984 RM Màlaga CF 38 4
scoreline: England 1 Spain 0
unused substitutes: 2-Raúl Albiol, 11-Nacho Monreal, 12-Víctor Valdés, 19-Fernando Llorente, 22-Jesús Navas.
records: This is Spain's fourth defeat since being crowned World Champions eighteen months ago. They have lost to Argentina, Portugal and Italy recently.
4-3-3 Casillas (Reina) -
Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos
(Puyol), Piqué, Jordi Alba -
Xabi Alonso, Busquets
(Torres), Hernández (Fàbregas) -
(Cazorla), Silva (Mata)
, Villa.
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 125 days Appearances/Goals 64.2 9.5


    Match Report by Mike Payne

Sometimes it is not the performance but the result that is important, at other times it is the performance and not the result that is important, and occasionally the result and the performance are important together.  This match certainly falls into that latter category and England can celebrate cleverly finding a way to beat the current best team in the world.  Frank Lampard will tell his grandchildren of the day when he captained England, and scored a 25 yarder into the top corner to give England victory over the reigning World and European Champions.  Almost all of that statement will be absolutely true!

But this was a strange game, and all of you who read this will have experienced watching your team produce a backs to the wall performance as the opposing team dominates and continually pins them back into their own half for long periods.  Usually you would probably be watching your team in an away match in these circumstances, but this was England, playing at home, at Wembley, under the cosh from start to finish and yet winning by converting one of only two chances that came their way.  Who said possession football is the way to go?

It was obvious from the start that manager Fabio Capello had been working on a plan to counteract the possession football that Spain have found so successful for them over the past few years.  In the first half England set themselves up with two banks of four and with Scott Parker doing all the hard work in front of the back four, whilst Darren Bent ploughed a lone furrow up front.  The system would invite Spain to play through the middle and hopefully defenders would be able to mop upery attack as it came at them.  The plan worked perfectly.  In this case it certainly helped that Capello was an Italian, because this was a typical Italian style performance, made famous over the years in so many Italian team's victories in various competitions.  Spain held the ball and passed it around in their usual style, but when they met the England defensive barrier, they lacked the guile and creativity to break through.

England for their part defended superbly and Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka had magnificent games at the heart of the home defence.  Their positional play and levels of concentration were exemplary, and it also inspired those around them, as everyone worked their socks off to carry out Capello's plan to the letter.

Spain did create chances through the game, a side of their talent always will, but to be honest Joe Hart had as easy a first half as he has had for ages.  In fact the first half was largely boring to watch for an English fan as there was very little by way of goalmouth action.  I must be in the minority I know, but watching Spain play their brand of football bores me to death, it is like watching Arsenal, why make one pass when 132 would do!  There was little in the first half to enthuse over as the game was dominated by pretty football being stifled by terrific and resolute defending.

It was a goal four minutes after the restart that livened up the game and that was mainly because the goal was scored, surprisingly, by England.  They had not created a chance worthy of the name in the first 45 minutes but here was a free kick out on the left wing that gave them the opportunity to put the Spanish defence under pressure for the first time.  The lively James Milner took the kick and flighted a beautiful, inswinging centre into the middle where Darren Bent, so often starved of the ball in that first half, rose to head the ball down and goalwards.  Substitute goalkeeper Pepe Reina dived and the ball struck the post before rebounding across goal.  And there was England's captain, on hand to nod in the easiest of his 23 England goals from all of one yard out!  (Sorry to his grandkids for ruining Frank's story).  The distance was reminiscent of Nobby Stiles' one International goal scored against West Germany back in 1966, although he had to kick that one in.

So, the phrase 'cat amongst pigeons' certainly came to mind at that point and Spain almost produced an immediate response when Sergio Busquets sent a ball through the middle, which David Villa anticipated superbly.  Hart came out and managed to force Villa wide, in fact wide enough as it turned out, as Villa went round the keeper but couldn't quite hit the target with his shot.

From then on Spain upped the pace, but England matched them, and with Parker making some brilliant interceptions, tackles and passes, and being a proverbial pain to the Spaniards, and Lescott, Jagielka and the ever-reliable Ashley Cole defending magnificently, Hart still had a relatively quiet time.  Spain actually had around 23 goal attempts during the game but only two were on target and Hart easily saved both of those.  However, substitute Fabregas will be kicking himself for not scoring at least one goal in that last half hour.  One pass sent him clean through to the right of goal and a cross shot to the far corner would probably have succeeded, but thankfully for England his old Arsenal brain kicked in and he decided to try one more pass, and man-of-the-match Parker touched the ball away from the attacker as the pass came square.

Fabregas was also guilty of the miss of the match when right at the death he finally escaped the clutches of England's vice-like defence to meet a perfect Villa cross, but only succeeded in scuffing his shot wide of the goal, much to the delight and relief of the home fans.

The best of Spain's efforts had earlier fallen to Villa after Glen Johnson's weak header had given the Barcelona player the chance to volley goalwards.  For once Hart was stretched but the ball hit the outside of the post and was cleared.

England's defenders had deserved that slice of luck and the discipline they had shown throughout was absolutely superb.  It must have pleased the manager no end and Capello can also be pleased with the contribution of Phil Jones and substitute Jack Rodwell as the young brigade continue to shine for England.  A win against the World Champions, and all this without Rooney, Terry, Gerrard, Ferdinand, Young etc etc.  So much for Spain, blimey it was our reserve team that beat them!!

Seriously though, a splendid win, not one to get carried away with, but one to savour nonetheless.

Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor