Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Denmark 1-2 England

England started 2011 with an impressive friendly victory as they came from behind to defeat Denmark in Copenhagen.
An unmarked Daniel Agger headed Denmark in front after seven minutes but Darren Bent soon equalised, slotting the ball into an empty net from three yards.
The superb Christian Eriksen hit a post with a 20-yard strike, while goalkeeper Joe Hart denied Dennis Rommedahl.
But half-time substitute Ashley Young struck the winner for England with a precise and low, right-footed effort.
England drew with Montenegro and lost to France in their last two games of 2010 but there were lots of positives at the Parken Stadium ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier in Wales on 26 March.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere looked assured on his full debut and Fabio Capello's team showed the type of crisp passing football that seemed beyond them for most of last year.
There was a purpose and drive to England, although it was the Danes who initially took charge of an entertaining match.
Nicklas Bendtner shot wide for the home team in the fourth minute before Agger put them in front.
Eriksen was the stand-out player in the opening half and it was the prodigiously talented 18-year-old who delivered the cross that the Liverpool defender headed beyond the despairing dive of Hart.
It was poor defending by Michael Dawson, who let Agger run across him towards the near post, and that kind of lapse will have worried Capello.
But the visiting team were soon on level terms after Theo Walcott ended a surging run with a cross that Bent slotted home, despite a suspicion of offside.
Walcott took a blow to the face from Simon Poulsen in the build-up to the goal, but he was able to continue as England, playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, looked to work the ball out to wide areas.
A superb passing move almost resulted in a second for Bent but the Aston Villa forward could not quite connect with a low cross from James Milner.
Eriksen was a constant menace with his precise and crafty threaded passes - and the Dane also showed his shooting ability with an effort that cannoned off the base of the post.
The Ajax midfielder then picked out veteran winger Rommedahl, whose low strike across goal was saved by Hart.
Lampard, winning his 84th cap, was captaining England for the first time and he almost celebrated the occasion with a goal but his deft flick shortly before the break was ruled out for offside.
The Chelsea midfielder was one of three England men to be substituted at half-time, as he, Wayne Rooney and Wilshere made way for Young, Scott Parker and Gareth Barry.
Cole, who became England's most-capped full-back with his 87th appearance, skippered the team after the restart but the armband was passed to Barry when the left-back was withdrawn with 10 minutes remaining.
Young made an immediate impact, first with a teasing cross that Bent headed and Sorensen saved, and then with a header of his own that drew another stop from the Danish keeper.
It was part of an excellent start to the second half by England as they carved out another chance when Milner played in Bent with an excellent reverse pass but the striker shot wide.
Denmark hit back and a sublime backheel from Eriksen unlocked the England defence and Hart had to be alert to save Rommedahl's subsequent low strike.
But the momentum remained with England and Young struck after Johnson dispossessed Michael Krohn-Delhi and played in the Aston Villa forward.
England looked comfortable in possession after taking the lead and Young almost scored again but his strike was blocked by Simon Kjaer.

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