LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Fabio Capello manager of England looks on during the international friendly match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium on November 12, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

England Vs. Spain, 2011 International Friendly: Three Lions Win 1-0 On Lampard Goal

England didn't exactly have a lot of chances against Spain, but they only needed one. La Furia Roja had almost all of the possession, but Frank Lampard had the only goal in a 1-0 Three Lions victory.

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England Vs. Spain, 2011 International Friendly: Hosts Earn Surprise 1-0 Win

So, England's B-team defeat Spain 1-0 at Wembley, proving that they're favourites to win both Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup or something. After a dismal first half in which Spain kept the ball on the edge of the attacking third for approximately 90 percent of the time and couldn't quite be bothered to actually do anything, the second half opened up with a quick goal for England and things got rather more exciting as the visitors halfheartedly attempted a comeback.

England had had possession of the football for approximately thirty seconds in the second half before they scored, with James Milner whipping in a free kick which Darren Bent crashed off the post and Frank Lampard squeezed home. Spain, who to that point hadn't mounted a meaningful attack, barely responded, allowing a newly-confident England to begin swarming forward like a swarm of angry poppy-wearing gnats.

For the next twenty minutes, the home side looked excellent, with the youngsters particularly impressive as England forced Spain into some fairly ugly football (especially centre half Sergio Ramos, who should probably have been sent off for a horrific tackle on Bent), but that was only a brief interlude between periods of Spanish pressure and the last quarter of the game was essentially an exercise in desperate defending for England, who were epitomised by Scott Parker's incredible habit of getting in the way of everything.

David Villa hit Joe Hart's left post with twenty minutes left; Cesc Fabregas wasted some good opportunities, and good defending mopped up several more, but after ninety minutes plus three for stoppages, the Three Lions came away with a 1-0 win. Whether Spain were trying (they weren't) is rather beside the point - England played very well and if that sort of form continues they have a real chance to make some noise next summer. Are they better than Spain, Germany or even the Netherlands? Certainly not, but this is the best they've looked since World Cup 2010 qualifiers.


England Vs. Spain Live, 2011 International Friendly: Frank Lampard Puts England Ahead

If England were ever going to score, it was going to be either from a set piece or from Darren Bent having his requisite one good moment from every match. Turns out it was both - James Milner wins a set piece on the left flank, it's whipped in for Bent to climb over the Spanish defence and nod against the post with substitute goalkeeper Pepe Raina hurling himself in vain towards said post, leaving the rebound sitting free for captain Frank Lampard to nod home.

So it's 1-0 England and Spain presumably still don't care - they're certainly not trying very hard, although David Villa has just contrived to round Joe Hart and shoot wide (that might be a Spanish thing). Also, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is implenting his club's grand plan to get into the Champions League spots by attempting to break Chelsea ace Juan Mata's ankle. He nearly succeeds.

Anyway, England make some subs, including Jack Rodwell making his senior debut. Congratulations to the young man.


England Vs. Spain Live, 2011 International Friendly: Scoreless At Halftime

There's 45 minutes gone in England vs. Spain and there's been approximately nothing happening at Wembley. Spain, as expected, have had most of the ball, but they seem disinclined to try to do anything with it, never really threatening England's defensive line (and whenever they have played an incisive pass, it's been waved offside). England, meanwhile, have done their best to press Spain whenever they've had possession in the middle third, and that's let to a few interesting breaks that have come to exactly nothing.

Spain clearly have eight or nine more gears they could hit, if they wanted, while the home side is going all out to try to break down a thus-far unruffled defence. In other words, England are being patronised beyond belief. The only semi-impressive players have been midfielders Phil Jones and Frank Lampard, and I think between the two of them they may well be in double-digits for completed passess.


England Vs. Spain, 2011 International Friendly: Lineups

England and Spain are both already qualified for Euro 2012, so they decided to play each other to make a giant boatload of money. There will be 90,000 people in Wembley Stadium, tens of millions, if not 100 million people watching this game on television worldwide. The sneaky jerks were smart enough to put it a day after all of the games that matter. Even though this is just a friendly, the lineups look pretty great. Phil Jones is in midfield for some ridiculous, unknown reason, while David Silva is playing as a false nine. This should be fun. Here are the lineups.

England Lineup (4-3-3): Hart; Cole, Lescott, Jagielka, Johnson; Jones, Parker, Lampard; Milner, Bent, Walcott

Spain Lineup (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Piqué, Alba; Busquets, Alonso, Xavi; Iniesta, Silva, Villa

Kickoff is at 12:15 pm ET. Catch the game on FOX Soccer Channel in the USA and ITV in the UK.

We'll have live coverage of this game in our England vs. Spain StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer.


England Vs. Spain, 2011 International Friendly: Preview

England are not good. Spain certainly are good. If the visitors are in a mood, get ready for them to crush Fabio Capello's second string side like tiny little bugs.

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