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.

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