In Review

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England 2 Wales 1

Daniel Sturridge waltzed throught the Wales defence and slotted home an injury timer winner to give England a dramatic victory in their Group B clash with Wales in Lens.

The win puts England top of their pool after two games and they will be guaranteed a place in the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 if they can avoid defeat to Slovakia on Monday next week. Despite the loss, Wales are also well poised to progress but will be bitterly disappointed by the result.

Although they were on top for much of the game, England trailed at half time thanks to a brilliant free kick from Gareth Bale, whose 35 yard free kick embarrassed keeper Joe Hart, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

The game turned on the boldness of England manager Roy Hodgson who brought on Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge at half time. They replaced the ineffective Harry Kane and the Raheem Sterling, who was once against wasteful in front of goal, squandering England's best chance of the half when he fired over from 12 yards.

Vardy made an instant impact as he fired home from point blank range after 55 minutes. He appeared to be offside when Sturridge's cross was knocked down to him in the six yard box, but he was in an onside position when the ball was delivered and it was Welsh defender Ashley Williams who inadvertantly set him up and he made no mistake from three yards.

England continued to pour forward but looked increasingly weary. However, there was more evidence iof Hodgson's attacking zeal as he sent on teenager Marcus Rashford in place of Adam Lallana, to leave England with four strikers on the pitch.

And they delivered a knock-out blow in injury time. Sturridge fed the ball to Rooney on the edge of the box, who attempted to tee up Dele Alli, but he could not control it and the ball fell to Sturridge who somehow evaded the scrambling Welsh defence and prodded home past Wayne Hennessey in the Wales goal.

Wales star Bale was stoical after the game. "I’m very proud of everyone,” he told the BBC. “We’ve very disappointed, but we still feel strong, we still feel happy. We’re still in the thick of it and go into the next game full of strength. We’ll keep fighting.”

England's matchwinner Sturridge, who has surely made himself undroppable, described the feeling as "unbelievable".

"It is only one more game in the group, so no-one wants to get too excited but the atmosphere is unbelievable and the togetherness between the two countries here is unbelievable," he added.

LIVE REPORT:

FULL TIME - England 2 Wales 1: The final whistle goes prompting huge celebrations on the England bench and among the Three Lions supporters. The Welsh look gutted. 

Daniel Sturridge's late goal has proved the winner for England, who must have learned something from the Russia match. "Unbelievable," is Sturridge's reaction pitchside. "The atmosphere is unbelievable."

England are top of Group B, one point ahead of Wales and Slovakia.

91 mins: GOAL! - England 2 Wales 1 - Daniel Sturridge. Brilliant feet from Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who shimmies through the penalty box and slides the ball past Hennessey at the near post. Is it the winner?

The Liverpool man collected the ball after Dele Alli failed to control a pass from Rooney and rode at least two tackles before tucking the ball home at the near post. The celebrations are wild.

Gareth Bale gets his head to a cross but its wide. And that is that!

90 mins: England win a 89th moinute corner as Walker's shot is deflected behind but Gary Cahill heads over. We will have three minutes of injury time. That was all Russia needed.

88 mins: The game is in danger of fizzling out as England look increasingly weary and short of ideas as they continue to pummel the Wales defence.

Marcus Rashford, though, looks full of energy and his club-mate Rooney is starting to push further forward. 

Can either side find a moment of magic to settle this?

80 mins: The referee is doing his best to let the game flow as the tackles fgo flying in, mainly in the Wales half. Two flying Welsh defenders block a Wayne Rooney shot as England continue to press.

But Jonny Williams lets fly from 25 yards in a rare foray into the English half. It flew over, but it was a warning to England that they are by no means safe. Wales want to play on the break and England could be playing into their hands with such an attacking formation with both full backs bombing forward.

75 mins: The subs are straight into the action and Jonny Williams goes down in the box, but his claims for a penalty are waved away. And Rashford's first contribution is to lose the ball and foul Aaron Ramsey.

England now have Rashford, Vardy and Sturridge playing in front of Alli and Rooney. Wales still have Gareth Bale however.

70 mins: Hal Robson-Kanu is replaced by Jonny Williams for Wales, but the big news for England is that Marcus Rashford is coming on. He replaces Adam Lallana.

65 mins:  Ben Davies is the first player booked as Wales commit yet another foul midway inside their own half to thwart England. Rooney's delivery leads to some pinball in the Welsh box and there is no doubt that England have Wales rocking.

Next up Danny Rose marauds down the right and Sturridge almost connects with his cross, but can't time his volley. Wales need a breather.

And they get one with a break that leads to a corner, which is headed behind by Vardy and there is a pause for treatment to Joe Ledley. He eventually makes way for Dave Edwards.

There's no denying that Hodgson's substitutions have made difference.

55 mins: GOAL - England 1 Wales 1 - Jamie Vardy. What a stroke of luck for England! Jamie Vardy equalises from point blank range after Sturridge plays the ball into the box.

The Leicester man was a yard offside when he fired home, but the cross comes off the head of Welsh defender Ashley Williams and Vardy was able to spin in the six yard box to smash the ball home.

50 mins: Bale tries to burn past Kyle Walker down the left, but the England man just about keeps up and then wins a corner for England, but it goes out for a throw in, and already Wales are dragging their heels.

There is more pressure from England but Wales are all behind the ball. It's going to be tough for the English to break through the Welsh ranks.

Daniel Sturridge doesn't even try and shoots wildly from 30 yards. It could be a taste of things to come for England.

45 mins: We're underway in the second half and Wales look full of beans as they immediately press England back into their own half.

Can the Dragons hold the Three Lions at bay for the next 45 minutes?

England subs: Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge are on for England. It's all-out attack. Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are off. Will they form a front three with Rooney?

Half time - Wales 1 England 0: England have huffed and puffed but were unable to blow the Welsh house down in the first half in Lens, and they were made to pay whenb Gareth Bale stepped up and blew the roof off England's castle.

Roy Hodgson's men had the better of the opening 40 minutes, but chances were few and far between. Raheem Sterling wasted their best opportunity after ten minutes when played in by Adam Lallana, and Gary Cahill headed straight at Wayne Hennessey.

England's claims for a penalty after the ball hit Ben Davies on the arm were waved away, and not long afterwards Bale came up with the moment of the match as he beat Joe Hart from 35 yards.

Hart got across and got a hand to the ball, but the ball still trickled over the line. Hart will come in for some major criticism over the goal and so will England if they cannpt turn things round in the second half.

But they will have their work cut out against a well-drilled and compact Wales team.

41 mins: GOAL - Wales 1 England 0 - Gareth Bale.  That man Gareth Bale gives Wales the lead with a brilliant free kick from all of 35 yards after Wayne Rooney fouls Robson-Kanu.

The Welsh wizard got the ball over the wall and Joe Hart, diving low to hois left, got a hand to it, but the ball still went over the line.

Totally against the run of play, but a brilliant strike from the danger man who had been ominously quiet until that moment.

35 mins: There's a big shout for handball as a ball into the box hits Ben Davies on the arm in the six yard box. Referee Felix Brych is not impressed much to the fury of England's players.

The game has finally come to life and a chance for Gary Cahill was the spark. He got his head to a Wayne Rooney free kick, but it was a regulation save for Wayne Hennessey in the Welsh goal.

That prompted a period of Wales pressure with England struggling to clear their lines. Aaron Ramsey has been the pick of the Welsh team so far, and worringly for England Bale has been quiet.

England have also been winning a lot of free kicks in the Welsh half, so far they have come to nothing but could there be a yellow card coming?

From an England defensive perspective misplaced Rooney pass almost spells disaster as Danny Rose nearly plays Robson Kanu through as he tries to salvage the ball. But the England defence cover across just in time.

25 mins: Harry Kane takes a woeful free-kick from 35 yards after Alli is fouled by Ledley, one of three Welshman in attendance as he collected the ball from Wayne Rooney.

England try to build from the back but Wales are giving them no space in which to play. But that does not stop Lallana from almost teeinguup Kane with a delightful back heel. But once again the danger passes.

20 mins: Eric Dier is unmarked in the box as a Rooney corner comes in but he can't get his head to the ball. Which sums up England's performance so far.

Lallana has looked lively, as he did against Russia, and has popped up on both wings. But so far England have failed to unlock the Welsh defence, with Rooney reduced to shooting high and wide from 30 yards, and Cahill lumping the ball forward.

No-one has been able to impose themselves on the game so far, with Dele Alli looking increasingly frustrated for England and the Wales midfield working tirelessly to close down space.

Wales have been content to sit deep, with Bale playing through the middle. But Joe Allen has proved that Wales will attack when they can with a surging run, with Ramsey providing willing support.

10 mins: Bale's first intervervention earns Wales a corner as he bursts into the box and his shot is deflected wide. Joe Hart comes to collect the corner but drops it, although Kane is on hand to boot it clear. Wales look as likely to score as England.

Before that Raheem Sterling fluffed England's first big chance after Harry Kane put Adam Lallana through down the right wing. He had Sterling for company and squared the ball to him in the box. But with only the keeper to beat Sterling put the ball over the bar.

Wayne Rooney has been on set piece duty as he, rather than Harry Kane, and he took England's first corner after three minutes. It was headed clear and could there be a taste of things to come as Dele Alli of Spurs tangles with Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal.

There's more Arsenal vs Spurs action a minute later when Ramsey wins a free kick from Kyle Walker near the corner flag but England clear the danger.

Game on: Both anthems are sung with pride by players and fans alike and both teams look up for the challenge, as they go into a pre-match huddle.

England are onto the attack straight away with Harry Kane tearing out of the blocks. But after an initail flurry they are content to pass the ball around the back four. No rushing just yet.

England vs Wales LIVE: England unchanged, Wales primed to counter attack

England manager Roy Hodgson has kept faith with the team that drew 1-1 with Russia in their opening game of Euro 2016, while Chris Coleman of Wales has rung the changes ahead of the Group B clash in Lens.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane have kept their places in the England starting line-up despite coming in for criticism after Saturday night's game.

However, his decision not to opt for a pacier centre forward like Jamie Vardy or Daniel Sturridge may have been informed by Wales's changes, says the Daily Mirror.

Chris Coleman has picked fit-again goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey ahead of Liverpool's Danny Ward, while Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu also come in for Jonny Williams and David Edwards.

"Their set-up looks to be one primed for the counter attack," says the Mirror, and England's pacy forwards "won't really be able to utilise that speed against a static Wales set-up".

So far there have been no reports of fan violence in Lens, even though tens of thousands of supporters have descended on the tiny town this morning. The town has imposed an alcohol ban to try and prevent trouble like that which occurred in nearby Lille on Wednesday night when 37 fans were arrested after fights with rival fans and the police.

England: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose, Alli, Dier, Rooney, Lallana, Sterling, Kane

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Chester, Williams , Taylor, Davies, Ledley, Ramsey, Allen, Robson-Kanu, Bale

 

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