ENGLAND 2-1 WALES
Group B have finished up their second fixtures of the tournament now as Slovakia already played and beat Russia (http://www.anfieldfamily.com/russia-1-2-slovakia/ to see news about that) and England did enough to claim victory over Wales today.
Starting lineups for both countries included a single Liverpool player and there was also some of our players on the substitute benches too. England had a squad that included Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner. while Wales squad included Joe Allen and Danny Ward. This was going to be a good fixture for Liverpool fans to watch.
As the game got going, England pushed and pushed with early attacks from Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Adam Lallana. Joe Hart was tested down at the other end of the pitch but was determined not to let anything past him at this stage of the game and denied Wales with his saves.
Raheem Sterling would have a chance to score within the first quarter of an hour but unfortunately could not complete his attack with an accurate finish, no goal for him today.
Joe Allen was doing well in the midfield for his country. He even nutmegged Wayne Rooney at one point, outclassing the Manchester United player as he put the ball through Rooney’s open legs and ran around him to claim the ball again for Wales. Nicely done, Joe.
England were attempting to control possession and passed the ball the around twice as much as Wales managed to do. Just past the half hour mark, England had gotten the ball up into Wales’ box and there was a claim for a penalty as Harry Kane’s header met Ben Davies outstretched arm.
The referee must have decided it was unintentional contact as he did not award the penalty and play continued, with the score still England 0-0 Wales.
The game went on and on and half time crept ever closer, threatening to be goalless at the break. However, there would be a goal in the first half.
A free kick was to be taken by Wales in the 42nd minute of the game. Gareth Bale took the free kick and aimed it directly down the middle of the goal, with Joe Hart needing to make a save or concede.
Unfortunately instead of collecting and holding the ball, Hart decided to save the ball, pushing it with his fingertips onto the goalpost and then the ball bounced from the post, over the goal line and into the net. Joe Hart was all to blame for this goal being conceded. He had the chance to keep the ball as soon as it came to him and instead, he pushed it away from himself and the goalpost did the rest of the work, deflecting the ball to give Bale his goal. It was more of an own goal than a goal scored from a direct free kick, but either way it was Wales who led the game at half time. England 0-1 Wales
After the break, England came back out as a new team. Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy had replaced Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, but should Roy Hodgson have considered replacing Joe Hart instead of (or aswell as) the strikers? As it turned out though, both substitutes would contribute a goal each and help England win the game eventually. Shouldn’t they have been placed in the starting lineup if they can have this kind of impact on the game in just 45 minutes though?
It was only ten or eleven minutes into the second half before England had their first goal of the game. Sturridge and Vardy had both been working really well alongside each other from the moment they both stepped on the pitch at the same time and if they can play so well together, Klopp should seriously consider buying Jamie Vardy to play as a striking partner with Sturridge for Liverpool.
Sturridge was the one whipping the ball into the box at first. Wales defender Williams attempted to clear it with a header, but the headed clearance only made it’s way to Vardy who was ready to tap the ball into the net from close range. I’d still like to call that a Sturridge assist, even if it didn’t go directly from Sturridge to Vardy. The teamwork was still there. Had the cross not been put in by Sturridge, there wouldn’t have been a Wales defender clearing the crossed ball towards Vardy to score, so I still say it counts (as a Sturridge assist). England 1-1 Wales.
Another quite notable event would follow soon, when 18 year old Manchester United player Marcus Rashford replaced Adam Lallana, only his second ever appearance for England. He’s only made 18 appearances for his club but caught the attention of some important people (like Roy Hodgson, England manager) as he scored 8 times within those 18 appearances. In the only other time he’d played for England (a “warm up”/ friendly international game in preparation for this Euro tournament) he scored the opening goal of a 2–1 win over Australia after three minutes, becoming the youngest Englishman to score on his international debut, and the third youngest to do so overall. So, he got his call up for Euro 2016 and faced Wales.
The game now continued with the youngster, who started attacking right away. Wales would have to defend consistently as he forced them to concede corners. The end of the game was nearing soon and the match officials had decided upon three extra minutes to be played.
As the 92nd minute came around Sturridge played a ball into Vardy, who touched it on to Alli, who flicked the ball on to Sturridge again who somehow bundled his body through an incoming challenge and manages to finish his shot and score at the near post. England 2-1 Wales.
Man of the Match
Daniel Sturridge played ever so well alongside Jamie Vardy and by the end of the game, the two of them had affected the fixture very positively together. Sturridge had assisted the first goal and had scored the second goal, making the biggest impact of all. He made the difference between taking away yet another disappointing draw and a single point to taking the victory for our first win of the tournament and all three points to mark on the Euro 2016 Group B table.
England now sit at the top of their group with 4 points from a draw and a win and are the only team in the group not to have lost a game yet.
So, bad luck Joe Allen and good luck for Daniel Sturridge and his Red friends. I hope you enjoyed this game, Liverpool fans. Come back later for more news on the rest of the Liverpool players at the Euro 2016 in France.
[written by Stuart Drewery]
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.