England 1 Spain 0: Lampard seals memorable victory
Frank Lampard netted a second-half winner as England beat world champions Spain at Wembley
Stand-in skipper Frank Lampard scored the winner as England secured a satisfying victory over world champions Spain at Wembley.
England performed admirably to nullify the attacking threat of the visitors and Lampard netted early in the second half to land the hosts their first win over Spain since 2001.
Despite the world champions’ slick passing football, they were unable to take advantage of their chances and ultimately slumped to their second defeat of 2011.
The first chance fell to the visitors after 12 minutes when David Silva fed David Villa – but Glen Johnson did well to force the Barcelona striker wide and block his shot.
Spain kept up their fantastic passing football and good link-up play between Villa and full-back Jordi Alba troubled England’s defence – but he could not pick out a team-mate.
England’s first effort on goal came after 32 minutes when Lampard’s effort from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Iker Casillas.
Spain dominated in the opening period with over 70 per cent of the possession and the visitors had two chances in the space of a minute before the interval as midfield duo AndrÃ©s Iniesta and Sergio Busquets carved out opportunities.
Both sides made changes at the break, with Theo Walcott replaced by Stewart Downing, while former Arsenal captain Cesc FÃ¡bregas, Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Pepe Reina of Liverpool came on for Silva, Xavi and Casillas.
Within two minutes of the restart Spain created a chance – but Villa was unable to trouble Hart and his shot sailed harmlessly over the bar.
It sparked England into a response and two minutes later Lampard struck.
Darren Bent headed James Milner’s curling free-kick from the left onto the post and Lampard nodded in the rebound from close range.
Spain had a chance to restore parity after 56 minutes but Villa could not take advantage of a delicious through-ball by Busquets, slipping as he shot from a tight angle.
The hosts then nearly doubled their lead after 66 minutes.
Neat interplay between substitutes Jack Rodwell and Danny Welbeck forced Alba to inadvertently poke the ball back towards his own goal ““ forcing Reina into a low stop to keep it out.
The world and European champions came close to equalising after 73 minutes when Villa’s left-footed effort from the edge of the area came back off the post.
With full-time approaching, FÃ¡bregas had two chances in the space of a minute.
Hart got down well to save after the midfielder turned and shot from the edge of the area. And moments later he met club team-mate Villa’s cross but could only guide it past the post as England held out for a memorable victory.
England: Joe Hart, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jones (Jack Rodwell, 57), Frank Lampard (Gareth Barry, 57), James Milner (Adam Johnson, 76), Scott Parker (Kyle Walker, 85), Theo Walcott (Stewart Downing, 45), Darren Bent (Danny Welbeck, 64).
Spain: Iker Casillas (JosÃ© Reina, 45), Gerard PiquÃ©, Sergio Ramos (Carles Puyol, 74), Ãlvaro Arbeloa, David Silva (Juan Mata, 45), Xavi (Cesc FÃ¡bregas, 45), Sergio Busquets (Fernando Torres, 64), Jordi Alba, AndrÃ©s Iniesta (Santiago Cazorla, 74), Xabi Alonso, David Villa.