With European Championship qualifying now under England's belt, England had two end-of-year friendlies lined up at Wembley. The first being against the current World Cup holders, Spain. John Terry was rested for this fixture and the captain's armband was handed to his club team-mate, Frank Lampard, who was receiving his 90th cap. Wayne Rooney was omitted from this month's friendlies as Capello tried alternative forwards. Rooney will miss England's group games in Euro 2012 due to a three match suspension* he must serve following his dismissal against Montenegro in October.
England had the first real opportunity to score when Lampard's 25-yard shot forced Casillas to react. However, neither side could break the deadlock in the first period. Spain introduced three fresh players to the pitch at the start of the second half, one being Reina on for Casillas. Only four minutes into the second half England took the lead when the hosts were awarded a free-kick. Milner sent the ball into the box which Darren Bent headed goalwards, but the ball agonisingly hit the post. It bounced as far out as Lampard, who was unmarked, and he was able to head the ball into Spain's open net.
Spain tried to get back into the game and there was a scare for England when Villa took a shot, but the ball thankfully crashed into the side netting. Towards the end of the game Hart saved a deflected shot from Fabregas, and the same Spainish player also put the ball wide of England's net.
Albeit a friendly, beating the current World and European champions is a result worth savouring, and one which must have pleased Capello, especially as the Italian had missed his son's wedding today to manage England. There were a number of good performances by England players, noteably Jagielka and Lescott, the former played with a fractured toe. Substitutes Rodwell (making his debut) and Welbeck also played well.
* Note - The FA successfully appealed Rooney's suspension in December 2011, and the ban was reduced to two games in the 2012 European Championships, and one match ban suspended for four years.
Hart #1, G Johnson #2, Lescott #6, Jagielka #5, A Cole #3, Walcott #7 (Downing 46 mins - #20), Jones #4 (Rodwell 56 mins - #18), Parker #8 (Walker 85 mins - #13), Milner #11 (A Johnson 76 mins - #19), Lampard #10 - Captain (Barry 57 mins - #17 - 2nd Captain), Bent #9 (Welbeck 64 mins - #22).
Subs Not Used: Carson #12, Baines #14, Cahill #15, Terry #16, Zamora #21, Sturridge #23, Stockdale #24. (Full Squad)
Casillas #1 (Reina 46 mins - #23), Arbeloa #17, Pique #3, Ramos #15 (Puyol 74 mins - #5), Alba #18, Busquets #16 (Torres 64 mins - #9), Alonso #14, Xavi #8 (Fabregas 46 mins - #10), Iniesta #6 (Cazoria 74 mins - #20), Silva #21 (Mata 46 mins - #13), Villa #7.
Subs Not Used: Valdes #12, Albiol #2, Monreal #11, Llorente #19, Navas #22.
England Goal: Lampard (49 mins)
England Caution: Milner (42 mins)
Spain Cautions: Ramos (60 mins), Fabregas (61 mins)
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)