World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 2-1 Switzerland
Wembley, London, England - Wednesday 6 February 2008

This was Fabio Capello's first game in charge of the England team, and he did not waste any time in making changes to the side. Only three players remained in the starting line-up from the last England game in November, when Steve McClaren was in charge. Only Gerrard, Bridge and Joe Cole featured in both starting elevens. The big omission came several days before kick-off when David Beckham was not named in the squad. The decision was apparently due to the former England captain not being match fit (he has not played for his club side, LA Galaxy, since October 2007 - the MLS is currently on their end of season break). Capello opted for a 4-5-1 formation, with Upson starting for the first time since November 2003. Another big name missing from the England team sheet was Michael Owen, who, although fit, was not called upon from the bench.

Prior to the kick-off there was a minute's silence to honour the lives lost in the Munich air disaster, which was 50 years ago today.

England looked nervous early in the match, but once they settled down there was some promising football. In the 32nd minute David Bentley passed the ball to Rooney, the Blackburn Rovers player then cut inside to link up again with Rooney and played a lovely ball through to Jenas. Unfortunately Jenas sent in a poor cross which was collected by Benaglio when Joe Cole was at the far post unmarked. The game came to life in the 39th minute when Jenas stole the ball from the opposition and took the ball up the field. The ball finally ended up with Joe Cole whose shot was saved but the ball went to Rooney, however the Manchester United player couldn't bring the ball down to fire off a shot before the ball was put out of play for a corner. However, in the 40th minute England got on the score sheet when Joe Cole danced wonderfully past Lichtsteiner to cross the ball to Jenas, who was about 5 yards out from Switzerland's net, and scored his first international goal.

Into the second half, Wayne Rooney had a few good chances to add to Jenas' goal. In the 48th minute David Bentley sent in a lovely cross to Rooney but the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post. Then in the 52nd minute Bentley, once again, played through a lovely ball which was picked up by Rooney. Unfortunately Rooney's effort ended up on the roof of Switzerland's net. Jenas tried to extend England's lead in the 53rd minute but his strike from 22 yards out forced a great save from Benaglio.

Switzerland pulled the game back to 1-1 in the 58th minute when Yakin sent the ball to Derdiyok who scored a lovely goal on his debut. Back to the drawing board for England, although Capello's defence hadn't really been tested up until this point in the match. The level scoreline was short-lived as Wright-Phillips scored what was to be the game winner four minutes later. Crouch started the move with a good flick-on to Gerrard, who ran up the left of the field to cross to Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was in front of an open net.

Gerrard was unlucky in the 80th minute of the match after he started a build-up for an attack which involved Rooney and Crouch. The Liverpool captain's attempt went just over the crossbar.

So, a decent start in charge of the England team for Capello, with a number of good points coming from the match. However, there is a lot of hard work ahead if he is to make the side into World Champions in a couple of years. If anyone can whip this team into shape, Capello would appear to be the man. Let's hope so. The country could do with some success on the football front.


James #1, Brown #2, A Cole #3 (Bridge 73 mins - #16), R Ferdinand #5, Upson #6, Barry #4 (Hargreaves 73 mins - #18), Bentley #7, J Cole #11 (Crouch 57 mins - #21), Gerrard #10 - Captain, Jenas #8 (Wright-Phillips 57 mins - #17), Rooney #9 (Young 87 mins - #19).
Subs Not Used: Carson #12, Kirkland #23, Lescott #14, Richards #13, Woodgate #15, Defoe #22, Owen #20. (Full Squad)

Benaglio #12, Eggimann #34, Lichtsteiner #29 (Behrami 46 mins - #19), Senderos #4 (Grichting 55 mins - #13), Spycher #17, Barnetta #16, Gelson #33 (Huggel 84 mins - #24), Gygax #10 (Vonlanthen 46 mins - #28), Inler #27, Yakin #22 (Magairaz 63 mins - #5), Nkufo #31 (Derdiyok 46 mins - #38).
Subs Not Used: Coltorti #21, Zuberbuhler #1, Ziegler #30.

Match Details

England Goals: Jenas (40 mins), Wright-Phillips (62 mins)
Switzerland Goal: Derdiyok (58 mins).

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Attendance: 86,857