England 1-0 Spain: Poppy Power Inspires England To Glorious Victory (Photos & Highlights)

Chris Wright

13th, November 2011


By Alan Duffy

That headline is meant to be ironic, by the way. Anyway, while the run-up to his prestigious friendly against world-beaters Spain was polluted by the ridiculous uproar over Poppygate, the game itself was a comapratively dull affair.

Xavi and co. gave another example of their all-conquering, all-passing signature style, however, on this occasion England proved unconquerable, despite rarely venturing past the half-way line. Frankie ‘Lamps’ Lampard was the goal-hero for the Three Lions, nodding home after Darren Bent’s effort came back off the post.

Spain poked and prodded, but as the game wore on, they looked less and less likely to score, with England defending well. Cesc Fabregas, on his return to London, did miss a sitter late on, however.

Still, judging by the reaction of the English media to the result there are two ways of looking at the game – 1) England gave a superb performance in organisation and defence, and, having beaten the world champions, can now push on and mount a serious challenge in Polkraine in the summer or 2) this was a meaningless friendly in which England created almost nothing against a Spanish side who barely got out of second gear. In true fence-sitting style, I’ll go for something in between both those views. And I’ll also give Scotty Parker a pat on the back for a genuinely superb midfield performance.





Photos: PA



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  1. Papi says:

    People always refer to these games as ”meaningless”, but I’m not sure Spain thought so. They know that their reputation is on the line regardless. Judging by the way the players reacted in the post-match interviews, I would even say they were quite frustrated.

    England’s national team still have a lot to do though. These scrape-by victories are convincing no-one.

  2. murry1975 says:

    England scraping by 1-0 may not be convincing , but Spain managed to win a world cup by doing it .
    Anytime Spain have played a FIFA ranked top 8 side since they have lost , so were frustrated or just begining to realise they are not unbeatable ?

  3. Merseyside Man says:

    England defended well but Spain controlled the entire game. the only reason they didnt win is because of their shit finishing

  4. Anonymous says:

    England seemed much more unified than they have for a while. They also started out with a lot more energy than usual and actually kept it up. They usually look like a bunch of strangers wandering around rather than a team so I think regardless that’s fairly encouraging.
    Spain were being too stubborn about their attack, repeatedly opting to try to weasle through the middle. With a solid back line they really needed someone like Pedro to bomb down the sides and throw it in. This is where The Barca/RM problem comes in. With Iniesta, Busquets and Xavi dominating midfield the guys like Xabi who like a good long ball or a scoop up-n-over don’t really even get the ball passed to them. Arbeloa was trying to work the wings but with no one bombing foreward -? Cesc and Mata can add that element and would be trusted with the ball but they were subbed in a little too late to get in enough chances. I have no doubt del Bosque will work that all out. He really does use friendlies to try some things – hence their horrible friendlies record since the World Cup.
    Yeah, who’s gonna read all that? Felt good getting it out though…

  5. Del says:

    I think the win was mostly down to the England defense being so solid and their workload was amazing. Joleon Lescott was great and altogether they kept it pretty tight at the back, hardly ever giving Spain a chance to break through. Joe Hart has had worse games.

    And of course Scott Parker, thoroughly deserved to be Man of the Match. He seems to be the glue in midfield that connects all the players together.

    I’m really glad all these youngsters are coming through and we’re getting to see something a bit different. I think in a couple years we could have a team that could complete for the world title.

  6. says:

    When we beat Spain we beat ’em by 2

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