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August 14, 2013
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: F. Brych
• Attendance: 80485
T. Walcott 29'
D. Welbeck 53'
R. Lambert 70'
J. Morrison 11'
K. Miller 49'
Shots on Target
And on that note, we'll leave you to it. Thanks for reading and I'll hope to see you at the weekend for some Premier League action. I'm not sure about you, but I for one can't wait. Night.
Here's the final word on the matter from Goal correspondent Greg Stobart: "Full time at Wembley and England manager Roy Hodgson will feel his side deserve their victory, certainly on the back of their performance in the second-half. It needed a thumping header from Rickie Lambert to seal the victory, a dream debut for the Southampton striker after he replaced the ineffectual and unfit Wayne Rooney. The real stars tonight, though, were the 20,000 Scotland fans who made this far more than a meaningless friendly and are still in full voice as the players leave the pitch."
You just can't write that sort of script.
So, after all that, what a game! England defeat the Auld Enemy 3-2 after twice going down at Wembley. 31-year old debutant Rickie Lambert proved the match winner in the end, coming on in the second and notching an unstoppable header with his first touch in a Three Lions shirt.
90' + 3'
Welbeck then has a prod goalwards but it fails to trouble McGregor, with the referee immediately blowing for full time afterwards.
90' + 2'
The Southampton man is then fed in by Baines but shoots straight at McGregor, with the far post screaming for the striker's attention. Could have had a hat-trick!
90' + 1'
So close to a double for Lambert! It really should have been two. Zaha's driven delivery evades Martin and the scorer of England's third goal, in acres of space, rattles the post.
That's three minutes of injury time called...
Not long left at Wembley and Scotland are making a final push for an equaliser as God Save the Queen rings around the stadium. The visitors have belied the quality gap between the two teams but, in truth, ran out of legs in the second-half. The Tartan Army, though, have been absolutely superb in the stands throughout, with no signs of any trouble in the ground.
Whittaker blazes high and wide as Scotland enjoy a now-rare foray into the final third. The game looks to be winding down now.
Zaha collects Oxlade-Chamberlain's clipped pass on the right hand side of the area yet can only fizz his effort across the six-yard box. Bit of a tame one, that.
Greg Stobart foresees a difficult final 10 minutes for the visitors: "Roy Hodgson’s side have all the momentum now and their extra quality is starting to tell, with the visitors looking deflated as they struggle to get out of their own half."
The influx of replacements seems to have robbed the game of the settled pattern it had obtained. It's yoyoing end to end now, with Hutton hitting the byline, only to find the arms of Hart, before Lampard storms down the other end and tests McGregor with a rasper.
Here's Greg Stobart on Lambert's magic moment: "As first touches for England go, that’s not bad. Rickie Lambert rises high to meet Leighton Baines’ corner and hammer home a header from seven yards to put the Three Lions ahead. It was the Southampton man’s first involvement in an England shirt, showing Wayne Rooney how it’s done just moments after replacing his fellow Merseysider."
The strapping front man rises highest to thunder a header past McGregor. You. Do. Not. Stop. Those.
Assist Leighton Baines
Goal Rickie Lambert
BANG! Thank you Rickie Lambert, for justifying the below...
Here's Greg Stobart (our other man at Wembley) with his two pence on the Rooney situation: "The 20,000 Scotland fans here are ensuring the intensity has remained on and off the pitch here at Wembley despite the inevitable substitutions that disrupt the flow of international friendlies. Wayne Rooney has just been replaced by debutant Rickie Lambert after 66 minutes - and the Manchester United man will not have enjoyed tonight’s experience. He looked miles off the pace and, on this evidence, you can understand why David Moyes has no intention of using the striker in this weekend’s Premier League opener against Swansea."
And it's Rickie Lambert coming on! The Southampton talisman is making his international debut at the grand old age of 31. For me - fair play - anyone who says he isn't fully deserving of his chance is a fool.
In the thick of things is Wayne Rooney. This time the Chelsea target combines with Welbeck inside the area, only to see his effort charged down. Here come the glut of subs I promised, with Rooney one of the men due to be replaced...
Rooney's corner is nodded back across goal, calling for an acrobatic reaction from Welbeck. The goalscorer duly obliges but can't quite send his scissor kick on target, despite making a decent connection with the ball.
Yellow Card Frank Lampard
Rooney attempts a dink over the top to no avail before Lampard joins the party with a late challenge on Maloney. A booking, no questions asked.
Lampard fizzes a snapshot in at McGregor, forcing the keeper into a smart reactionary save. Baines follows up but can't get enough on it to double the keeper, who stands up and collects easily.
Yellow Card Robert Snodgrass
Yellow Card Theo Walcott
That flurry of activity has evidently sent temperatures sky-high down on the pitch. Firstly, Walker earns himself the first yellow of the evening for a naughtily-timed challenge before Snodgrass and Walcott join him in the book shortly after for a spot of handbags at dawn. Shaping up for a good final half hour here.
Yellow Card Kyle Walker
I'll let Ewan Roberts fill you in on this one... "GOAL! Well, that didn't last long. It took a matter of minutes for England to restore equalibrium at Wembley. Steven Gerrard, as he has done so often in the past, whips in a brilliant free kick from deep that lands right on the head of Danny Welbeck, who glances the ball into the bottom corner."
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Danny Welbeck
Jesus, give me a second to catch my breath!
It takes a top notch stop from McGregor to prevent England grabbing an immediate equaliser. Gerrards delivery takes a knick off Martin's head and looks as if it is destined to nestle inside the near post. McGregor is more than equal to it though and sprawls across goal to keep it out. Great goalkeeping.
Kenny Miller, take a bow. Take two, in fact. The front man shimmys his shoulder, sending a criminally distant Cahill lunging to the right. Miller then tees it up onto his left foot to rifle well beyond Hart and into the bottom corner.
Assist Alan Hutton
Goal Kenny Miller
Good Lord. What a strike!
Scotland start in a lot more of an enterprising fashion to that on show before the interval. Miller and Maloney combine to almost squeeze the latter through on goal.
Well, not quite the glut of subs I promised. Frank Lampard replaces Jack Wilshere as the teams re-emerge at Wembley.
I believe it's to be all change at half time, with England, at least, set to make a host of substitutions at the interval. Might as well go get a cuppa before it all gets going again.
Still, whatever floats his boat. it's a game of opinions I guess.
It looks as if Ewan Roberts shares a somewhat differing opinion to me, however. "It's been a pretty lacklustre affair so far at Wembley," says our correspondent. "With James Morrison's strike promptly cancelled out by Theo Walcott. Both sets of fans have been in good voice, but England's far superior possession matched with Scotland's defensive, reactive tactics have made for a fairly dull game so far."
45' + 1'
And that's it for the first 45 minutes.
One minute of stoppage time added on to what has been an engaging first half at Wembley.
Oh, the injustice! Gerrard picks out Rooney with a sumptuous pass from deep. It's deceptive, it's curling and it's straight into the path of an onside Rooney, who rounds the keeper and tucks into the empty net. It's ruled out though for offside, despite replays showing the unsettled front man was at least a yard or two to the good.
Though said corner amounts to nothing at all.
Brown battles to win the ball in the middle of the park before releasing a scampering Snodgrass down the left. The Norwich man drags his shot well wide of the target. So far wide, in fact, that Jagielka has to put the ball out for a corner to clear the danger.
The men in navy take the sting out of the game by enjoying a spot of possession of their own. It breaks down though, when Whittaker punts a long ball into the path of no-one in particular.
It's all the home side now, as England push for the lead before the interval. Scotland are entrenched in their own half.
Better, much better from England as Rooney and Welbeck combine on the edge of the box to allow the former to lash an effort just wide of the post. Instant belief from England after Walcott opened the account.
Third times a charm for Cleverley, who finds himself at the thick of things for the third time in under two minutes. This time the England man releases Walcott with an inch perfect pass, allowing a direct path in on goal. The Arsenal winger does his best to stall with a couple dodgy touchs, allowing Whittaker to catch up before jinking inside to enable a left-footed shot just inside the near post.
Assist Tom Cleverley
Goal Theo Walcott
GOAL! Walcott equalises for England!
The Manchester United man has the chance to redeem himself within seconds, the beneficiary of some slick build-up play from Walcott and Rooney. However, the midfielder sees his first effort swamped by two Scotland defenders, before knocking the unexpected rebound straight into the goalkeeper.
It's Cleverley's turn to woefully misplace a pass as Hodgson's side break forward. A simple pass from A to B was all that was required. Not very impressive stuff.
Ewan Roberts' lends us his informed viewpoint: "England have responded fairly positively to going behind, continuing to retain the ball and build possession, but they are up against an organised and solid Scotland outfit that have their eyes set on a major scalp here. They're very deep, with only Kenny Miller not sat behind the ball, and the Three Lions have produced little more than a bark in their attempts to break down the away side."
Morrison gets ideas slightly above his station, taking an effort from 30 yards out after Gerrard's excellently-timed challenge on Snodgrass sees the ball break free. The ball cannons wildly high, wide and ugly.
Walker advances deeply down the right side, so much so that he's blown offside attempting to offer Gerrard an option going forward. Still rather breathless stuff from England.
England push on but fail to provide any spark in the final third, with Rooney and Walcott yet to capitalise on some promising positions.
Either way, England respond with Walcott driving to the byline yet failing to produce an effective cut back. The goal has lifted the away side no end.
Personally, I point the finger at the lacklustre efforts to get out to Morrison, he should never have been allowed that amount of time to shoot on the edge of the box.
Here's Ewan Roberts' take on the incident: "Joe Hart, hang your head in shame. Scotland take the lead through James Morrison, sending the travelling support wild, but England's No.1 may as well be credited with the assist. A loose ball pops out to Morrison on the edge of the area and he fires a shot towards goal. It's well struck, and dipping, but Hart midjusges the flight and allows the ball to sneak under him. Poor goalkeeping, even allowing for the greasy ball."
England never really deal with the delivery from the corner, with James Morrison picking the ball up on the edge of the box. By the time a flurry of England defenders get out to the West Brom man, they provide a convenient screen for the goalscorer, who rifles through the crowd, through Hart and into the back of the net.
Goal James Morrison
GOAL! Unbelievable - Scotland have grabbed the opener!
Scotland settle down a little after mounting England pressure and build a bit of possession themselves. Miller sherpherds out Jagielka's errant header to win his side a corner...
Clearly the front man is a little rusty - he's just fluffed a give and go with Gerrard on the edge of the opposition third. I guess that's what happens when you miss the majority of a pre-season.
Rooney gets the first snifter of a chance for England but his connection with fellow Liverpudlian Baines' cross from the left is negligible. The ball trickles out of play.
Welbeck strides out of England's half and towards the danger area but finds Walcott a bit too late to allow the Arsenal man to make anything of the counter.
Neither side have settled into too smart a groove thus far, with missed passes and bad touches-a-plenty. Jagielka clatters through the back of Miller to earn a discouraging look from German referee Felix Brych.
Snodgrass tries it on early doors, taking a touch onto his left foot before rifling into the legs of Jagielka from the edge of the box. Straight out of the blocks for Scotland.
PEEEEP PEEP. Scotland kick things off.
Not that I'm endorsing booing, of course. But the atmosphere looks absolutely electric.
Boos roar out from either side against both Scotland's bagpipes and England's God Save The Queen. Fantastic stuff.
Here's Ewan Roberts: "A few drops of rain start to fall as the players enter the Wembley pitch. Both sets of fans are in great voice, with around 20,000 Scotland supporters in the ground and singing their hearts out. Here come the national anthems..."
Anyway, enough chat. Steven Gerrard and Scott Brown are leading their boys out at Wembley...
Gordon Strachan's Scots sit a little less expectantly in their qualification pool but that'll mean nothing to a rabid travelling crowd hell bent on a party atmosphere. Take a look at the soap sud-sodden Trafalgar Square if you need some evidence.
This'll be the last chance Roy Hodgson will get to have a decent peek at his charges before potentially cataclysmic World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine in 3 weeks-ish time.
(Don Hutchinson grabbed the winner in a 1-0 win for Scotland - just in case you did forget)
And, of course, who could forget that chapter in the rich history of this fixture.
And right on queue, we have Goal's Ewan Roberts setting the scene live from the action:"Wembley Way is throbbing with bagpipes, kilts, sporran and special brew as the Scots take over. And as my tube journey will attest, many of them are true Scotsman too...the truest, of sweatiest Scotsman. Whereas England's last outing on home turf, against Ireland, had an air of frivolity, there's a much more competitive and hostile atmosphere today. It may be a bit patronising to suggest this is Scotland's World Cup final, but it's certainly their biggest game since 1999."
Scotland: McGregor; Hutton, Hanley, Martin, Whittaker, Brown, Borrison, Snodgrass, Maloney, Forrest; Miller.
England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Wilshere, Cleverley; Walcott, Rooney, Welbeck.
Anyways - here are the starting XIs in full...
As are notoriously injury-prone Arsenal men Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. I think I can hear Arsene Wenger muttering bloody murder from here.
The will-he-won't-he play saga surrounding the is-he-is-he-not fit Wayne Rooney has dominated centre stage in the meeting of the world's oldest footballing adversaries. Sorry for the spolier, but Manchester United's disenchanted front man is due to feature from the off.
Nevertheless, the FA decided a showpiece friendly against the Auld Enemy was an apt way to continue the celebration of the organisation's 150th anniversary - so here we are tonight.
Love 'em or loathe 'em, international friendlies always come with their fair share of talking points, no less this time round, with the forthcoming Premier League season just a smattering of days away.
Evening all and welcome to the Goal coverage of England vs Scotland at Wembley.
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