Friday, 30 May 2014

WC Friendly Match, England vs Peru - LIVE Commentary:

International friendly: England will be hoping for a good display at Wembley tonight
Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have a LIVE commentary on England's last international friendly game before they start preparing for the World Cup proper, which starts in 13 days!

Arriving at Wembley: Supporters are pictured walking to the ground before kick-off
They are playing against Peru tonight, and it will be interesting to see how the team performs as they are expecting to do well in this tournament, so despite playing against a weaker team (no disrespect to Peru) - the team should perform well and give manager Roy Hodgson a clear headache as to who should start each match in Brazil. 

Their opponents tonight have failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup, which they will feel disappointed about especially because it is close to their own country in South America - but they will still be expected to challenge their hosts tonight. 

Here are the team line-ups: 

England: Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Rooney, Welbeck and Sturridge. 

Subs: Forster, Foster, Smalling, Stones, Flanagan, Lampard, Wilshere, Barkley, Milner, Lambert and Sterling. 

A 4-2-3-1 formation for the Three Lions, a solid team lining up. Hopefully, Wilshere gets a few minutes under his belt tonight to keep him sharp and fit - glad to see that Lallana and Henderson are given their opportunities to shine.

Welbeck will play on the flank with Lallana on the other side of him on the wing - Sturridge the lone striker with Rooney sitting behind him at CAM.

Barkley and Wilshere among a strong substitutes bench.  

Peru: Fernandez, Rodriguez, Callens, Cruzado, Ramos, Advincula, Yotun, Ramirez, Deza, Carrillo and Ballon.

Subs: Forsyth, Gambetta, Hurtado, Ruidiaz, Velarde, Trauco, Flores, Riojas and Gallese.

I think it is fair to say that a lot of people will not be very familiar with the Peru team, but they have a few individually gifted players like Carrillo and Fernandez. 

Andre Carrillo - technically gifted winger/striker, plays for Sporting Lisbon

Fernandez - an experienced goalkeeper who plays for FC Dallas

England vs Peru - LIVE Commentary: 

19:52 - The players are standing in the tunnel, waiting for the referee to give them the nod to walk out. 

19:53 - Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard looks as focused as ever, today is the midfielder's 34th birthday if you did not know already.

19:54 - And the referee waves the players forward. 

19:55 - Both sets of players walk out out the tunnel, to a round of applause from the supporters around the ground.

Midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard leads the England team out of the tunnel
19:56 - National anthems' time. Peru first.

19:57 - Observed well. And now it's England's turn. "God Save The Queen" blaring out loudly, the players are focused on the game.

19:58 - Just two minutes to go until the match starts, I'll give you a quick transfer news update:

  • Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is nearing a move to Liverpool, he is set to be confirmed by the club on Monday afternoon after a £4million move was accepted.
  • Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has joined fellow EPL club Swansea City as his contract with The Gunners has expired. 
Done deal: Fabianski has joined The Swans on a three-year contract deal from Arsenal.
20:00 - More transfer news updates later on, the match is about to start. 

0: The referee blows his whistle as England kick-off, playing from left to right.

1: A good atmosphere inside Wembley, the England supporters are making themselves heard. 

3: Lallana gives away a foul near the centre circle after a 50-50 challenge on a Peru player, firm tackle but he won the ball - the referee did not like the follow through by the Southampton creative midfielder.

4: Peru being pushed back inside their own half after some effective pressure from England moves the defenders back towards their own goal.

6: Foul given against Peru next to Hart's goal as the oncoming player Ramirez grabs onto Cahill's shirt and pulls him down across Hart's body. Shows Peru have a desire to win the ball, but without ball possession they could be exploited today.

7: Carrillo goes on the counter with the ball at his feet, with no support he opts to shape to shoot, but it is well blocked by Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson.

8: Great visual awareness by Baines to spot Welbeck running forward and feed him a through ball 25 yards out from goal, the Manchester United striker begins to run but gets tackled by an oncoming defender. Free-kick to England.

9: The resulting delivery into the box is wasted, the Peru defence clear and the danger is evaded. Shame.

11: Many of England's attempted passes into the Peru half, especially through balls are encouraging, but they are not accurate enough to get to the desired player. 

15: Good defensive work further up the pitch by Lallana who chases after the ball when his team-mate Johnson loses it,  he blocks an attempted clear twice, out for a throw-in.

16: Great through ball in-behind the England defence by Ramirez, who seeks to find Deza but Hart sees the danger quickly and reacts quickest to catch the ball as it rolls towards goal. 

That kind of service is what England need! Good reactions by Joe Hart to deal with the danger, otherwise his team would have been in trouble.

17: Rooney is looking sloppy so far, not getting the ball to his feet and when he does, he is either closed down or he loses the ball altogether. Not encouraging.

18: CLOSE! England go on the counter attack after Peru see a deflected strike from Daza well parried away by Joe Hart, Lallana wins ball possession near the centre circle and runs at the Peru defence who back towards their goal, giving the midfielder space to weave his way past them.

He gets past his markers and the ball falls nicely for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who instinctively takes a firing shot towards goal, which narrowly misses the target. A clear-cut chance for England, Sturridge was unlucky not to score; if it was a few inches to the right, it would be 1-0. Peru goal-kick.

20: So far the best player on the pitch for England has to be Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana, he is hungry for the ball and whenever he has the ball he speeds past the defence with pace and purpose.

Good at tracking back and defending for his team aswell, if he does not start in the group stage matches I will be disappointed for sure. 

25: England given a free-kick after a clumsy tackle by Cruzado after he slices through Gerrard's legs and ends up worse for wear. 

26: The referee brandishes a yellow card to Cruzado for his troubles, for a late challenge which could have been much worse for Gerrard.

Luckily for England, Gerrard walks off seeming unharmed, despite looking annoyed by the tackle itself.

27: And now it is Sturridge who is unhappy. He is clipped by his marker near the touchline and protests that a foul be given to the referee, who ignores his claim and the Liverpool striker walks off angry.

29: Tensions getting slightly heated now, frustration is clearly shown. Gerrard is now given a yellow card for a sliding tackle near the centre circle, even though the Liverpool midfielder is protesting his innocence. 

Replays show that he tried to win the ball without touching the opponent, but his trailing leg caught the player. Possibly harsh yellow card, you can tell by his reaction that he feels it is injustice. 

32: GOAL! England break the deadlock!!! Courtesy of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, the hosts take the lead soon after the half-hour mark. 

Deadlock broken: Sturridge celebrates his well-taken finish to give England the lead
He wins the ball 20 yards out, dribbles past two defenders at will before curling a swerving strike towards goal from outside of the box. Great finish, what a goal!

34: England starting to gain momentum now? Sturridge's goal should give the hosts a boost, they have not taken their chances as of yet but what a goal to break the deadlock from the Liverpool man. That's his 4th international goal aswell.

40: Everton full-back Leighton Baines whips a free-kick delivery into the box after Sturridge is fouled 25 yards out, the ball falls to the head of Danny Welbeck who jumps highest to head the ball towards goal, but the effort is wide of the mark and goes over the bar.

44: Peru go on the counter attack again, this time from Ramirez who goes one-on-one with the oncoming Hart who reacts well again to parry the ball out of danger and deny Ramirez a second time. Still 0-0.

45: No stoppage time to be added on, the referee blows his whistle to end the first-half of action at Wembley. Joe Hart has done well to react quickly when needed, and Lallana has also performed well tonight thus far.

1-0 to England, courtesy of a great strike from Sturridge. Here it is:

21:03 - The teams are back out onto the pitch, no substitutions have been made as of yet for either side though.

45: The referee blows his whistle, second-half has begun. 

47: Lallana goes on the charge with the ball at his feet, but is instantly tackled strongly by the oncoming Peru defender.

48: Poor ball by defender Jagielka back towards Hart, who rushes out of his goal and partially clears the danger as a Peru player is running at him to try and force a mistake out of the Manchester City goalkeeper. Shaky from the Everton defender there.  

53: Peru almost serve up a surprise equaliser, as Daza takes an ambitious effort from 35 yards out which dips over the bar. Hart looked uncertain but in actual fact had the shot covered though. 

60: First substitution of the match, comes from Peru - 
Luis Ramirez OFF
Paolo Hurtado ON

63: Sloppy play by full-back Glen Johnson who takes too long with the ball at his feet and is eventually robbed of the ball by Carillo as Peru go on the counter attack. 

A through ball falls to Deza, whose attempted shot is blocked well by Jagielka. Good recovery.

64: England SUB:
Steven Gerrard OFF
Jack Wilshere ON

Fresh legs for England you feel, Gerrard has been solid in midfield tonight but it is better if you ease players through the match. 34 years of age, meanwhile Wilshere needs game time if he is going to state his case for a starting role in Brazil. 

65: GOAL! England double their lead! A good corner delivery into the box by Leighton Baines falls to the head of Chelsea defender Gary Cahill who heads the ball into the corner of the net, despite being crowded by Peru defenders.

Poor marking but Cahill and England will not mind! 

66: Substitutions for both sides now - 
Deza OFF, Ruidiaz ON
Rooney OFF, Sterling ON

Sterling replaces a lacklustre Rooney, who has not exactly been at his best tonight. Sterling adds pace and precision to the equation. 

67: Another substitution, this time from Peru - 
Ramos OFF, Riojas ON

70: GOAL! Another goal from a set-piece, this time from Everton defender Phil Jagielka. Poor defending by Peru yet again who fail to deal with the impending danger and are consequently punished as Jagielka makes no mistake in taking his chance to tap the ball into the corner of the net. 

3-0 to England, they deserve to win but the scoreline is flattering the hosts at the minute. If any team with a half-decent defence was playing against the Three Lions tonight, I highly doubt they would have even scored so far. 

75: Substitutions galore! 3 from England - 
Jagielka, Lallana and Baines OFF
Smalling, Milner and Stones ON

Fresh legs for the hosts, John Stones gets his senior debut with 15+ minutes to play. Milner will play on the wing, Smalling a like-for-like sub with Jagielka in the centre of defence.

78: Yet another sub now, Peru making it - 
Luis Advincula OFF, Mario Valarde ON

81: A loud shout of applause and noise coming from the Peru supporters, and you would never guess why. A paper plane has just hit their manager. It's been that kind of match to be fair. 

82: Another England substitution, finally the Everton creative midfielder Ross Barkley is substituted ON, for the scorer of the first goal tonight, and what a goal it was by Daniel Sturridge. Barkley gets 10 minutes or so, what a talent he is.

83: Peru trying to keep hold of the ball, they look more dangerous with it than without it. It's probably too late for a dramatic charge by the side, but they could take away some of the gloss from a comfortable England side with a goal or two in the last few minutes of the match.

85: England go on the counter attack after yet another defensive mistake from Peru is taken advantage of. Welbeck robs the ball off a Peru defender and backpasses the ball towards the path of Barkley, who then looks up and passes the ball into space for Sterling to run onto. 

The Liverpool forward's resulting shot is wide of the mark, and looks more of an awkward cross than a shot in truth. Unlucky, could have been 4-0. 

86: Peru SUB -
Andre Carrillo OFF 
Edison Flores ON

87: England are comfortable to see this game out, one or two more goals would just rub salt in Peru's wounds. They have not exactly been at 100% tonight but shown flashes of good play, and taken their chances. 

89: Great touch by Wilshere to beat two men with a cheeky flick past his marker, he quickly passes across towards the path of Milner who cannot get his footing right and the ball deflects off him out for a goal-kick.

90: The fourth official has signalled that there will be 4 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match at Wembley.

90+4: The referee blows his whistle to end the international friendly, with England taking a comfortable 3-0 win out of the match which could have gone either way.

A great opener by Sturridge gives him my MOTM vote, he worked hard and his goal gave his side the momentum in a rather lacklustre first-half performance.

Lallana and Hart were also notable players for England, in a match that they were expected to win, and did.   

England now have a match on Wednesday against Ecuador, before another warm-up game against Honduras next weekend. 

Thank you for joining me for this international LIVE commentary, I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more footballing content over the next few weeks, the World Cup is under 2 weeks away now! 

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