Lampard rescues a point as Gerrard sees red

England 1 Ukraine 1

Skipper Steven Gerrard was sent off as Frank Lampard's 86th-minute penalty spared England's blushes at Wembley.

Gerrard was red-carded two minutes from the end of a poor display from Roy Hodgson's men in their World Cup qualifier with Ukraine.

The hosts were saved when Yevhen Khacherdi blocked Danny Welbeck's flick with his arm, allowing Lampard to drive home from the spot to earn England a point.

Gerrard's dismissal followed shortly afterwards for a second yellow card.

The Liverpool man becomes the 14th England player to be sent off, although the damage is not too bad as he only misses the visit of San Marino next month.

Ukraine will be cursing a missed opportunity, though.

Already nursing a sense of grievance after having a perfectly good goal ruled out when the two sides met at Euro 2012, Oleg Blokhin's men came agonisingly close to what would have been a deserved victory.

In Yevgen Konoplianka, they had not only the game's star performer but also scorer of a goal worthy of winning any match.

And, while defeat was avoided, clearly there is so much work ahead of Hodgson and his team if they are to reach Brazil 2014.

It had not gone unnoticed that the last time England went into a competitive game with John Terry, Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand all missing from their starting line-up was against Croatia almost five years ago.

That miserable night was the last time England had lost a qualifying match on home soil.

It was a record that soon became obvious was going to be tested.

Only three minutes had elapsed when Oleg Gusev's cross flicked off Leighton Baines, dipped over Joe Hart and clipped the outside of a post.

Joleon Lescott cleared another Gusev cross, then Roman Zozulya failed to capitalise on Konoplianka's neat approach work.

During those dodgy opening minutes, England's passing was awful, costing them a chance to build up any momentum.

Five-goal winners in Moldova on Friday, third-ranked team in the world, any sense of superiority was shaken out of England by spirited opponents.

Andriy Shevchenko's retirement, far from weakening the team, created a greater bond, which new skipper Anatoliy Tymoschuk marshalled around the field in impressive fashion.

It might have been different had Jermain Defoe's thunderous effort not been ruled out.

Defoe's disbelief was obvious. Yet it was also beyond doubt he had shoved a textbook rugby hand-off into the neck of Andriy Yarmolenko, who made the most of it.

Gerrard was trying to inspire, like a good captain should.

Clearing a goalbound Ruslan Rotan effort at one end, driving a pass through for Defoe at the other, the striker's flick almost releasing James Milner.

It was the prelude to Cleverley's succession of glaring misses.

Defoe showed admirable unselfishness when he opted to steer Gerrard's cross back into the six-yard box rather than go for goal himself from an acute angle.

Cleverley raced in, looking certain to gobble up the chance with only Andrei Pyatov to beat.

Unfortunately, the Manchester United man fired straight at the Ukraine goalkeeper, whose reactions were up to the task.

Cleverley then flicked Lampard's pass well wide from a good position, before, as if underlining the folly of Hodgson's comparison with Cesc Fabregas, lifting the ball against the outside of a post from Milner's pass.

Amid the personal anguish, Ukraine had seized the initiative.

After Denys Garmash had let England off the hook by heading over when he crept into space to meet Yevgen Selin's cross, Konoplianka showed them no mercy.

Stepping inside Gerrard, the highly-rated midfielder sent a 25-yard effort curling over Hart and into the top corner.

In a second-half littered with yellow cards - six of them for England including Gerrard's double caution - Leighton Baines needed to make a timely intervention to prevent Zozulya reaching Konoplianka's cross.

Glen Johnson, among those to get booked after the break, went close at the other end but the introductions of Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge were inevitable given how the game was panning out.

The decision to replace Baines with Ryan Bertrand was less obvious, especially as young duo Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana both offered more attacking invention from the bench for all their inexperience.

Welbeck almost profited from Sturridge's cross nine minutes from time, but prodded against a post.

Redemption came shortly afterwards, with Lampard converting from the spot, just as he did in Chisinau on Friday.

But the outcome will fool no one, least of all Hodgson, into thinking that England really do deserve to be rated as highly as FIFA suggest.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent