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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links