Lampard the poacher leaves Spain in shock

England 1 Spain 0: Captain for the day scores the simplest of goals from less than a foot out as a Parker-inspired England perform miracles with a rearguard effort to upset the world champions


Starting a home game as 7-2 underdogs, England belatedly found some bark and bite to shock the world and European champions into an unlikely defeat. Spain, often not at their very best in friendlies – Argentina and Portugal both scored four against them in the recent past – paid the penalty this time for not producing sufficient urgency until they had fallen behind to Frank Lampard's 23rd international goal from a set-piece just after half-time, when they had considerately removed Xavi and David Silva.

The pattern until then was as expected with abundant possession by the Spanish, who in the end had 21 attempts on goal to three. But having scored, England defended resolutely, with Scott Parker in front of the back four and Joleon Lescott both outstanding. Lescott, who was left out of the previous squad against Montenegro, did his future prospects no harm in tandem with his former Everton colleague Phil Jagielka.

Of the younger contingent auditioning for next summer's European Championship finals, Phil Jones and substitutes Jack Rodwell and Danny Welbeck were all singled out for praise by Fabio Capello,who said: "These good young players will be important for the Euros. They played without fear, with personality and here at Wembley, which is important."

Further auditions will be held in Tuesday's friendly against Sweden. Capello confirmed that Daniel Sturridge, Bobby Zamora, Gary Cahill and Kyle Walker will all play, as well as John Terry, who must initially have felt yesterday's game was not a bad one to miss. The prospect of being turned every which way by the passing and movement of Silva, David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Xavi was not an enticing one for a central defender, but Spain were somehow kept at bay. Their manager Vicente del Bosque appeared bemused as to how it had happened and chose to damn England with faint praise.

"They were set up in a very organised manner and defended very deep," he said. "The fact that England got near our goal with only one chance proved that we dominated the game to a great degree. They carried out the manager's orders and tactical plan perfectly. Our style of football is totally different."

It certainly is. In the absence of Terry, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Young for various reasons, it was a victory proving that there is more than one way to win a game, although not one that should have anyone rushing to the bookmakers to plunge on England winning next summer's tournament. Seeded in the second pot, there is a one in four chance they will be drawn against Spain there, when Del Bosque's team would be expected to have learnt at least as much from yesterday's proceedings as Capello's. "We'll learn lessons and be prepared when the big event comes next summer," the Spanish manager warned.

One of the lessons ought to be that keeping the tempo as low as they did in the first half is unproductive. There was a lack or urgency that contributed to a dull 45 minutes after which the applause of the home majority in a capacity crowd smacked mainly of relief at still being level.

The minor surprise in the way England were set up was that Lampard was deeper than expected while Jones in only his second international was often the furthest forward of the central midfield trio. He had been expected to sit in front of the back four trying to disrupt Spain's passing. Instead Parker did that in typically vigorous style, when he was able to get close enough. One drawback of having Lampard further back instead of in the Rooney role behind the main striker was that it was 11 minutes before the isolated Darren Bent touched the ball – with a defensive header to clear the visitors' first corner.

Iker Casillas in the Spanish goal was even less involved until Lampard drove an unthreatening 30-yard shot at him, which by half-time was England's only effort on or off target. One team were disinclined to step up the pace of the game, the other unable to, and the highlights shown on the big screens during the interval did not last long.

All the more out of the blue then was an England goal within four minutes of the restart, which finally brought the game and the crowd to life. Spain had sent on Cesc Fabregas and Chelsea's Juan Mata for Silva and Xavi, as well as Liverpool's Pepe Reina, who must have been stunned that his first involvement was retrieving the ball from his net. Lampard, left all alone, put it there from perhapsa foot out after Bent rose well to meet James Milner's free-kick, heading down and on to a post.

Rodwell, making his internationaldebut, and Gareth Barry then replaced Jones and Lampard and before they had settled Spain made an authentic chance. Sergio Busquets sent Villa clear in the inside-right channel to round Hart but shoot high into the side-netting from an angle.

Reduced to breakaways led by substitutes Welbeck and Adam Johnson, England were desperately close to conceding in the 72nd minute when Glen Johnson's weak header went to Villa, who struck a fierce shot against the far post with Joe Hart beaten. In the final two minutes Fabregas had a deflected shot held low down by Hart and then spoilt his return to London by wasting a glorious chance from Villa's cross.

England (4-5-1): Hart; G Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole; Walcott (Downing, h-t), Jones (Rodwell, 56), Parker (Walker, 85), Lampard (Barry, 56), Milner (A Johnson, 76); Bent (Welbeck, 63).

Spain (4-3-3): Casillas (Reina, h-t); Arbeloa, Ramos (Puyol, 74), Pique, Alba; Busquets (Torres, 64), Xavi (Fabregas, h-t), Alonso; Silva (Mata, h-t), Villa, Iniesta (Cazorla, 74).

Referee Frank De Bleeckere.

Man of the match Parker (England).

Match rating 6/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower