Sturridge Steers England to Evasive Win

 

England 1-0 Denmark Match Report: Sturridge steers England to evasive win

Daniel Sturridge scored a late header to provide England a morale boosting victory in their final match before Roy Hodgson has to pick his provisional squad for the World Cup.

The Liverpool striker scored his 12th goal in as many games and was one of five Liverpool players starting the game last night as England avoided a third straight defeat.

The lack of urgency in England’s play was evident right from the off and the home side were stifled by Denmark insistence to play extremely deep with several men behind the ball.

There still appeared to be a soft spine to England’s team too as Denmark managed to create several decent chances on the counter attack.

Michael Krohn-Dehli volleyed over the bar and Jakob Poulsen forced Joe Hart into action when he should have scored from a one on one opportunity. However, England did just enough to justify their one goal margin victory.

In the first half, England managed to show fluidity in their passing but with no real penetration. There was an impatience in trying to fashion chances with Wayne Rooney firing a number of shots from range high and handsome.

In the second half, the Three Lions improved yet only the introduction of Lallana added any impetus to their play which eventual forced the only goal of the game.

A delightful cross from the Southampton star which Sturridge headed into the top left hand corner with aplomb adding any shine to an otherwise lacklustre display.

This was a last chance for anyone to impress Roy Hodgson ahead of the showpiece event in Brazil yet the England boss would have learnt very little that he didn’t know before.

Raheem Sterling was named the sponsors man of the match as his pace and enthusiasm was one of the most encouraging displays alongside the vibrant Adam Lallana who came on in the second half.

Lallana was only making his third England bow yet looked composed and assured on the international stage.

Despite a flurry of late substitutions with Oxlade Chamberlain, Welbeck, Townsend and Milner making cameo appearances, there were no players who appeared to be fighting for their place except Luke Shaw.

The England manager played Ashley Cole for the first half and Luke Shaw for the second half and admitted that both put on very good performances giving him a selection dilemma at left back.

After the game Denmark manager Morten Olsen gave his own message to England ahead of the World Cup. He said: “Good luck. You will need it.”

Hogdson responded by merely insisting that every side would need luck in Brazil and that several young players are emerging in his side.

He admitted that the rest of the Premier League season and football played could have an impact on his selection but there is a general consensus that he already knows the majority of his England squad for the World Cup.

This victory will only be treated with cautious optimism as England failed to capitalise on their dominance and create enough clear cut chances to put on a display to demonstrate their World Cup credentials.

 

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