Montenegro make their point at Wembley

England were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw with Montenegro, who rattled the crossbar late on in the Euro 2012 Group G qualifier at Wembley.

Last Updated: 12/10/10 at 23:28 Post Comment

Rooney: Couldn't find a way through

Rooney: Couldn't find a way through

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Fabio Capello's hosts left the pitch with the jeers of their own fans ringing in their ears as they failed to score at the rebuilt stadium for the first time and had their 11-match winning streak on home soil ended.

Formerly part of Yugoslavia and attached to Serbia in footballing terms until 2006, Montenegro's population is roughly the same as Leeds.

And there was definitely a Yorkshire cussed streak about the Eastern Europeans, who ground out a result that throws England's Euro 2012 qualification hopes back into the melting pot.

If there is any consolation it was that the result did not end up being worse as Milan Jovanovic's snap-shot came bouncing back off the crossbar seven minutes from time with Joe Hart beaten completely.

Nevertheless, the Three Lions have certainly conceded the initiative to their opponents, who now have 10 points from four games, three more than England, who have played a game fewer, with everything pointing towards a group decider in Podgorica on October 7 next year.

As Montenegro arrived nursing a hat-trick of 1-0 victories but without main striker Mirko Vucinic, the game's pattern was not hard to predict.

Although the visitors did offer a sporadic threat, most of their industry was concentrated in the third of the field England struggled to penetrate.

It took no time at all for England to work out there was no clear path through, so they attempted to go long and wide instead.

A series of raking Steven Gerrard passes to the touchline released Adam Johnson and Ashley Young, although the end product was lacking.

Gerrard looked as though he was trying to prove a point.

Overlooked for the captaincy by Capello, the Liverpool skipper remains the English heartbeat. If anyone could break Montenegro down, it would probably be him.

Had Peter Crouch's legs been just long enough to reach another of those potentially inspired passes, delivered from inside Gerrard's own half, as it bounced into the area, the whole game might have changed.

As it was, Crouch was unable to make contact, which at least he was able to do when Glen Johnson curled over a cross from the right, only for the Tottenham man, so prolific for his country, to steer his header over.

Apart from that, the nearest England came was through a long-range free-kick from Adam Johnson, who looked quite comfortable on his first competitive start.

The effort flashed wide but at least Mladen Bozovic had a brief moment of panic, which was a rarity in itself.

Hunting in packs, not afraid to concede free-kicks to halt England's momentum, collect yellow cards when the need arose and willing to make the most of knocks they suffered to disrupt the game even further, it didn't make for much of a spectacle. It was very effective though.

Having dropped too deep in that opening period, Gerrard tried to push into a more advanced position.

He provided the pass which allowed a previously quiet Wayne Rooney to fire a long-range effort over.

It was a frustrating evening for the Manchester United man though, who after voicing his protests at Stefan Savic's cynical challenge on Ashley Cole that brought a booking, duly picked one up himself when he raced back 50 yards and needlessly slid in to trip Elsad Zverotic and earn one himself.

Almost an hour had passed before England created a decent chance.

Not surprisingly, it was created for Rooney by Gerrard, who picked his fellow Merseysider out inside the penalty area with a perfectly weighted pass.

Rooney was onto it in an instant but Bozovic was equal to his first-time effort and pounced on the loose ball before Crouch could turn it home.

When Young was ruled to have dived trying to win a penalty when he tumbled over Miodrag Dzudovic, it was the trigger for a period of more English frustration as Montenegro stubbornly failed to drift from their one dimensional game plan.

Capello's response was to make Kevin Davies England's oldest debutant since 1950. Davies, predictably, was booked before the end.

He also provided Rooney with the neat cushioned header that ended with Bozovic making another fine save to deny the striker.

Capello was reduced to screaming for a penalty when Jovanovic appeared to use an arm to get the ball under control with no-one around him.

Jovanovic got away with that one, and almost profited in spectacular fashion at the other end with a shot that came crashing back off the bar, so close to sealing the finest result in Montenegro's short history.

In truth, it probably still was.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 16 November 2014
19:45
Bulgaria 1-1 Malta  
Czech Rep 2-1 Iceland Report
Israel 3-0 Bos&Herz Report
Italy 1-1 Croatia Report
Turkey 3-1 Kazakhstan  
17:00
Azerbaijan 0-1 Norway  
Belgium 0-0 Wales Report
Cyprus 5-0 Andorra Report
Holland 6-0 Latvia Report
Saturday, 15 November 2014
19:45
Macedonia 0-2 Slovakia  

Footer 365

Manchester united: Marouane Fellaini was made scapegoat

Marouane Fellaini claims he was the scapegoat for Man United's poor 2013/14 season because he was David Moyes' signing.

FIFA unanimously agree to publish Michael Garcia's report

FIFA's executive committee has agreed unanimously to publish Michael Garcia's report into World Cup bidding - where legally possible.

Arsene Wenger: Alexis Sanchez chose Arsenal for our style and Champions League conistency

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Mail Box

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday...

There are an awful lot of folk claiming to share their birthdays with Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, while we have an Arsenal fan who doesn't want to be liked and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property