Robben nicks win over England

England drew level late on but then lost 3-2 as Arjen Robben's second goal of the night settled Wednesday's friendly in Holland's favour.

Last Updated: 29/02/12 at 22:51 Post Comment   

Robben: Scores Holland's winner

Robben: Scores Holland's winner

After a haphazard build-up, a crazy game at Wembley was decided in stoppage time by Robben to leave England in an even more confused state than they had been before.

Two down after an hour following goals by Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Harry Redknapp must have been sat at home wondering whether he really wanted the "impossible job".

By the time England had rallied manfully in the final five minutes and dragged themselves level through Gary Cahill and Ashley Young, interim boss Stuart Pearce had claims on being Fabio Capello's replacement for Euro 2012.

Robben's response - his second goal of the evening - gave the hosts a reality check. But after the madness, now the Football Association must get to work and sort out who will lead England into the summer, and whether Scott Parker gets to keep the captain's armband.

The stability Holland brought to Wembley, starting with nine of the team that began the 2010 World Cup final, under the same coach, Bert van Marwijk, contrasted sharply with the upheaval England have endured.

Coach and captain were making their debuts in the role - neither secure of the status beyond Wednesday night - while Leighton Baines was among the four players to keep their spots from the November win over Sweden, with Ashley Cole on the bench.

On his first England start since November 2007, Micah Richards tempered his normal attacking instincts, yet when he did get forward, the combination with Manchester City team-mate Adam Johnson was quite rewarding.

Johnson had a goalbound shot deflected wide by John Heitinga, then released Richards, whose pass to Young led to calls for a penalty when the Manchester United man half went down under Heitinga's tackle.

Yet all too quickly, Pearce had to rip up his game plan as Steven Gerrard ambled off, as a precaution it was claimed, after feeling a niggle in his hamstring. A worrying end to an unsatisfactory day all round for the man so many expected would get the job Parker was given.

Daniel Sturridge's introduction meant Johnson had to swap sides, which rather curtailed his involvement.

The new boy did well, though. Sturridge was the source of England's first shot on target after the break, when his strike flew through a packed area and was beaten away by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Holland had managed one in the opening period, from the boot of Robben, which Joe Hart was equal to.

There was also the rare sight of Robin van Persie failing to snaffle a decent chance, the Arsenal man - who shrugged off worries about a groin injury to play - scooping over from 12 yards.

Amidst it all, Parker scurried and cajoled, making his tackles, putting his body on the line and leading from the front, just as Pearce wanted.

At one point, the Tottenham midfielder was the meat in a touchline sandwich with Nigel de Jong and Dirk Kuyt, and then landed on a camera stand.

England had reason to be quite pleased with themselves, but that changed in the space of two minutes just before the hour.

Sturridge conceded possession to Robben inside his own half, failed to track back properly, then watched as the former Chelsea winger scorched to the other end of the field and exploited a momentary misunderstanding between Smalling and Cahill before drilling a precise shot past Hart.

Holland scored again on their next attack as Huntelaar got the better of Smalling to nod home Kuyt's cross.

The awful consequence of that goal was a sickening clash of heads between Huntelaar and Smalling, which ended the involvement of both in the game.

Huntelaar was so groggy that initially he still had the clump of grass in his mouth that got lodged there when he landed.

At least he was able to walk off, though. Smalling departed on a stretcher, although he was conscious.

Sturridge wasted England's best chance when he anticipated Baines' misdirected shot but then tamely turned the ball to Stekelenburg.

Cahill showed him how it should be done five minutes from time when he collected Baines' through ball and finished neatly.

It was the prelude to a mad finish as England seemed to have secured a draw in stoppage time when Phil Jones rolled a brilliant through-ball to Young, who clipped home, only for Robben's second moment of class - albeit with a deflected shot after Mark van Bommel found him following Urby Emanuelson's left-wing cross - to give the visitors victory.

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.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Thursday, 03 April 2014
04:00
USA 2-2 Mexico  
Thursday, 06 March 2014
02:00
Costa Rica 2-1 Paraguay  
01:30
Mexico 0-0 Nigeria  
01:00
Honduras 2-1 Venezuela  
Wednesday, 05 March 2014
21:00
Spain 1-0 Italy  
20:45
Portugal 5-1 Cameroon  
20:00
Australia 3-4 Ecuador  
England 1-0 Denmark Report
France 2-0 Netherlands  
19:45
Belgium 2-2 Ivory Coast  

Footer 365

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says results are all that matter

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says the team's stye of play is irrelevant as they try to stay in the top four.

World Cup: Peter Shilton backs England keeper Joe Hart

England legend Peter Shilton believes Manchester City's Joe Hart can become one of the world's top goalkeepers.

West Ham's Matt Jarvis thinks he may need to be more clever after Arsenal penalty incident

West Ham's Matt Jarvis says he may have to be "a bit more clever" after staying on his feet despite Bacary Sagna's foul.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

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