England v Belgium - Live coverage - The Independent

England v Belgium

Live and direct from Wembley Stadium, minute-by-minute updates from England's final preparation game ahead of Euro 2012

  • Welcome to Wembley for this afternoon's friendly match between England and Belgium. 
    6/2/2012 3:59:29 PM
  • Without further ado, here are today's teams...
    6/2/2012 4:00:15 PM
  • England: Hart, Johnson, Cole, Gerrard (c), Cahill, Terry, Milner, Parker, Welbeck, Young, Chamberlain
    6/2/2012 4:00:44 PM
  • England subs: Jones, Green, Baines, Lescott, Jagielka, Henderson, Downing, Defoe, Rooney, Carroll, Walcott, Butland
    6/2/2012 4:00:53 PM
  • Belgium: Mignolet, G Gillet, Vertonghen, Kompany (c), Vermaelen, Mertens, Witsel, Mirallas, Hazard, Fellaini, Dembele
    6/2/2012 4:01:03 PM
  • Belgium subs: Renard, Simons, De Camargo, Pocognoli, Chadli, Benteke, Vossen, Lukaku, Odoi, De Ceulaer, Defour, Nainggolan
    6/2/2012 4:01:11 PM
  • After today the next time England kick off it will be at the European Championships against France. So this represents the last opportunity for Roy Hodgson to assess his team and the players who get some time on the pitch to stake a claim. 
    6/2/2012 4:03:27 PM
  • Forget all the talk about lowered expectations for this England side. Against France a week on Monday, a whole nation will be willing them on, hoping they can go far in the tournament. Hodgson may not have had long to prepare, but if they return from Poland and Ukraine bruised and battered, England fans will be disappointed. 
    6/2/2012 4:05:16 PM
  • Just how much expectation there is will depend much on what transpires here at Wembley this afternoon. A first rate performance will certainly see hopes sky rocket. 
    6/2/2012 4:06:26 PM
  • Hodgson has made it clear what he is looking for: "I want the players to go and show how enthusiastic they are about this tournament, how determined they are to work their socks off to get the best results possible. That their attitude towards this tournament is going to be: 'No fair minded person will be able to say we didn't give our best, we didn't work hard enough or want it badly enough'."
    6/2/2012 4:06:40 PM
  • Looking at today's team, it can be presumed that this is the starting XI for Euro 2012 Hodgson has in mind. A good performance will cement that, a poor one put their place in question. Of particular interest will be Oxlade-Chamberlain, who makes his first start for the senior side and who is quickly becoming a beacon of hope for this side.
    6/2/2012 4:07:34 PM
  • The teams are on their way out...
    6/2/2012 4:08:44 PM
  • Hodgson has a big smile on his face, a proud day indeed as he leads England at Wembley for the first time.
    6/2/2012 4:09:48 PM
  • On the way to Wembley this afternoon it's fair to say there was a carnival atmosphere in the air. Maybe it's because the sun has come out, it could be the two day bank holiday this weekend, or perhaps, just perhaps, it's the sense of hope that this could be a special summer for the England football team. A sell out crowd suggests as much.
    6/2/2012 4:10:22 PM
  • There go the national anthems...
    6/2/2012 4:12:59 PM
  • Today will certainly provide a stern test. Belgium may not have qualified for Euro 2012, but they have real quality among their ranks, not least Eden Hazard, who is to join Chelsea this summer for a huge fee. There are also familiar faces in the form of Fulham's Dembele, Everton's Fellaini, Vermaelen of Arsenal and Kompany of Manchester City.
    6/2/2012 4:13:16 PM
  • Hazard gets quite a boo from the crowd. In contrast England's players are greeted ecstatically. We're about to kick-off...
    6/2/2012 4:14:44 PM
  • 1 min: We're off...
    6/2/2012 4:15:36 PM
  • 2 min: Cole has taken a knock. He looks to be jogging it off as Belgium do the early pressing.
    6/2/2012 4:17:12 PM
  • 4 min: The atmosphere here at Wembley can't be understated. Never heard the national stadium rock so much at an England game. Welbeck and Young are leading the line for England with Chamberlain out on the left.
    6/2/2012 4:18:51 PM
  • 5 min: Fellaini had the beating of Parker there in the middle of the park but Cole deals with it well. The Chelsea full-back looks okay now after that early scare. Not much action to speak of yet as Belgium knock it around at the back.
    6/2/2012 4:20:16 PM
  • 8 min: Very clear defined lines of 4-4-2 for England. Will they get between them as it was painfully clear they needed to against Norway? Chamberlain goes on a run down the left hand side. He beats one, and is up ended by another, but the referee doesn't see it as a foul. Gerrard then pulls the ball back, Chamberlain has a clear sight of goal but completely fluffs it. Very good chance.
    6/2/2012 4:23:31 PM
  • 10 min: Johnson tries to wriggle into the box down the right hand side. He goes far but Belgium deal with the threat.
    6/2/2012 4:24:48 PM
  • 11 min: Young tries a long ball across field to Milner but it goes for a goal kick. Need better than that.
    6/2/2012 4:25:47 PM
  • 12 min: Chamberlain ventures into the middle but is sandwiched between two Belgian players and wins a free-kick. England then give it away.
    6/2/2012 4:27:03 PM
  • 13 min: Hazard and Dembele sniffing around the box for the visitors but England give them nothing.
    6/2/2012 4:28:19 PM
  • 15 min: Welbeck gets to the byline and pulls it back for Chamberlain to smash it from the edge of the box. He strikes it much better than the last one but it curls wide. Good to see him willing to have another go after that first effort.
    6/2/2012 4:30:11 PM
  • 19 min: Mertens puts it in the net for Belgium but it won't count. Cahill tried to shield the ball back to Hart but Mertens then pushed the Chelsea defender in the back, causing him to collide with the keeper. Mertens then tapped it in as the two England players lay on the ground. Cahill is still receiving treatment.
    6/2/2012 4:33:43 PM
  • 20 min: Cahill has come off for Lescott.
    6/2/2012 4:34:31 PM
  • 21 min: England need something to happen, to show a bit more purpose. All that's really happened so far for the home side is a couple of injury scares.
    6/2/2012 4:35:46 PM
  • 23 min: Milner puts the ball out of play when only a simple pass was needed. You can feel the crowd flattening. They deserve more after the early support they offered their team.
    6/2/2012 4:37:42 PM
  • 24 min: A promising attack from Belgium ends with Witsel shooting from the edge of the box. It flashes just over the bar. Close.
    6/2/2012 4:39:12 PM
  • 26 min: To keep themselves entertained, the England fans are making paper airplanes. There's a load of them flying around the stadium. Belgium are seeing much more of the ball at the moment.
    6/2/2012 4:41:06 PM
  • 27 min: Johnson gives away a free kick on the left after a clumsy challenge. It comes into the box and Fellaini very nearly has a chance to shoot before it is cleared away.
    6/2/2012 4:42:12 PM
  • 29 min: Can't remember the last time Welbeck touched the ball. This is poor from England.
    6/2/2012 4:43:38 PM
  • 31 min: Johnson tries to cut in from the right but can't beat the first man who tries to tackle him. Parker then gives away a silly free-kick in the middle of the park. England fans try to gee up their side.
    6/2/2012 4:45:46 PM
  • 32 min: England counter attack through Young and Chamberlain before the former is brought down. The Manchester United man then swings in the free-kick but it's over everyone and out for a goal kick.
    6/2/2012 4:47:28 PM
  • 34 min: Belgium attack again before a cross aimed for Fellaini somehow goes over his massive afro out behind for a goal kick.
    6/2/2012 4:49:22 PM
  • 35 min: Gerrard makes a fine, darting run through the middle but Chamberlain fails to chip it over the defence successfully.
    6/2/2012 4:50:15 PM
  • 37 min: GOAL! Welbeck for England.
    6/2/2012 4:51:17 PM
  • 38 min: Gerrard puts in a tackle high up the pitch before the ball finds Young. He threads it through perfectly for Welbeck who dinks it over the on rushing goalkeeper. Fine finish from the Manchester United striker and his first for England.
    6/2/2012 4:52:24 PM
  • 39 min: Out of nothing really that goal, and more than England deserve. But for Welbeck that goal will be huge. Expected to lead the line in Rooney's absence, notching his first will be great for his confidence.
    6/2/2012 4:54:18 PM
  • 41 min: Fellaini wins his side a corner which is cleared away by England. Hazard then shoots from range, but it's straightforward for Hart.
    6/2/2012 4:55:47 PM
  • 42 min: Hazard shows some trickery but his new team-mate Cole is up to the task.
    6/2/2012 4:56:48 PM
  • 45 min: England break through Welbeck after Cole puts in a tough tackle. The United striker gets into the box but can't beat two defenders paying him close attention.
    6/2/2012 4:59:41 PM
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