Vincent Janssen and Luciano Narsingh hand Roy Hodgson a reality check after Jamie Vardy had scored opener
- Jamie Vardy fired England in front four minutes before half-time after a passing move set up the Leicester striker
- Danny Rose gave away a penalty at the start of the second half which was converted by Vincent Janssen
- Luciano Narsingh was on hand to score the winner 13 minutes from time having been left unmarked at the far post
- England felt Phil Jagielka was fouled by Janssen in the build-up to the goal but the referee awarded the strike
A team being as strong as its weakest link, the optimism around England’s young side may need to be tempered with some abject pessimism about its defence.
England were hassled and bullied out of victory by Holland here, just as they will in all likelihood be hassled and bullied out of the European Championship by the first good team they play in the knockout stage, unless they toughen up.
Mistakes by John Stones, Danny Rose and Phil Jagielka cost them, and Roy Hodgson will have been dismayed that for the second match in succession, England conceded twice.
Holland celebrate after Luciano Narsingh had scored the winner for the visitors to hand England a reality check
Narsingh, who plays his club football for PSV, was lurking at the far post and could hardly miss with the England goal at his mercy
England felt Phil Jagielka was fouled by Vincent Janssen in the build-up to Holland’s second – and ultimately crucial – goal
England protest vehemently to the referee following the decisive goal but the Spanish official was unmoved
England: Forster 6.5, Walker 7, Smalling 7 (Jagielka 70), Stones 6, Rose 6.5 (Clyne 58, 6.5), Milner 6.5 (Alli 82), Drinkwater 7 (Dier 85), Vardy 8, Barkley 7, Lallana 7 (Kane 70, 6.5), Sturridge 7 (Walcott 58, 6.5).
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Cahill, Henderson, Welbeck
Manager: Hodgson 6.5
Goals: Vardy 41
Holland: Zoet 7, Veltman 6.5, Bruma 7, Blind 7, Willems 7 (Van Aanholt 82), Wijnaldum 7, Bazoer 7 (van Ginkel 79), Afellay 6.5, Depay 6.5, Janssen 8.5 (Clasie 90), Promes 5.5 (Narsingh 37, 7).
Subs Not Used: Vermeer, Karsdorp, van Dijk, Huntelaar, de Jong, Letschert, Vorm
Manager: Blind 6.5
Goals: Janssen 51 pen, Narsingh 77
Ref: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain) 6.5
It is hard to keep scoring three goals to win games, particularly against the best teams in Europe. England have never overturned a two-goal deficit in a competitive match, so they keep it tighter than this or forget about adding a second star to the crest on that godawful new kit.
On the bright side, Jamie Vardy was the standout England performer and scored, again, after 41 minutes. It counted for nothing, though, because Holland equalised from the penalty spot after 50 minutes, and did that, in part, because Stones was caught out playing from the back in a dangerous position.
It was Rose who conceded the penalty with a handball — he got away with a penalty area foul in the first-half, so some would call it poetic justice — but he wouldn’t have been in that position without Stones’s misfortune.
Receiving a gentle pass back, Stones came under pressure from Holland striker Vincent Janssen, making a very impressive debut and surely on the move from AZ this summer, with some observers seeing the next Ruud van Nistelrooy in him.
Attempting to change direction quickly, Stones slipped on the watery surface and fell just outside his penalty area. Janssen pounced and forced the best save of the night from Fraser Forster, whose handling was worryingly erratic otherwise. The ball moved out to the right flank and when Luciano Narsingh tried to cross it, Rose’s outstretched hand blocked the path. There were protests, but little doubt from any neutral that it was a penalty. Janssen stepped up and buried it, forcefully.
It was the first penalty England had conceded since Franck Ribery scored for France in a 1-0 win on March 26, 2008, the second match of Fabio Capello’s reign. Stones was 13 at the time, Dele Alli 11.
The winner after 77 minutes was equally dubious from an England perspective, the newly introduced Jagielka coming out a poor second in a physical battle with Janssen, and being sent sprawling to the floor. Janssen cut the ball back and Narsingh finished it into a net that was strangely unguarded.
There were complaints from England here, too, and maybe justified — but however harsh it may be there is invariably little sympathy for defenders who get beaten off the ball.
Jamie Vardy opens the scoring from close range after a neat passing move set up the in-form Leicester striker
Vardy watches as his shot flies past Jeroen Zoet in the Holland goal and hits the back of the net four minutes before the break
Vardy celebrates with Kyle Walker after following his goal against Germany with another against visitors Holland
Vardy is congratulated on his strike as the Leicester frontman carried his club form on to the international scene
Vardy returns to his own half after scoring England’s opener as Holland prepared to restart the game
A LONG TIME COMING…
The last time England conceded a penalty was in March 2008 against France. Franck Ribery scored at the Stade de France in a friendly.
It could have been worse had Spanish referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz not viewed a very obvious foul by Rose benignly in the eighth minute. Joel Veltman got the better of the Tottenham man on the right wing and Rose reacted impetuously, chasing him into the penalty area and making a clumsy challenge. Lahoz had a look and waved play on, though replays showed the Dutch to be hard done by.
England’s youthfulness has been celebrated, although too often last night the defence simply appeared callow. Typically, though, Stones later played the pass of the night to Theo Walcott.
England’s poor start appeared to come as a shock to the crowd after the fireworks of Berlin, too. They quickly fell quiet, the game initially taking place against a low rumble of conversation. Maybe the standard round of pre-match downers contributes to that. It is hard to remember an international game lately that has not been preceded by a minute of reflective silence.
On occasions such as when France visited in November so soon after the Paris atrocities, it is sensitively done and justified. On Tuesday night, as breast cancer awareness was followed by a minute of silence for the dead of Brussels and a minute of applause on 14 minutes for Johann Cruyff, it felt almost like virtue signalling.
Janssen sends Fraser Forster the wrong way to haul Holland level at Wembley after Danny Rose had conceded a penalty
Holland celebrate their equaliser after the 21-year-old AZ Alkmaar striker had kept his cool from 12 yards
The ball struck Danny Rose’s hand as it came into the box and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot
England captain James Milner protests to referee Antonio Miguel Mateu about his decision to award Holland a penalty
Commemorating Cruyff within a week of his death on the occasion of a match against Holland did not appear at all out of place. Yet what have terrorist attacks on transport locations in the Belgian capital got to do with a football match between England and Holland? Why not include the Christian community in Lahore, or any of the other victims of terrorism in recent weeks?
It is well meant, but unnecessary, and sucks the lightness out of the occasion. England started soundlessly, and so did the crowd. There was none of the thunder of the second half in Berlin when what was clearly England’s second string needed to feed on positive energy. So, ultimately, this was far from an encouraging night for Hodgson. Danny Drinkwater, on his full debut, won the sponsors’ man of the match award, although that said more for the FA’s hospitality than his emergence as the finished article at this level. He did well as a defensive screen, only put a couple of passes astray, and looking a capable understudy to Eric Dier.
Only Vardy, however, emerged from this match having entirely altered perceptions. To many, going into this game, his best use in France would be as an impact substitute. Here was a performance that cried out for more. A starting place? A role in a forward three with Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney?
However Hodgson accommodates him, the case for Vardy is increasingly compelling. It said a lot that Hodgson left him on when he introduced Kane for the final 20 minutes.
It really has been a season of wonders for Vardy. Another goal, to go with his beautiful flick against Germany, and the best of the chances, including a shot from 25 yards that brought Dutch goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet’s best save. He eclipsed his partner Daniel Sturridge, returning for England for the first time since September 3, 2014.
Danny Rose takes a tumble while challenging for the ball with Holland’s Joel Veltman
Forster started between the posts for England after Jack Butland joined Joe Hart on the sidelines
Until England opened the scoring, Holland had the better efforts on goal as Ibrahim Afellay went close for the visitors
Daniel Sturridge was making a long-awaited return from injury for England but had problems with his boots in the first half
This truly is Vardy’s time. When Sturridge last played for England, Vardy had garnered just 20 minutes of football in the Premier League. On Tuesday, he looked perfectly at home on the greatest of stages, Wembley Stadium.
It wasn’t the best of England, but friendly football does not lend itself to that. Pretty much all that England did of worth had Vardy at its heart.
Not least the goal. Less than five minutes before half-time, England took the lead. The build-up was patient enough to be careful but swift enough to test Holland who, for the first time in the match, were slow to press. It ended with a wonderful piece of skill from Adam Lallana on the edge of the area to play in Kyle Walker, on the overlap unselfishly pulling the ball back for Vardy, right place, right time, as usual this season.
This was a relatively simple finish: firm, with power, and to the heart of the target, the reception from the fans confirming him as the hero of this season. He got the biggest cheer before the game and nothing that happened last night will do anything but bring Vardy and his public closer.
These may be friendly matches, but to score against Germany, then Holland, is no bad start to any international career. It is too simplistic to dismiss his form this season, saying he merely suits Leicester’s style. Vardy is proving that he can adapt to the game that is played, even at the highest level.
A pity the same cannot be said of England’s rearguard.
Vincent Janseen attempts to get to grips with England defender Chris Smalling in the first half at the national stadium
Vardy attempts to launch an early England attack as Manchester United defender Daley Blind prepares to slide in a challenge
Smalling, who lined up alongside John Stones, comes under pressure from Holland players Janssen and Jetro Willems
Harry Kane bows his head during the minutes silence in memory of those who died in the Brussels terror attacks last week
Wembley also paid tribute to Johan Cruyff who died last week following a battle with lung cancer
The crowd applauded during the 14th minute in memory of the former Ajax, Barcelona and Holland star who died aged 68
Source: Daily Mail