Belfast Telegraph

Roy Hodgson moans as England's bubble burst by classy Dutch

England 1-2 Holland

By Simon Peach

Roy Hodgson felt England were "hard done by" in the 2-1 defeat to Holland, a result that saw his side return to earth with a bump following the euphoria of the 3-2 win away to Germany on Saturday night.

The life of Dutch great Johan Cruyff - who died last week and wore number 14 throughout his glittering career - was celebrated by a standing ovation in the 14th minute.

Hodgson was disappointed by his team's performance.

"I think we were hard done by, I didn't think we deserved to lose the game," he said.

"It was nothing like the performance I was hoping for, we weren't as intensive or inventive as we were on Saturday night and we drifted to defeat.

"We learned a lot. It was important to change the team and give people a chance at Wembley to see what they could do."

Striker Jamie Vardy was frustrated after scoring in a second successive international but ending up on the losing side at Wembley.

"It's an unbelievable feeling but the result is disappointing," said the Leicester forward, who has scored 19 Premier League goals this season in firing his side to the brink of an unlikely title and boosting his own England chances.

"I have to carry on playing how I have been playing in the league and we will see what happens," he added.

Captain for the night James Milner echoed his England team-mate's frustration.

"We didn't hit the heights we did at the weekend," he said.

"Two decisions could have gone the other way for the goals but we don't want to moan about the referee.

"We haven't played well enough to win the game. We had the majority of the possession and pressed well but we didn't do enough with it."

England fell to just their second defeat since the World Cup as Hodgson's men lost to a Holland side not even good enough to reach Euro 2016.

Impressive progress has been made since the Three Lions' embarrassing exit in Brazil, including reaching this summer's finals with a 100 per cent record.

However, there was little of the intensity, drive and quality seen in Saturday's remarkable comeback win in Germany as Holland themselves came from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley.

It was a reality check after back-to-back wins over Euro 2016 favourites France and Germany, although Vardy again impressed and followed up his wonderful flick at the Olympiastadion by finishing a lovely team move.

The in-form striker looks a shoo-in for the squad named on May 12, when Hodgson faces some difficult decisions.

England boast impressive strength in depth up front but look susceptible at the back, with John Stones' recent poor form compounded by a slip that needed keeper Fraser Forster to come to the rescue.

However, Danny Rose was adjudged to have handled as the move continued and Vincent Janssen scored from the spot, before controversially overpowering substitute Phil Jagielka and crossing for Luciano Narsingh to net the winner.

Hodgson's anger at the goal was as clear as the players', but the England manager will no doubt focus on positives such as Vardy's display and a solid debut from Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater.

The midfielder's inclusion was one of eight changes and that appeared to impact the defensive coherence, with Rose fortunate not to concede an early penalty on his second England appearance.

The Tottenham full-back got off with the challenge on Joel Veltman and the hosts attempted to capitalise, with Vardy closed out before he could direct the ball goalwards.

Focus soon turned to the big screens at Wembley where the late Cruyff's image was met by a standing ovation in the 14th minute, having earlier been remembered in a minute's silence that also paid tribute to those caught in the Brussels terror attacks.

ENGLAND: Forster, Walker, Smalling (Jagielka 70), Stones, Rose (Clyne 58), Drinkwater (Dier 85), Milner (Alli 82), Lallana (Kane 70), Barkley, Sturridge (Walcott 58), Vardy. Goal: Vardy 41. Subs not used: Heaton, Cahill, JHenderson, Welbeck.

HOLLAND: Zoet, Veltman, Bruma, Blind, Willems (Van Aanholt 82), Wijnaldum, Bazoer (Van Ginkel 79), Afellay, Promes (Narsingh 37), Janssen (Clasie 90), Depay.

Goals: Janssen (pen) 50, Narsingh 77 Subs not used: Karsdorp, Van Dijk, Huntelaar, De Jong, Letschert, Vorm, Vermeer. Man of the match: Drinkwater

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Antonio Miguel Lahoz (Spain)

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph