Belfast Telegraph

Chile too hot for England as boos ring out

England were given a big wake-up call at Wembley as Chile totally outclassed Roy Hodgson's men, who were booed off the pitch after flopping to their first defeat of 2013.

Alexis Sanchez maintained the visitors' excellent record against the Three Lions, scoring six minutes into the first-half, and the Barcelona striker repeated the heroics of Chile icon Marcelo Salas by sealing a 2-0 win at the end.

Indeed, had they taken their chances, this could have been a real goal glut for the Chileans, who passed the ball with finesse and never looked troubled.

England made their task easy. The simple things seemed to evade the home side.

Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and Jean Beausejour – a man who struggles to get into the Wigan team – found it easy to stretch and pierce the England back four. Phil Jones and Gary Cahill looked unsteady at centre-back, while Leighton Baines' defensive shortcomings were highlighted when he was beaten to the ball by Sanchez for Chile's opening goal.

Wayne Rooney worked tirelessly, but was starved of supply. Adam Lallana offered glimpses of skill on his debut, but no one else – including debutant Jay Rodriguez – stood out on a morale-sapping night in front of nearly 63,000 fans at Wembley.

If England put on the same kind of performance when Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle come to town on Tuesday, then the Three Lions will be bracing themselves for a real battering.

A sense of euphoria had surrounded the team after the wins over Poland and Montenegro, but it is clear from this game that much work still has to be done ahead of next year's World Cup.

However Frank Lampard, who captained England on his 100th cap, insisted the side was not in need of a reality check as they succumbed defeat.

Lampard Roy Hodgson's side are improving and ready for another stern test at home to Germany on Tuesday.

"We didn't need a reality check," the Chelsea midfielder said.

"We are very aware of the job in hand, we are not on the moon and we are not terrible – we are somewhere in between. We have got a long way to go. We need to concentrate on what we are doing, we have got another game against top class opposition on Tuesday and we need to improve."

Lampard was also full of praise for Chile, who have also booked their place for the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

"I think they are a good team first and foremost," Lampard added. "We knew that coming in to the game. It is a different style to what we have been playing recently. It was a great exercise for us, no-one wants to lose a game, they scored early and late and we had quite a few chances in the middle.

"It is one we need to take the positives out of going forward, we created some good stuff at times."

And Lampard said he was impressed with the contribution of Saints skipper Lallana

"I thought he was very lively," he said. "Both Southampton boys deserved their chances and on another day he (Lallana) might have had two goals on his debut."

Belfast Telegraph


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