Welbeck inspires England to Switzerland victory

England got their European qualifying campaign off to the perfect start as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Switzerland in Basel.

The Swiss had been tipped to pile even more pressure on under-fire Roy Hodgson however in the end two goals from Danny Welbeck sealed the three points.

England made two changes from the side that narrowly beat Norway 1-0 with Welbeck coming in for the injured Daniel Sturridge while the other change saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make way for Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph.

Delph was making his competitive debut and appeared eager to impress as he got booked early on for a clumsy challenge. While the young midfielder caught the eye with an encouraging debut the main talking point was the tactics used by Hodgson.

The former Liverpool man has come under pressure in recent months following a poor world cup and abject performance against the Norwegians however against the Swiss he was spot on, playing a diamond formation designed to bring the best out of Raheem Sterling.

While Sterling was not as lively as previous games, the formation suited an England side that appear more comfortable when they don’t have the ball. The midfield trio of Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Delph harried and chased their opponents, never giving them a second on the ball.

Welbeck opened the scoring for England on 58 minutes with the newly signed Arsenal man reminding those at Old Trafford that he can finish. The goal was the strikers first for England in over a year but he didn’t have to wait as long for his second as in injury time he struck again finishing well after being teed up by Rickie Lambert.

While England were comfortable victors they didn’t it have all their own way and they were indebted to two vital saves by goalkeeper Joe Hart from Haris Seferovic and a goal-line clearance from Gary Cahill.

However in the end they deserved the three points and having disposed of their main challengers in the group they will be confident going into the games with San Marino, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia.

Trevor Keane

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.

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