Friday September 2, 2011 Group Stage: Group G Finished Vasil Levski Stadion

Bulgaria 0 - 3 England

  • Cahill 13’
  • Rooney 21’, 45’

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  1. Euro 2012 qual. - Rooney on form as England crush Bulgaria

    Euro 2012 qual. - Rooney on form as England crush Bulgaria

    England barely broke a sweat in a 3-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Bulgaria that saw Wayne Rooney score twice at the Vasil Levski Stadion. More

  • Live Commentary

    • Bulgaria
    • England
    • 90+2 And that's it. Engand win 3-0, all the damage done in the first half as they go top by rights - definitely on goal difference and probably on points, unless Montenegro turn around a 2-0 deficit. Tell me what you thought of that game on Twitter.
    • 90+2 Great tackle from Smalling as Marquinhos went clean through! Now England break through Milner and Rooney is clear, can he find him, yes he can but the ball drops awkwardly and he can't get the shot away!
    • 90+1 The England fans respond to the aggro with the national anthem. My how things have changed. Two minutes added on.
    • 90' The tackles fly in late on as Bulgaria loose their cool, Georgiev on Terry and Parker taken out too. More nonsense as fireworks are lobbed towards Hart, who moves infield to evade any missiles.
    • 89' Oh for Pete's sake. An object is thrown at Hart but misses. Play on.
    • 88' Rooney slides in to meet a low ball across from Milner but he just fails to connect!
    • 87' Milanov gives away another free kick, hauling down Cole.
    • - Hearing reports from fans and pundits at the ground that Young was taken off to spare him the monkey chants from some Bulgarian fans. Really? Come on UEFA sort it out.
    • 85' Milanov with a late tackle and a card for him.
    • 84' ENGLAND SUB: Adam Johnson is on for Walcott.
    • 83' Hart makes a poor backpass from Cahill and clears well, caught by Marquinhos though.
    • 82' Even Fabio Capello is having a joke and a laugh with his staff on the bench. That's how easy this has been.
    • - Great news for England - Aaron Ramsey has made it 2-0 to Wales as the wheels finally come off Montenegro. England set to be clear leaders.
    • 80' BULGARIA SUB: Marquinhos on for Popov. Yes, he is Brazilian.
    • 79' ENGLAND SUB: Lampard comes on for his mate Barry.
    • 77' This match was long won but Rooney wins the ball and releases Milner with an outrageous flick. Talk about turning defence into attack!
    • 76' Lampard is warming up. I wonder if he'll throw a Ben Foster-esque hissy fit and retire from international football? Doubt it...
    • - One of you pointed out that earlier I made a mental slip and called Nikolay Mihailov, the Bulgaria keeper, Boris. D'oh! Boris, of course, is his more famous Dad.
    • 74' Bad miss by Walcott after Rooney sent him scuttling clean through with a lovely through ball! Somehow Theo - who has had a good game otherwise - miskicks it wide. A bobble at the last it seems.
    • 73' Milanov pulls down Rooney. England opt for possession. It yields a corner, Walcott tackled by Zanev.
    • 72' Drilled low and wide by POpov but I think it got a touch... no. Goal kick.
    • 71' Bozhilov takes Milner down on the right. Taken short to Rooney this time, back wide to Downing who clips in a super cross with his weaker right but just about scrambled clear. England have it back. Cole plays Downing in and he's through but just offside!
    • 70' Bodurov hacks down Milner and England have a free-kick on the right wing. Downing to take left-footed... headed away for a throw. Delivery too short.
    • 69' Bulgaria finally get some time on the ball but England chase and harry them all the way back to the keeper.
    • 68' Dipping cross from Barry and Rooney rises but, with not enough pace on the ball, can only put the header wide.
    • 67' Milner wins a free-kick off Milanov as England dominate their hosts. Must have had the ball for a good few minutes now.
    • 66' Downing chases a semi-lost cause and does well to reclaim it. England play keep ball again.
    • 65' England controlling this match as they have done since 2-0. Good possession play now.
    • 64' skypoetone - "Ball to arm cannot be handball.... what is with the­ commentary?". I said ""Suspicions of handball in the build-up to that­ third goal, the ball striking Parker's arm early in­ the move". The clue is in the word - 'suspicions'. Look it up.
    • 63' Great cross from Zanev but no-one there to meet it and it flies away for a goal kick.
    • 62' ENGLAND SUB: Milner on for Young.
    • 61' BULGARIA SUB: Genko off for Bozhilov.
    • 60' Walcott combines with Young and almost wriggles in but Bulgaria clear. Tried to do it all alone, should have cut it back. Good defending Sarmov in the end.
    • 59' Sarmov booked. He came on at half time.
    • - The header for Joe Hart's save was from Stiliyan Petrov it sees - Popov met it first but the Villa man flew in, making it an even better save.
    • 58' A training-ground routine fails to come off as Petrov (M) overruns it.
    • 57' Popov wins a free-kick around 30 yards out. Parker sliding in. Careful lad.
    • 56' MIHAILOV TIPS IT AWAY! Parker with the booming rising drive after running through on goal.
    • 55' DOWNING HITS THE POST! Great looping header from a tough angle after another great cross from Walcott.
    • 55' GREAT SAVE HART! He's had little to do all game but a superb reflex stop from point-blank range as Popov I think flicked on Martin Petrov's header.
    • 54' Petrov finds Popov on the edge of the box but Parker clears. Bulgaria swarming forward as Milanov pops up on the right but Smalling with a good defensive header saves the day.
    • 53' England are all over Bulgaria now as Young is played in on the left but he looks for the cross instead of a cut-back and shot, I think that was the better option: the cross is blocked.
    • 52' Clever routine for the free-kick that doesn't come off: Downing short to Young, he shapes to cross but slides Downing away on the overlap. His cross is blocked though.
    • 51' England have a free-kick, taken quickly for Young who is fouled by Popov.
    • 50' Good ball in from Martin Petrov and Ivanov rises well but heads over.
    • 49' Georgiev somewhat fortunate to win a free-kick after running straight at Cole. Defoe warming up, I assume for Rooney once the result is clear.
    • 48' Decent start to this second half for Bulgaria, Lothar probably had a few choice words at the break.
    • 47' Milanov gets away from Parker and could be in here but a poor low cross from the right is hoofed to touch.
    • 46' The second half is underway.
    • - Good news for England fans - Wales are leading Montenegro 1-0 in their game. Remember, the tiny Balkan nation - who have massively overachieved thus far - are level on points with group leaders England.
    • - Suspicions of handball in the build-up to that third goal, the ball striking Parker's arm early in the move. What do you think of that half of football? Engage with me on Twitter at half-time and beyond.
    • 45+1 Half time and a new-look, youngish England team are dominating, 3-0 and playing some good counter-attacking football.
    • 45' 3-0! Rooney makes it three! Lovely goal for England, super incisive passing a la Arsenal that is finished off by a super low cross from Young that Rooney taps in far post. Great disguises ball from Walcott to release Young.
    • 44' Walcott just fails to check his run after some nice one-touch play involving Rooney and Downing.
    • 44' The referee decides Walcott's good sliding tackle from the side is a foul. No. England win it back though, only for the ref to call play up for a minor foul.
    • 43' Yes, the fan chat is because nowt is really on at the moment. England clearly happy to ride it out until half time, Bulgaria have huffed and puffed but to no avail.
    • - New Glaswegian: "The Bulgarian manager looks like a hung over Captain­ Kirk in a cheap suit!" - he's called Lothar Matthaeus. You may have heard of him...
    • - Jameshodges: "How can Rooney "have a towering header". Bit­ hard to believe." - it's called 'jumping'.
    • 41' Young brings the ball clear. Now Downing on the right, near-post cross for Walcott but flicked away by Zanev.
    • 40' Good spell for the hosts as Martin Petrov has a chance to play it in from the left but again England hold firm.
    • 39' Bandalovski with some lovely feet wide right. Now Popov crosses but Cahill pounds a header away.
    • 38' Bulgaria trying to throw everything at England as Smaling misjudges a high ball but Georgiev's cross is overhit.
    • 37' Hart may look a touch shaky tonight but he isn't Rob Green - a Petrov daisy-cutter is well watched and fielded by the City keeper.
    • 35' Ball over the top plays Rooney onside but he's all alone and waits for Downing. Back to Barry, who drills a low shot in but blocked by the defence. Parker fouls Popov. Final warning from the ref. No. He books him after deliberating.
    • 34' Young and Zanev collide, Young wants a free-kick but it's gone the other way.
    • 33' Great feint and cross from Georgiev but Cole flies back to head away.
    • 32' Bulgaria seeing a lot of the ball now but England largely seem to have it under check as Cole slides in on Popov to bring it clear.
    • 31' Cool defending from Cahill to bring it away from Genkov after the Wisla forward wriggled clear.
    • 30' Rooney almost slides Walcott in but Bodurov intercepts.
    • 29' Hart misjudges a cross and is saved by Smalling who heads away. Well played Smalling. Hart having a bit of a mare today, I suppose his place is safe as houses with dufuses like Foster and Robinson making themselves unavailable.
    • 28' Cole is annoyed after a challenge from Bandalovski but fair says the ref. England throw.
    • 27' Mihailov claims the corner to groans from England fans.
    • 26' Rooney almost wriggles clear as Walcott cleverly plays him in but hacked out for a throw. Walcott looking excellent so far.
    • 25' A lull in this match now as England sit back and beckon the hosts on.
    • 24' Bulgaria on the ball but a cross aimed for Popov skims off his head and out for a throw.
    • 23' Fan input: "Anyone noticed, Cahill, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing,­ Gareth Barry, all ex Villa players With Milner on the­ bench." - cheers Andrew. Villa!
    • 22' 2-0! Goal England and Rooney with a towering header thanks to some slack marking. Downing with the assist from the corner.
    • 21' Rooney takes Barry's ball on the chest, spins and shoots but sees his drive hit a defender and fly wide for a corner.
    • 20' Poor from Young who plays it behind Walcott as he zipped into acres of space on the left, having switched with Downing.
    • 19' England go to sleep as a ball across the box is left for Petrov, he has acres of space and drills it through Smalling's legs but well wide of the far post. Cahill at fault initially with a poor header.
    • 18' Walcott wins and takes a free-kick quickly but Downing is well tackled as he tries to race past Bodurov.
    • 17' Parker wins a free-kick as Bulgaria looked set to counter. Clever play to draw a foul from Petrov.
    • 16' England are dominating now, keeping possession well but they do look short in midfield without Wilshere....
    • 15' Great chipped ball by Rooney to leave the defence flat, Cole unable to bring it down though.
    • 15' Poor kick again from Hart but Bulgaria are outnumbered and have to move sideways.
    • 14' Popov springs the offside trap but a poor touch takes it to the keeper Hart.
    • 13' The corner isn't cleared, Barry plays it back in, great touch on the chest from Cahill and he slides it under the keeper to trickle home for his first England goal. Rooney seemed offside...
    • 12' 1-0! GOAL ENGLAND! Gary Cahill!
    • 11' England finally remember how to pass the ball, good spell this as Cole's shot is deflected behind. Corner.
    • 10' Hart under pressure meets the backpass with a wild kick to touch.
    • 9' England rob Bulgaria on halfway but Downing fails to release Rooney. Lost opportunity. Walcott slides Smalling in, great cross but hacked away by Bulgaria.
    • 8' Downing is caught offside on a rare foray forward for England. Not the best start, can't get any passes together.
    • 7' Berbatov is watching from the stands, having quit playing for his country.
    • 6' Parker with a slightly late trip on Georgiev, this time there was contact. Bulgaria waste possession though, out for a goal kick with Milanov nowhere near.
    • 5' Georgiev takes a tumble over Parker's challenge, a dive at best, now Petrov (M) has a pop but well wide.
    • 4' A couple of aimless long balls from England, the latter from Parker aimed at Young but well clear of him.
    • 3' Lovely defending from Cole as he brings down a high ball and eases it clear of danger.
    • 2' Good spell of possession by Bulgaria now but Cahill coolly strokes the ball clear with Popov lurking.
    • 1' I don't like this new England kit - it looks like Coventry away from the 90s. Early touch for Downing but he can't get past the right back.
    • 1' The first half is underway. England in navy, Bulgaria in white. Remember - England have only lost two of their last 19 competitive games, against Ukraine after they'd already qualified and, ahem, against Germany in the World Cup second round.
    • 19:10 Tonight’s referee is Belgian Frank De Bleeckere. And the odds are Bulgaria 6/1, England 8/15, draw 3/1
    • 19:05 According to Phil McNulty of the Beeb the teamsheet handed out at the stadium has Stewart Downing listed as an Everton player. Banter...
    • 19:00 Lothar Matthaeus: "To play against a nation with such a great history is very special and the players must know that such games are remembered for a long time. I would like to play against England but unfortunately I can't, I'll only be on the bench. My players must not run like a mouse from a cat ... I want them to play like Germans."
    • 18:55 Fabio Capello on England’s youngsters: "Some are ready, some are probably a risk because they didn't play at this level in such important games with the national team. When you play important games for your club, you know the players who play with you, their movement, where you receive the ball. Here it's different. You play with the other team-mates, but sometimes you are alone."
    • 18:50 FACT: England have never been defeated by Bulgaria, winning five and drawing four of their nine previous clashes; Bulgaria have only netted just two goals in nine previous meetings with England combined.
    • 18:45 Let's not forget about Bulgaria, who are without injured Litex midfielder Hristo Yanev; Terek Grozny's Blagoy Georgiev comes in for him. Also a return in goal for Boris Mihailov of Twente, the former Liverpool keeper. Martin Petrov, the Bolton winger, starts after a back scare.
    • 18:40 Some of you are asking why Lampard has been dropped and not Barry or Parker - for the 4-2-3-1 we're seeing you need two sitting midfielders; Lampard is more forward-minded.
    • 18:35 By the way, another learning from that England team is that Darren Bent is deemed unfit following his groin tickle. May have something to do with the shift in formation. Also clap clap to David Stockdale, on the bench as back-up keeper. He is on loan at Ipswich from Fulham.
    • 18:30 That is a VERY attacking - and rather young - line-up for England. Lampard makes way then as England go to a 4-2-3-1 formation, the kind Fergie uses at United. No coincidence then that three United players start, with Chris Smalling getting in at right-back thanks to Glen Johnson's injury and his own excellent form. What do you think? Engage/harass me on Twitter!
    • 18:30 TEAMS - Bulgaria: Mihailov, Zanev, Bodurov, Milanov, Bandalovski, Ivanov, Georgiev, Martin Petrov, Stiliyan Petrov, Popov, Genkov; Subs: Vladislav Stoyanov, Iliev, Marquinhos, Sarmov, Raykov, Kostadin Stoyanov, Kostadin Stoyanov /// England: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Walcott, Parker, Barry, Downing, Young, Rooney; Subs: Stockdale, Jagielka, Baines, Milner, Lampard, Johnson, Defoe
    • 18:25 BREAKING NEWS! Frank Lampard has been dropped, left out for the first time in a competitive match since 2007! Well then.
    • 18:20 England lie top of Group G, with 11 points and ahead of Montenegro on goal difference and six points clear of surprise flops Switzerland, who held England to a 2-2 draw at Wembley last time out. Bulgaria, meanwhile, are level with the Swiss on five points but have a poor goal difference - thanks mostly to a 4-0 loss to England in the opening match of this qualifying campaign. Group G details.
    • 18:15 Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of England's Euro 2012 qualifier in Bulgaria, kicking off in an hour at the the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia.
  • Summary

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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Bulgaria

    Manager: Lothar Matthäus

  • England

    Manager: Fabio Capello

  • Line-up

  • Rate Players

    Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      4.1 6
      3.8 6
      4 5
      Yellow Card 4.4 5
      Substitution Out46′ 3.8 5
      4.1 6
      5.1 6
      4.1 6
      4.6 6
      Substitution Out81′ 4.2 6
      Substitution Out61′ 4.5 6
      Substitution In46′ Yellow Card 5.2 7
      Substitution In61′ 5.3 6
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      6.5 6
      6.3 6
      Goal 7 8
      5.3 7
      5.7 7
      Yellow Card 6 7
      Substitution Out80′ 5.2 7
      Substitution Out83′ 6.1 7
      Substitution Out61′ 6.8 7
      6.4 6
      Goals ×2 7.2 8
      Substitution In80′ 5.1 6
      Substitution In61′ 5.5 7
      Substitution In83′ 5.2 6

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