Fabio Capello opened a door on the future for England – and the fans did not like what they saw as the Three Lions were jeered off after defeat to France at Wembley.
Aside from Andy Carroll, who did as well as he could with such little service, and the ever-dependable Steven Gerrard, there were few straws for England to grasp until substitute Peter Crouch did what he does best within seconds of his arrival.
It took the Tottenham forward just over a minute to turn home Ashley Young’s corner and claim his 22nd international goal, joint 15th on England’s all-time list.
Unfortunately, though England continued to pump high balls into the visitors’ area, it was not enough to threaten a superior French team who had claimed a matchwinning lead through Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena and inflicted the hosts’ first defeat since their loss to Germany in Bloemfontein.
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16′ K. Benzema [0 – 1]
55′ M. Valbuena [0 – 2]
86′ P. Crouch [1 – 2]