CARDIFF, Wales – Frank Lampard and Darren Bent scored early in the first half, and England dominated cross-border rival Wales on Saturday in a 2-0 victory that put the Three Lions back into first place in their European Championship qualifying group.
Frank Lampard converted a penalty kick in the seventh minute for his first international goal since September 2009 after James Collins bundled into Bent in the penalty area. Bent tapped in a cross from Young after Glenn Johnson split the defense with a pass.
England (3-0-1) moved ahead of Montenegro (3-0-1) in Group G on goal difference. Aside from a few moments of carelessness at the start of the second half, the English were rarely troubled by Wales (0-4). The win should ease some of the pressure on coach Fabio Capello, who has faced intense criticism over his handling of the decision to restore John Terry as captain.
The English were in control from the start due to the midfield trio of Scott Parker, Jack Wilshire and Young. Parker made his first international start since October 2006 and Wilshire made his competitive debut.
It was the first time the Millennium Stadium had been sold out for a match since England's last visit six years ago, and the fiery home fans booed the English national anthem.
Collins stumbled as John Terry knocked the ball forward and, while trying to recover, he caught Bent, his Aston Villa teammate.
On the second goal, Johnson launched the ball down the right flank to Young, who squared to Bent to sweep the ball into the net from close range.
In Gary Speed's first competitive match in charge of the Welsh, his team was missing Tottenham winger Gareth Bale due to hamstring troubles.
"We gave away two early goals and could not recover," Aaron Ramsey said after his first match as Wales captain. "After that we had a mountain to climb. We showed glimpses of what we are capable of doing. It was a great occasion for me, but the result has put a downer on it."
The huge gulf between the neighbors was clear. While sixth-ranked England's players all feature in the Premier League, just four Welsh starters play in the Premier League.
Despite England's dominance, striker Wayne Rooney lunged at Joe Ledley, earning a yellow card that means he will be suspended for the June 4 qualifier against Switzerland.