England got their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign back on track here Saturday, cruising to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium.
Frank Lampard and Darren Bent scored the goals to secure a straightforward win which saw England return to the top of Group G on goal difference and eased the pressure on beleaguered manager Fabio Capello.
Capello’s bungled decision to reinstate John Terry as captain at the expense of Rio Ferdinand had left the Italian manager desperately needing a convincing win to staunch the flow of criticism.
But any possibility of a Welsh upset was snuffed out within the first 15 minutes as England forged into a 2-0 lead against opponents who were every bit as mediocre as their pre-match world ranking of 116 suggested.
England, fielding a new-look formation which featured West Ham’s Scott Parker stationed in front of the back four, allowing Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard to push forward, took the lead on seven minutes.
Neat interplay between captain Terry and Ashley Young ended with the Aston Villa winger being clumsily brought down by club-mate James Collins for a certain penalty. Lampard stepped up to bury his 22nd international goal.