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England see off Switzerland in Basel

Switzerland 1-3 England
Goals from Wayne Rooney and substitutes Adam Johnson and Darren Bent continued England's winning start against ten-man Switzerland.

England see off Switzerland in Basel
England see off Switzerland in Basel ©UEFA.com

Goals from Wayne Rooney and substitutes Adam Johnson and Darren Bent ensured England made it six points out of six in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying with a 3-1 victory in Switzerland.

Rooney followed up his excellent display against Bulgaria with his first competitive international goal since September 2009 as England dominated the first period. Johnson then looked to have wrapped things up following Stephan Lichtsteiner's second-half dismissal, but although a brilliant strike from Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Basel fans brief hope, Bent's late finish made absolutely sure that England maintained their Group G lead.

After emerging to a pulsating reception from both sets of supporters at a rainy St. Jakob-Park, England sought to get at Switzerland early on and were rewarded in their first meaningful attack of the game. Rooney sprinted in to meet Glen Johnson's low cross on ten minutes and England never relinquished control after his emphatic finish.

Jermaine Defoe, a hat-trick scorer in England's 4-0 defeat of Bulgaria on Friday, consistently managed to get himself into promising positions, narrowly missing out on a subtle Rooney chip through the centre and then a fizzing cross from the left by James Milner shortly afterwards.

Switzerland threatened for the first time when the unmarked David Degen volleyed over at the far post, but still it was England on top as half-time drew nearer, Rooney again teeing up Defoe to blast straight at Diego Benaglio. The Tottenham Hotspur FC striker was then heroically denied in the air by Stéphane Grichting with the goalmouth yawning.

It took until midway through the second period for Ottmar Hitzfeld's side to put their guests under any sustained pressure, but just when they were showing menace, Lichtsteiner received a second yellow card for a challenge on Milner. England quickly capitalised on their numerical advantage as the impressive Johnson, on for the injured Theo Walcott in the wake of the opening goal, raced clear before rounding Benaglio and scoring in his second straight qualifier.

The ten men of Switzerland nonetheless reduced the deficit almost immediately when FC Basel 1893's own Shaqiri crashed a thumping left-foot strike into the top corner for his first senior international goal. Unperturbed, Fabio Capello's men responded swiftly by ending any suspense when Ashley Cole threaded in Bent. England remain top of the section on goal difference ahead of Montenegro, who welcome Switzerland on 8 October before visiting Wembley four days later.