skip to content
Martin Petrov is caught offside. Gary Cahill takes the direct free kick.
The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Rangelov. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Unfair challenge on Zhivko Milanov by James Milner results in a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
Wayne Rooney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dimitar Rangelov. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
Ashley Young comes on in place of Adam Johnson.
Jermain Defoe goes off and Ashley Young comes on.
Handball decision goes against Chavdar Yankov. Gareth Barry takes the free kick.
A goal is scored by Jermain Defoe from deep inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. England 4-0 Bulgaria.Assist by Wayne Rooney.
Adam Johnson gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. England 3-0 Bulgaria.Assist on the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
Jermain Defoe produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
Adam Johnson has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Corner taken by James Milner, Georgi Peev on for Ivelin Popov. Clearance made by Chavdar Yankov.
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save by Nikolay Mihailov.
Adam Johnson comes on in place of Theo Walcott.
Corner taken left-footed by Martin Petrov, Joe Hart makes a save.
Shot on goal by Theo Walcott from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
Headed effort from inside the area by Dimitar Rangelov misses to the right of the target.
James Milner takes a short corner.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Zhivko Milanov on James Milner. Corner from the left by-line taken by James Milner, clearance made by Stanislav Angelov.
Dimitar Rangelov takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart. Stiliyan Petrov takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Cole. Veselin Minev comes on in place of Stanislav Manolev. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Martin Petrov.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stanislav Manolev on James Milner. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Dimitar Rangelov. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on James Milner by Ivelin Popov results in a free kick. Ivelin Popov is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. (Bulgaria) makes a substitution, with Dimitar Rangelov coming on for Valeri Bojinov. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Jermain Defoe scores a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. England 2-0 Bulgaria.The assist for the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
Stanislav Angelov takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
Effort from just outside the area by Glen Johnson goes over the bar.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by James Milner, clearance by Stiliyan Petrov.
Phil Jagielka fouled by Valeri Bojinov, the ref awards a free kick. Phil Jagielka takes the free kick.
Gary Cahill on for Michael Dawson.
Effort from the edge of the area by Ivelin Popov goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Shot from 20 yards by Wayne Rooney. Save by Nikolay Mihailov. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the right by-line to the near post.
Wayne Rooney challenges Chavdar Yankov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Zhivko Milanov by Theo Walcott. Free kick crossed right-footed by Martin Petrov, Phil Jagielka makes a clearance.
Valeri Bojinov has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
Unfair challenge on Nikolay Mihailov by Jermain Defoe results in a free kick. Nikolay Mihailov restarts play with the free kick.
James Milner decides to take the corner short.
James Milner takes a shot. Zhivko Milanov gets a block in.
Jermain Defoe concedes a free kick for a foul on Iliyan Stoyanov. Direct free kick taken by Nikolay Mihailov.
The offside flag is raised against James Milner. Nikolay Mihailov takes the free kick.
Corner taken by James Milner from the right by-line played to the near post, Valeri Bojinov makes a clearance.
James Milner takes a shot. Nikolay Mihailov makes a save.
James Milner delivers the ball, clearance by Zhivko Milanov.
Gareth Barry fouled by Chavdar Yankov, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.
Foul by Iliyan Stoyanov on Wayne Rooney, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner played to the near post, clearance by Stiliyan Petrov.
Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Michael Dawson results in a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov restarts play with the free kick.
Steven Gerrard challenges Stanislav Angelov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stiliyan Petrov takes the direct free kick.
James Milner delivers the ball, clearance by Iliyan Stoyanov.
The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, clearance made by Zhivko Milanov.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Theo Walcott goes wide right of the target.
Stanislav Angelov concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Gerrard. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
Jermain Defoe finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. England 1-0 Bulgaria.Assist on the goal came from Ashley Cole.
Gareth Barry challenges Ivelin Popov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ivelin Popov.
The referee gets the match started.
The whistle is blown to end the first half.
The second half has started.
The final whistle goes and the game is over.
Fabio Capello insists he is not nursing a sense of grievance that
Chelsea duo John Terry and Frank Lampard have both pulled out of
England's crucial Euro 2012 opener against Bulgaria.
After his turbulent experience at the World Cup, England need to make a
solid start to their qualification campaign in order to relieve the
pressure on Capello, who is under scrutiny like never before.
Yet the Three Lions must face their immediate future without two of
their most senior players.
In both instances, the players featured for their clubs on Saturday,
Lampard missing a penalty and Terry completing the full 90 minutes of a
home victory against Stoke.
But within hours, Chelsea were confirming the pair would miss England's
first competitive international, Lampard to have a groin operation and
Terry because of a hamstring injury and various other aches and pains.
Strange on Arteta / Will Tidey on
England v Bulgaria / Follow
it LIVE from 8pm / Bulgaria
As both men are expected to feature for their clubs when the domestic
programme resumes later this month, it hardly suggests a huge level of
However, Capello insists in both instances, the course of action that
has been taken makes perfect sense.
"We know Frank Lampard needs an operation to be ready for his club and
the next game with us," outlined Capello.
"John Terry has been playing with an injection because all the other
Chelsea defenders were injured.
"He told us he had to stay at home because he cannot play all the games.
"At half-time in the game against Hungary he said he couldn't carry on.
He was with us then. Now he needs to relax in order to be fit for the
James Milner will fill Lampard's midfield vacancy while Phil Jagielka's
timely return to training this morning after he recovered from an ankle
injury sustained in Everton's Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on
Sunday means Capello has a ready-made replacement for Terry.
The loss of Scott Carson to a family bereavement should not cause too
many headaches given Joe Hart had already been earmarked for the
Although not quite a new face given he was in South Africa, Hart is
bringing some freshness to a rather familiar-looking England side.
"Joe is my number one goalkeeper," said Capello.
"He is good. He has improved a lot. He played last season with
Birmingham but was too young for South
"Now we have changed some things and he is doing very well."
Although they can no longer count on the services of their most talented
player, Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgaria are a decent team and, in Martin
Petrov, have a player of extreme pace operating on the left flank who
has caused a succession of Premier League defences some problems.
Indeed, while Bulgaria have never actually beaten England in their eight
meetings so far, they have managed four draws, three of which have come
on English soil.
A perfect time therefore, for Wayne Rooney to break his 10-game
international barren streak after finally finding the net for Manchester
United in front of Capello at Old Trafford on Saturday.
"I hope Wayne Rooney will score. Sometimes the bookmakers find a
solution," smiled Capello when informed that Rooney was favourite to be
the first to find the net.
"It was important for him to get the penalty against West Ham. It is
important for every forward to score goals.
"It is a good moment for him and he will be okay for the game against
Capello is too experienced to give any indication that the mounting
pressure is getting to him.
In all probability, he will be forced to live with doubts until, or if,
England reach Euro 2012 and perform to somewhere approaching their
For the moment though, he is existing through short periods.
Next month's home encounter with Montenegro is seen as the first
appropriate time for reflection.
But failure to beat Bulgaria would get the nerves jangling, and the
"The players have trained very well," Capello confirmed.
"They were compact with a good spirit.
"We have to play well and we have to win.
"I am always enthusiastic about my job. When you win you are the best.
When you lose, you are the worst. You have to live with both moments."
Defoe stars in routine win
Jermain Defoe gave the surgeon's knife a swerve and instead carved up Bulgaria with his first England hat-trick as Fabio Capello's side eased to a 4-0 victory.
Defoe put off a groin operation that threatened to rule him out of England's opening Euro 2012 qualifier and gained perfect reward in a deserved win that eased some of the pressure that has been building around Capello.
It took the striker's tally to 15 goals in 44 games. More importantly it moves England straight to the top of Group G.
Another three points in Switzerland on Tuesday and the England boss can start to go about his work in some security again.
He will travel to Basle without Michael Dawson though after the Tottenham man suffered an awful-looking knee injury.
However, after his World Cup trauma, Capello has started to make good decisions again.
Aside from Defoe's obvious matchwinning contribution, Theo Walcott and Joe Hart were outstanding and James Milner looked far more comfortable on the left flank than he did in South Africa.
It will also have pleased him that a substitute, Adam Johnson, scored England's third goal and broke his own international duck on his third appearance.
In claiming he has been built up into a god or a monster by the media, depending on results, Capello also knows his aura of infallibly has been stripped away.
The brutal truth is that from now until such time as England are lining up for their opening match of the European Championships in either Poland or the Ukraine, every success will be met with some scepticism.
Defoe scored after three minutes. Of course, England scored with similar speed in their opening World Cup game against the United States. They didn't win it.
The Three Lions played with verve and panache at times and thoroughly deserved their victory. Then again, they did that nine times in 10 qualifying games under Capello to reach the World Cup. What good did it do them thereafter?
Questions will be asked at every turn. We know Capello is a good coach. It will take him a long while to prove he is a good England coach.
Still, while there are grounds for optimism, the Italian is perfectly entitled to stand on them.
He may have selected seven of the side chiefly responsible for the debacle against Germany in Bloemfontein but there was a definite freshness about his team.
Two of the four who had no part in the Germany match, Hart and Walcott, were among the better performers.
Frank Lampard and John Terry, who both pulled out through injury, and Rio Ferdinand, who was never in contention, were not missed at all.
England could not have made a better start.
Wayne Rooney's pass released Ashley Cole whose initial shot was parried by Nikolay Mihaylov.
The Chelsea man was on to the rebound in a flash and when he turned it back for Defoe, the player who by rights should now be recovering from groin surgery provided an excellent first-time finish.
Walcott's pace caused Bulgaria huge difficulties during a frantic English attacking display. James Milner had a shot deflected wide and Defoe just failed to connect with a low Walcott cross.
The only time England found themselves in trouble was their own fault, when Glen Johnson's attempt to turn Ivelin Popov's cross away for a corner instead threatened a horrendous own goal until Hart plunged across to his right to make a vital save.
Rooney is still struggling to find his touch and at times looked well off the pace. But a sublime chip five minutes into the second half was a reminder of the talent he possesses and Mihaylov needed to make a fingertip save to deny the Manchester United man.
Three direct assists are not to be sniffed at either, even if his international goal drought now extends to 11 games.
Dawson's horrible injury followed. Slow motion replays showed the defender's left knee buckling under him.
As he was carried off in obvious pain, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that he will not be back on a football pitch again for some considerable time, which is heartbreaking for him, and devastating for Harry Redknapp given his opportunity to bring in a replacement ended three days ago.
There followed a pivotal 15 seconds, which started with an excellent Hart reaction save to repel Martin Petrov.
England countered immediately and a flowing move involving Gareth Barry, Steven Gerrard and Rooney ended with Defoe firing through Mihaylov's legs.
Johnson's strike eased England further clear and paved the way for Defoe to complete his momentous three-timer four minutes from time.
The Tottenham striker suffered some kind of twinge as he celebrated and was immediately replaced by Ashley Young.
Capello was left to hope the recovery will be swift, and Defoe confirmed within minutes of the final whistle that he will be ready to face the Swiss.
"Man Utd v Everton"
© 2004 - 2013 football.co.uk