England remain undefeated in their quest to qualify for the 2015 European Championship finals next June, as they beat Wales tonight in Cardiff. Despite the recent senior call-ups for the likes of Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and John Stones, England were still able to field a strong outfit.
Two goals from Norwich's Nathan Redmond in the first half ensured that England went into the break with the lead. The combination of Redmond and Everton left-back Luke Garbutt was just too much for the Welsh defense as England constantly opened up the boys in red with their play down the left hand side. England were finding it so easy, Wales substituted their right back Kieron Freeman at half time.
Redmond opened the scoring after just 18 minutes, taking advantage of a Welsh slip to race into the box and fire into the bottom corner. However it was soon cancelled out by a Gwion Edwards header after James Ward-Prowse found himself on the wrong side of the Crawley midfielder in the 20th minute.
Although Wales had a couple of chances that Butland needed to be alive to, they started to dominate the game. Redmond and Ince were finding space down the flanks and Liam Moore and Michael Keane were cleaning up any attacks the Welsh players could master. Wales keeper Connor Roberts kept them in the game with saves from Danny Ings and a triple save from Jesse Lingard.
Redmond should have done better when he headed over the ball with an uncontested header, but the break-through came in the 38th minute after a lot of pressure. Redmond picked the ball up on the edge of the box to fire home, the ball took a deflection but the goal definitely had Redmond's name on it.
With the rain starting to fall in Swansea, the second half started as a drab affair with neither team showing any quality on the ball. The football reflected the flat atmosphere in the stands. Danny Ings ended an uneventful night by being substituted in the 55th minute with West Brom's Saido Berahino coming on in his place.
Redmond almost completed his hat-trick on the hour as Lingard found Redmond who left the full-back in his wake before seeing his shot cannon back off the post. England started to mount the pressure with Lingard ending a lovely passing move with a shot saved by Roberts. Thomas Ince showed excellent footwork before having his shot blocked.
England continued to mount the pressure, finding intricate through balls. This time Lingard finding Berahino who shot wildly wide.Jesse Lingard started to pull the strings behind the striker and he saw a low shot saved by the impressive Roberts.
Redmond completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute by firing in from the edge of the area. It was an impressive display by the Norwich youngster which leaves England sitting top of their qualifying group, 9 points clear of their closest rival Moldova.