Blue Lions roar for England
- 04 September 2010 09:29
- Posted by David Clayton
England began their European Championship campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over Bulgaria and impressive displays from City stars Joe Hart, James Milner and Gareth Barry.
With Adam Johnson coming off the bench for a goal-scoring cameo, plus Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joleon Lescott in the squad, the Blues have never provided so many players at one time for the national squad – all of which bodes well for Roberto Mancini’s team.
While Milner and Barry rarely put a foot wrong, it was Hart who stole the show with another imperious display. Commanding, brave and, at times, brilliant, it’s hard to imagine the City No.1 not being in nets for his country for many years to come.
Hart made several important saves at vital times as England eventually coasted home against a Bulgaria side containing two former Blues in Martin Petrov and Valeri Bojinov.
While Hart excelled at one end, young City winger Johnson scored within a few minutes of replacing Theo Walcott with a low drive just inside the box to really announce his arrival on the international stage.
But despite Jermaine Defoe taking man-of-the-match honours for a superb hat-trick, Capello reserved special praise for his keeper.
"Hart is playing very, very well,” he said. “He made two fantastic saves. He is the England goalkeeper and he is playing very well. The most important thing was for us to win, which we did.''