England fell behind 2-0 to Switzerland before recovering to draw the match at Wembley. Luckily for England, Montenegro were held 1-1 by Bulgaria so both sides remain level at the top of Group G, six points ahead of Switzerland.
Switzerland, needed a win if they were to have any hope of reaching Euro 2012m and they came out and attacked England from the opening whistle.Twice Joe Hart was forced into saves in the opening eight minutes, the second a smart readjustment to keep out Gökhan Inler’s deflected drive.
Despite that good save from Inler, this was not one of Joe Hart’s best days in an England shirt. Barnetta’s free-kick was clipped into a crowded penalty area and evaded everyone to creep in by Hart’s left-hand post. It was only the second goal England had conceded in the group but within three minutes they let in another – and from the same source.
This time Barnetta had a tighter angle but his delivery headed towards the right-hand corner after splitting the two-man wall. Hart had his angles all wrong and strained to scramble the ball away with his right boot but failed, leaving Barnetta, without a goal in his previous 32 internationals, to celebrate again.
England immediately responded after Switzerland’s two quick goals and a strong Jack Wilshere run was ended by a foul from his Arsenal team-mate Johan Djourou in the Swiss penalty box. Frank Lampard stepped up and pulled England back into the game.
Ashley Young replaced a very poor Lampard at half-time as Capello needed more attacking options and move immediately paid off. Following a throw-in, Leighton Baines, who replaced the injured Ashley Cole, set up Young and his shot had just enough power to defeat Benaglio.
England’s more attack minded team continued to create opportunities as England went in search of a winner. Darren Bent blew England’s best chance when he blasted over with the goal at his mercy and then Stewart Downing also wasted a glorious opportunity right at the final whistle.
The draw means England have failed to win at home for four matches now, the longest winless streak on home soil in 30 years.
Montenegro will host England in Podgorica on October 7 in what promises to be a tense encounter.