Euro 2016: Five talking points as England beat Wales in Battle of Britain

An added time goal from Liverpool striker, Daniel Sturridge, was all England needed to overcome neighbours Wales 2-1 on Thursday in Lens.

Elimination from the European Championship loomed for the Three Lions after Gareth Bale struck a superb free kick about 35 metres away from goal in the first half.

But a spirited second half display, led by Leicester City hitman, Jamie Vardy and Sturridge, ensured the English team won for the first time in France.

The result leaves England with four points – one more than Wales.

Both nations who met for the first time in any international tournament on Thursday, will have to produce positive results in their final group games to progress.

Here are five talking points from the explosive clash between these two rivals.

  1. Hart’s howler

Manchester City goalkeeper, Joe Hart, would be thanking his forward players for sparing his blushes. The former Birmingham City man was culpable for Bale’s opener three minutes before the break.

  1. Bale’s class

After firing home a long-range free-kick against Slovakia, Bale repeated the trick again as his swerving 35-yard effort proved too hot to handle for Hart .

The Real Madrid winger once again showed his class by leading the line for Wales and notching his second in the tournament.

  1. Rooney’s leadership

Wayne Rooney again silenced his critics by putting up a man of the Match display for England. Deployed in midfield, the Manchester United skipper dictated play and was pivotal in all his side’s attack. At 30, Rooney is the oldest member of the English squad and more of such performances will be needed from the forward.

  1. England still king of Britain

With so much hype leading to the clash, one would have expected Chris Coleman’s team to prove they have come of age. But on the contrary, it was Roy Hodgson’s men that showed more will and desire to win, proving their dominance over their neighbours.

  1. Time to axe Sterling and Kane

For the second game straight, Hodgson started with a frontline made up of Harry Kane, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling. Unlike the other two, Liverpool man Lallana made a huge impact in the game. Kane and Sterling were hauled off at half time and what an inspired decision that proved to be. Substitutes Sturridge and Vardy won it for the Three Lions.