Live Commentary: England Under-21s 4-0 Sweden Under-21s

Stuart Pearce
© PA Photos
Read how Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 side made it seven consecutive wins without conceding against Sweden in Walsall, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

England Under-21s welcomed Sweden's Under-21s to Walsall this evening hoping to continue their fine form of 2012.

It turned out to be a comfortable victory for Stuart Pearce's side at the Banks's Stadium as Tom Ince scored twice in a 4-0 success.

The result means that England's youngsters have won their last seven fixtures without conceding a goal.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded in the West Midlands.


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7.12pmGood evening all! Just under 20 minutes until kickoff so we better get straight to the team news! I'll start with England...

7.13pmENGLAND: Steele; Smith, Wisdom, Dawson, Robinson; McEachran, Henderson, Ince, Shelvey, Afobe; Zaha

7.14pmSUBS: Amos, Rudd, Chalobah, Lees, Hughes, Lansbury, Lowe, Wickham

7.16pmManchester United-bound attacker Wilfried Zaha starts as the lone striker for the Three Lions.

7.17pmZaha is usually deployed on the flanks for current club Crystal Palace but Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce told ESPN earlier today: "I want to see Wilf play down the middle. He played a lot of youth football in that position."

7.18pmJonjo Shelvey, one of four Liverpool youngsters in the home starting XI, will provide support to Zaha from midfield.

7.19pmAndre Wisdom, Jack Robinson and Jordan Henderson, who captains the side tonight, are the other Anfield representatives.

7.20pmThat number could have been higher if Raheem Sterling were fit to feature, or if the Reds had forced through a January switch for Blackpool winger Thomas Ince, who also starts.

7.22pmSWEDEN: Linde; Johansson, Malm, Helander, Milosevic; Allansson, Hrgota, Hiljemark, Andersson; Ishak, Nyman

7.23pmSUBS: Stromberg, Azulay, Bergstrom, Blomqvist, Barkroth, Larsson, Nazari

7.25pmNot many familiar names among the visiting ranks I can imagine, so here are some players to look out for...

7.27pmMikael Ishak will be Sweden's main goalscoring threat. He has six goals in eight matches at this level and captain Oscar Hiljemark of PSV Eindhoven is an experienced performer despite being only 20.

7.28pmRight, the players are out on the field so that means prediction time! I think England will prove too much going forward and will triumph comfortably. 3-0 to the hosts!

7.31pmAnd we are underway in Walsall...

2 minSHOT! An immediate display of England's attacking pace as Ince surges forward before squaring to Shelvey, who blazes a shot high into the stands.

4 minZaha picks the ball up in the middle, lays in Henderson down the right and continues his run forward. The Liverpool man looks for Zaha with his cross but Filip Helander slices clear.

6 minCHANCE! Fantastic opportunity as Shelvey bends a cross into the box, only for his unmarked Liverpool teammate Henderson to direct a free header wide.

8 minThis has been a very positive start from England, who are nearly gifted a chance when Tobias Malm's backpass is charged down by Benik Afobe. Sweden's debutant keeper Andreas Linde strikes his attempted clearance off the Arsenal man and, fortunately for him, behind for a goal kick.

10 minGOAL! England 1-0 Sweden (Thomas Ince)

11 minEngland's positive start is rewarded as Ince grabs his first goal at Under-21 international level! Sweden left-back Alexander Milosevic is off the field receiving treatment for a bloodied nose and Adam Smith capitalises with an overlapping run down the right. He is picked out by Shelvey and then delivers a superb cross for Ince to poke home from eight yards.

13 minSweden have had to deal with an onslaught of English weather and attacks during the opening stages. They have struggled to settle in the rainy conditions, but the hosts have had no such trouble.

15 minEvidence of the problems that the wet conditions can cause as Helander unconvincingly clears a skidding cross from Smith, but watches thankfully as the ball fails to drop to a white shirt.

17 minOur first sight of prolific striker Ishak is him sliding in to concede a foul on Craig Dawson. A frustrated challenge that is likely a result of a lack of service.

19 minMISS! Henderson missed a great headed chance earlier, but this one is a blooper DVD contender! The England captain is slipped in down the right and crosses for Reds colleague Shelvey, who, with the goal gaping, somehow nods wide at the back post from all of four yards!

22 minZaha has spent most of the contest thus far peeling off onto the right flank, rather than play through the centre. I don't know if that is tactical or instead the Palace man's unfamiliarity with the position.

26 minSAVE! This time though Zaha occupies the traditional striker position and beautifully spins away from Milosevic on the edge of the area. He creates space in the box but smashes a low shot straight at Linde.

28 minSHOT! Henderson has bossed this opening half-hour or so and creates another chance for Ince here, exchanging passes with the Tangerines winger, who cuts in from the left before dragging a shot wide.

30 minGOAL! England 2-0 Sweden (Jonjo Shelvey)

31 minThis had been coming and England's total dominance is now reflected on the scoresheet. Smith again gets free in an advanced position down the right and drives into the box. He cuts the ball back to Ince, whose goalbound strike is deflected into the air. It lands kindly to Shelvey at the back stick and he taps in from an almost identical position from where he had shockingly missed just minutes earlier.

34 minSweden have a rare venture forward but, after smartly dribbling away from Henderson, Hiljemark over-hits his pass intended for Christoffer Nyman and Dawson intercepts.

36 minThe visitors have a free kick but Hiljemark is again guilty of putting too much power on the delivery, which travels harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

37 minSHOT! Ishak registers Sweden's first shot of the game with a 25-yard effort that dribbles along the bumpy surface into the gloves of Jason Steele.

40 minInce aims a corner towards Dawson, who has five goals in 10 matches at this level, but Hrgota climbs above the West Brom defender to head the ball away from danger.

41 minPENALTY! Ince is released through the centre and is clipped just as he prepares to shoot. The German referee points to the spot and brandishes the guilty party, Helander, a yellow card.

42 minGOAL! England 3-0 Sweden (Tom Ince)

43 minJosh McEachran is the surprising choice to take the pen and his spot-kick is saved by Linde, but Ince converts the rebound for his second of the night. England are cruising.

44 minContrasting reactions to that goal from the watching Ince family in the crowd. Tom's mother was jumping for joy, but his father, former England captain Paul, was much less enthusiastic. Then again, he may have had sympathy for McEachran. Ince knows all about missing penalties when wearing England white!

8.18pmHALF-TIME: England 3-0 Sweden

8.24pmThat was as one-sided a half of football as you will ever see and I now fear that I could have been a bit cautious with my prediction. I meant 3-0 in each half, honest!

8.26pmThe Liverpool duo of Henderson and Shelvey, despite his glaring miss, were impressive in that 45 minutes. They were dictating the play from midfield and bringing the likes of Ince, Zaha and attacking full-back Smith into the game regularly.

8.29pmConsidering that this isn't a competitive fixture, I expect there will be plenty of substitutions in the second period. Derby County starlet Will Hughes is one player likely to get a run out.

8.33pmEngland get the second period underway, and Pearce has made four half-time changes. I'll round those up for you now...

46 minSUBSTITUTIONS: ON: Declan Rudd, Connor Wickham, Henri Lansbury and Will Hughes. OFF: Jason Steele, Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey and Benik Afobe.

48 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Sweden have also made a double alteration at the break. Goalkeeper August Stromberg has come on for fellow debutante Andreas Linde, while Sam Larsson replaces Mathias Andersson on the left wing.

51 minEngland have made a less explosive start to the second half than they did the first, but the are still enjoying almost all of the possession.

53 minHughes has looked to get on the ball at every available opportunity and he picks it up here inside the Sweden half. He tries to thread in Wickham, but Helander blocks the through pass.

56 minSUBSTITUTION: Jason Lowe enters the action in place of Wilfried Zaha. Connor Wickham has moved inside to take up the central striking role.

59 minSAVE! Wickham shows great strength to push away several Sweden challenges as he runs through the box. He squares to Ince, who slides in to convert the cross only for Stromberg to make an excellent reflex save. From the rebound McEachran and Lansbury get in each other's way and the latter's prodded follow-up effort goes wide.

61 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Nyman and Joel Allannson are hauled off and replaced by Andreas Blomqvist and Nicklas Barkroth, who is the youngest player to ever appear in the Swedish top flight.

63 minSmith is brought down as he makes another surging forward run. The Spurs loanee has been a real outlet for the hosts.

65 minCHANCE! On the other flank, left-back Robinson is set free and a stretching Lansbury comes within inches of converting his drilled cross into the net.

66 minSUBSTITUTION: Pearce makes a sixth England change by bringing on Chelsea youngster Nathan Chalobah, who replaces his Blues teammate Josh McEachran in midfield.

69 minSHOT! Blomqvist finds some space on the edge of the box and fires a shot across Rudd which has the on-loan Preston North End keeper scrambling. The effort finished a few yards wide, but that is still the closest Sweden have come to scoring.

72 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Sweden make two further changes. Emil Bergstrom and Jonathan Azulay are given a run out as Mattias Johansson and Filip Helander make way.

75 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Both managers turn to their bench for the final time as Sweden swap Branimir Hogota for Amin Nazari. Pearce gives Adam Smith a rest and brings on Tom Lees.

77 minGOAL! England 4-0 Sweden (Connor Wickham)

78 minSunderland forward Wickham joins the goalscoring party by powerfully heading a Lansbury cross past Stromberg.

80 minSAVE! But Wickham cannot beat the Sweden stopper for a second time as Stromberg rushes out to block from the England, who was through one-on-one and perhaps should have scored.

83 minCHANCE! England break in numbers but Ince, with his eyes on a hat-trick, goes it alone only to see his shot superbly blocked by Milosevic.

86 minThe Sweden defender actually took one in the face when blocking that shot and has been forced to leave the field with a blood injury for the second time this evening! In-fact, the visiting bench have no spare number three shirts left and Milosevic now has to finish the match wearing just his yellow undershirt!

88 minWickham is angered by an aggressive challenge from Azulay, which the Black Cats forward clearly thought unnecessary given the state of the game.

90 minSweden have their first corner of the match as we enter stoppage time.

9.19pmFULL-TIME: England 4-0 Sweden

9.21pmIn-fact, there will be no additional time as the referee blows the whistle to signal the end of an easy night's work for the Three Lions.

9.23pmThat is England's seventh consecutive victory, and clean sheet, at Under-21 level. Stuart Pearce's side are looking every bit European Championship contenders at this stage.

9.25pmThat is it from me for tonight. Here, you can read Sports Mole's full-time report on the contest, courtesy of my colleague Pascal Lemesre. Thanks for joining us this evening and be sure to come back for our coverage of Wednesday's international programme! Over and out...

Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha dribbles the ball during his sides Championship match on 5 January, 2013
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