Sport

England leave it late to seal point, but Manchester City’s Lescott and Milner aim to take positives from ‘toughest’ tie

By Dean Wilkins

Ukraine are England’s toughest opponents en route to World Cup qualification, claimed Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott.

Roy Hodgson watched his side scrape a 1-1 draw at Wembley after Frank Lampard’s 87th minute penalty cancelled out Yevgen Konoplianka’s strike.

And City’s Lescott – whose sloppy pass led to Ukraine’s goal – is confident that it was a point earned rather than two points lost.

“It was our toughest game, I felt. They showed again what a good team they are,” Lescott said.

“There’s no easy games in the group but we felt that we probably got our toughest one out of the way.

“They’re a good team and our biggest threat in the group also.”

It was a different affair in London than England’s tie with Ukraine in Kiev during the Euros – as a disallowed goal and several wasted opportunities left the Premier League winner thinking the match result was not going to go their way.

“It was starting to get that way,” he added.

“But the players we’ve got and the determination we showed, we’re always going to create chances and, luckily for us, we got a penalty and Frank put it away.

“I’m sure that the manager and the fans expect nothing less from us.

“We’re a determined bunch of lads and we thought we could’ve scored early on and obviously go on and get a victory but it just wasn’t to be.”

And his club teammate James Milner accused poor referring decisions for harming England’s chances of earning victory in the capital.

But despite having two potential penalty chances rejected, Milner is determined to take the positives from the game forward.

“We had a few chances and one or two strange decisions in there as well,” Milner said.

“Lamps has stuck the penalty away fantastically but I think we hit the woodwork a couple of times and a couple of other penalty shouts.

“We’ve got to take the positives out as well, look where we can improve, but we kept going to the end and kept trying to do the right things.

“Many teams might’ve thought, ‘It’s not our night’, after the chances we had.

“It didn’t quite go our way but we just kept going and got the goal in the end.”

As Hodgson urged his men forward to chase a winner, captain Steven Gerrard saw red for a second bookable offence and will face a one-match ban for England’s next tie.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles