Danny spares U21 blushes

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Danny Welbeck scored a dramatic late equaliser to spare England a controversial but deserved defeat in their European Under-21 Championship opener against Spain in Herning.

Completely outplayed from almost the first whistle, Stuart Pearce’s Young Lions fell behind to Ander Herrera’s 14th-minute goal, which he netted with his hand from point-blank range in last night’s Group B clash. But Welbeck, who appeared offside, popped up two minutes from time to snatch a point. England’s starting line up which included Sheffielder Kyle Walker and Doncaster-born Danny Rose, omitted both Jack Rodwell and Fabrice Muamba, with captain Michael Mancienne in midfield.

But the plan failed to prevent England’s opponents dominating possession in a way in which has become the hallmark of Spanish sides.

Watching senior boss Fabio Capello would also have recognised the inadequacies of England’s own ball-retention skills, which were exposed straight from kick-off.