England and Holland met at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening in a friendly game that proved both sides have work to do ahead of this summer's Euro Cup 2012.
The Dutch squad was patient and poised in their attack, and they eventually broke free for a couple of late goals that put the home side well on their heels.
That is when English fought through to cap off a stirring come-from-behind 2-2 draw. That is about all the good news we have for the Three Lions, who allowed a late goal, which guaranteed they left the pitch with their heads hanging low.
Finals Score: 3-2
Tweets of the Night:
A magical night watched by millions meant that we had our fair share of fantastic tweets.
The Score Television Network's Brendan Dunlop tweets the frustration in the air for the Three Lions' attack.
BREAKING NEWS: Daniel Sturridge is not yet ready to be England's future up top— Brendan Dunlop(@Brendan_Dunlop) February 29, 2012
Looking at Robben & Sturridge is like looking at how good we were and how good we're not.— Tweedy (@JoeTweeds) February 29, 2012
Eurosport's Mark Patterson has the tweet of the night.
On this showing I'd like to propose Pearce remains England manager for any and every international to be played on February 29th henceforth— Mark Patterson (@Mark_Eurosport) February 29, 2012
Highlight of the Night:
Arjen Robben, ladies and gentleman.
Grades for England and Holland Key Players
Arjen Robben: What a difference a couple of goals makes. Robben looked uncertain and timid out there until he broke off a sick run down the middle for the game's first goal. Oh, and he later nabbed the game winner. I never doubted you, Robben. Grade: A
Dirk Kuyt: Played with zeal and passion and delivered a beautiful cross. Grade: B+
Wesley Sneijder: Controlled the pace and commanded possession very well. His poise is what was needed today. Grade: B+
Robin Van Persie: Proved to be a handful for the English back line. Not saying much, but still. Grade: B
Mark Van Bommel: A touch sloppy but keeps ticking all game long. Grade B-
Nigel De Jong: Hard-hitting? Yes. You can't discount the assist though. Grade B+
Khalid Boulahrouz: Lost more than one step. Grade: C
Erik Pieters: Looked out paced out there. Grade: C-
John Heitinga: Could use a bit more defense from the back line stalwart. Grade: C+
Joris Mathijsen: Not liking the yellow card, nor the sloppiness. Grade: C-
Maarten Stekelenburg: All in all, I have to like what he brought to the game. Had a great stop against Sturridge early and just got caught with a lazy back line late. Grade: B
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: He had a beautiful header that ended with two players being on the turf. We will remember the beauty of that goal. Grade: A-
Stljn Schaars: A shot and a couple of fouls drawn, not much but enough to make his presence known. Grade: C+
Urby Emanuelson: I liked what he showed when he was in, need to see more. Grade: NA
Luuk De Jong: Not related to Nigel, and not nearly as prominent in this one. Grade: NA
Ron Vlaar: Same here, need to see more. Grade NA
Gary Cahill: Robben was not the only Jekyll and Hyde player. Cahill has some awful moments defending in the box but also saw fit to score. We will focus on the positives. Grade: B
Chris Smalling: It's hard to knock a guy that received quite a blow during the game. The English back line was shaky which wasn't all Smalling who broke up some passes before leaving the game. Grade C+
Micah Richards: His performance on Wednesday will leave a bad taste in some people's mouth while other will laud him for his passion. I am in the latter's camp. Richards may be playing in the wrong spot but there is no questioning his heart. Grade: B
Danny Welbeck: He showed enough to warrant more time, especially with Wayne Rooney gone for the start of the Euros. Grade B-
Joe Hart: I will go on a limb and say that Hart was pretty decent despite having a horrible back line. I liked his distribution, but there is nothing he could do about some of the shots on goal. Grade: B-
Leighton Baines: Made his presence known and had an assist. Had some tenuous moments in defense though. Grade: B-
Gareth Barry: The defensive woes continue. Grade: C-
Scott Parker: Was outclassed all day by the Dutch in his stint as skipper. I am confident he will rebound. Grade: C
Steven Gerrard: Hamstring tightness took him out of the match. Grade: NA
Ashley Young: He can be indefensible when he wants to be. Grade: A-
Adam Johnson: Showed that he is the future, but still needs some work. Grade: B-
Stewart Downing: It may be time to consider life without Downing. Grade: C
James Milner: Sloppy play, not impressed. Grade: C
Frazier Campbell: Didn't have enough time on the pitch. Grade: NA
Theo Walcott: Same for Walcott. Grade: NA
Daniel Sturridge: Not the best decisions on defense when it was needed. However he could have easily found the net today. Grade: B
Phil Jones: Some great passing, and made the most of his time on the pitch. Grade: B-
The tumult of losing manager Fabio Capello had to play a tremendous part in this home loss at Wembley. England looked out of sorts while Holland looked very much the relaxed side all game.
Arjen Robben, no doubt. I can't stress enough how awkward the former Chelsea star looked out on the pitch. He made had some tenuous passes and his handling was off as well. That is when the Robben of old clicked in to lead the Dutch to victory.
The Netherlands now face Bulgaria at home on may 26th, and match that will be a means to get the last bit of work in before the Euro Cup.
England will be at Norway at that time, and the hope is they are a far more solid side than they showed on Leap Day.
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