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EURO2016 QUALIFIERS: Arsenal signing Welbeck nets brace in England win

England have opened their Euro2016 qualifying campaign with a solid 2-0 win over Switzerland in Basel on Monday night.

Roy Hodgson's men looked a much better side than the one that beat Norway 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday and got their rewards at St-Jakob Park in their first Group E fixture.

Arsenal signing Danny Welbeck did the damage for the Three Lions with a pair of second-half goals to lift the visitors to a very handy away win against their toughest opponents in the group.

The opening goal came just before the hour-mark when Liverpool's Raheem Sterling produced a pinpoint cross from the left side of the area which allowed Welbeck to slot home from close range at the back post.

Switzerland had their chances throughout but were made to pay in injury-time when Welbeck received a pass from substitute Rickie Lambert before advancing into the area and then opening his body to finish calmly past Yann Sommer with the inside of his right boot.

Earlier, England keeper Joe Hart was on hand to keep out Haris Seferovic's angled effort with his leg before Phil Jones' 43rd minute header was thwarted by a reaction Sommer save.

Ten minutes into the second half, Hart denied Seferovic's fierce strike smartly before Welbeck gave England the lead two minutes later.

With 20 minutes remaining, Josip Drmic rounded Hart but Gary Cahill made a sliding save to deny the Bayer Leverkusen signing which proved to be vital for the overall result.

In the end, however, former Swiss boss Hodgson will be all smiles as he comes away with a victory that will certainly keep the critics at bay after a very poor World Cup.

Euro2016 qualifying - Group E

Switzerland: 0 England: 2 (Danny Welbeck 58'/90+4')

St-Jakob Park, Basel, Switzerland - 35,500

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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