- Cole Palmer scored as England Under-21s won 3-0 against Luxembourg
- Liam Delap and Callum Doyle were also on target for Lee Carsley’s team
Differdange, a sleepy town right on France’s border, felt a far cry from the fireworks of England’s glorious summer so the Under 21s packed a few sparklers to liven things up.
It so happens that those all initially caught light at Manchester City, the three goalscorers – Liam Delap, Callum Doyle and Cole Palmer – coming through the club’s academy. There cannot be too many instances of one team dominating an England game quite like this.
Six of Lee Carsley’s first line-up since winning a first European Championship were schooled by the Premier League champions. Two more came off the bench. It was certainly a proud night for City and an encouraging one for Carsley, whose side eased past Luxembourg with patient build-up and then explosives to positively kick off qualification for Euro 2025.
‘We’re heavily dependent on City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham,’ Carsley said. ‘We’re going to have tougher tests, we’ll play stronger teams. My expectations are high. I see so much talent in training.’
England could have led by at least three by the time Delap netted on his debut two minutes before the break. His deft finish, nudging beyond the onrushing goalkeeper, owed much to Palmer’s clever stabbed pass inside a congested penalty area.
Cole Palmer was amongst the scorers as England Under-21s won 3-0 against Luxembourg
Liam Delap opened the scoring for England Under-21s on his first appearance at this level
Callum Doyle, another debutant for the Under-21, also managed to get on the scoresheet
A goal straight off the City Football Academy pitches and a further sign that Delap is emerging from a difficult two-year period after tough loan spells in the Championship.
He is at Hull City this year, already with a couple of league goals. With a dearth of true forwards at this level, Delap has the opportunity to make the spot his own.
Luxembourg Under-21s: Lattik, Torres, Agostinelli, Fernandes, Sinner, Lohei (Cardoso 55), Irigoyen, Martins (Afonso 78), Monteiro (Englaro 55), Turping (Rossler 72), Rodrigues (Correia 72)
Booked: Martins, Lohei, Monteiro
Subs: Do Rego, Preljevic, Skenderovic, Viegas
England (4-3-3): Trafford 7 (Burnley); Lewis 7.5 (Man City), Harwood-Bellis 7 (Southampton), Wood 7 (Swansea City), Doyle 7.5 (Leicester City); Palmer 8.5 (Chelsea), Hackney 7 (Middlesbrough), Elliott 7 (Liverpool); Madueke 7.5 (Chelsea), Delap 7.5 (Hull City), Iling-Junior 6 (Juventus)
Subs: Scarlett 6 (Delap 63), Bynoe-Gittens 7.5 (Iling-Junior 63), McAtee (Madueke 77), Cresswell (Wood 77), Patino (Hackney 84)
Not used: Beadle, Norton-Cuffy, Humphreys, Edozie
Goals: Delap 43, Doyle 58, Palmer 67
Booked: Wood-Gordon, Bynoe-Gittens
Doyle, the highly rated centre half who was operating at left back, popped up with the second just shy of the hour, cutting across Noni Madueke’s centre with venom, nestling inside the near post.
Palmer, a £42.5million player at Chelsea these days, ran the game from central midfield. His first-touch strike clinked off the bar and in, owing much to the direct running of Borussia Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens. ‘Jamie was electric when he came on,’ Carsley said. Bynoe-Gittens was once City as well.
Lee Carsley saw his England side secure victory in their first game since the Under-21 Euros