In a European Championship qualifying match, England Under-21s dominated Serbia with a resounding 9-1 victory. Led by captain Cole Palmer, the team showcased their skills to the delight of the crowd at the City Ground in Nottingham.
The match marked their first home fixture since winning the Euros earlier this summer. Despite going 1-0 down, England quickly turned the game around with a flurry of goals. Noni Madueke was a standout player, scoring twice and displaying exceptional skill on the right wing.
Palmer, filling in for the injured Taylor Harwood-Bellis, wore the captain’s armband. He played a central role alongside Madueke and debutant Bashir Humphreys, who impressed at left-back.
England had numerous scoring opportunities before Serbia took a shock lead just before the half-hour mark. However, the Young Lions soon found their rhythm and netted three goals in just nine minutes, showcasing their dominance in the first half.
At halftime, the score stood at 3-1 in England’s favor, but the team didn’t let up. By the 63rd minute, they had extended their lead to 6-1. Madueke was instrumental in this, scoring two of the three goals. The winger showcased his impressive footwork, leaving several Serbian defenders in his wake before delivering pinpoint finishes.
Madueke was substituted off in the 68th minute, while Palmer, who displayed excellent touches throughout the match, was taken off due to a potential injury. Humphreys completed the game as England took a significant step forward in their qualification from Group F.
The next match for the Young Lions will be against Ukraine in Slovakia on Monday.
In other England youth team news, the England Elite League squad, formerly known as England Under-20s, suffered a 2-0 defeat against Romania in Bucharest. The team, coached by Joe Edwards, had promising players like Lewis Hall and Mason Burstow in the starting lineup, but two early goals from Romania sealed their fate.
The England Elite League squad is open to players born between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2004. In the future, they will face Portugal, Italy, Germany, Czechia, Poland, and the Netherlands in international matches.
Meanwhile, the England Under-18s had six Chelsea players in their starting lineup for a friendly match against Belgium. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Ted Curd, Josh Acheampong, Harrison Murray-Campbell, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Reiss Denny, and Jimmy-Jay Morgan all getting playing time. The team will continue preparations for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup in Indonesia.
England Under-17s celebrated a 3-0 victory over Norway, with Shumaira Mheuka contributing a goal and an assist. Ollie Harrison, a Chelsea defender, played the full game. The two teams will meet again in their next match.
In Ireland’s Under-17s European Championship qualifier against Armenia, Harry McGlinchey, a young Academy defender from Chelsea, played the full game at left-back. The match ended in a convincing 4-0 win for Ireland. Their next opponents will be Iceland and Switzerland.