England v Montenegro: Euro 2020 qualifier – live! – The Guardian, Google News

“I had a discussion with a US friend of mine regarding the US Women´s rout of Thailand at the last WC,” reveals Mark Witty. “I think it was 14 – 0. I thought it was mean and excessive and bad sportsmanship. There might you be one day at the end of that humiliation. I hopeEnglanddo not score 10. Send on the 19 – year-olds, mess with the Formation. Take the foot off the gas? ”Nonsense. The opposition must be crushed whenever possible. Sure, there’s scope for a bit of experimentation in the second half but not for pity. Besides, USA only beat Thailand 13 – 0.


Half-time: England 5-0 Montenegro

The referee decided to add precisely no additional time, soEnglandhave to settle for a five-goal lead at the break. They could double that, at least, in the second half. They have attacked well: fast, imaginative and elusive, albeit against dreadful opponents. Chilwell, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rashford have been especially good, and Kane has poached well (but should have had his hat0trick even earlier). The only downsides have been a couple of bits of slack defending, where Pickford had to bail out his central defenders.

(min) : A lapse in the English defense allows Beqiraj to run on to a pass from deep and straight through on goal. Pickford has to make a good save to preserve England’s clean sheet for the second time in this half. Their defense remains a concern. Having said that, France are currently drawing 1-1 at home to Moldova so, you know. “As a non-English fan ofEnglandI have a question,” announces Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo . “Are all backheels‘ cheeky? ’” Not quite: some are “impudent” and I recall at least one “mulish” one by Frank Stapleton.

GOAL! England 5-0 Montenegro (Kane 37 )

There’s his hat-trick. He can thank Alexander-Arnold for a nice cross and Montenegro’s defense for being rubbish. But his first touch was deft and his second deadly, firing home from seven yards.

Harry Kane of England scores a goal to make the score 5-0 to complete his hat-trick.
Harry Kane fires home for his hat-trick. Photograph: Kieran McManus / BPI / REX / Shutterstock

Updated (at 3.) PM EST

33 min: With their defensive rigor long gone, (Montenegro) are now losing their temper. Vesovic kicks at Rashford as the player shields the ball from him and then, when Rashford complains, he square up to the Man United player and presses his forehead against his. The ref books him, and possibly the entirely innocent Rashford too (his card waving was not clear).

England’s Marcus Rashford clashes with Montenegro’s Marko Vesovic.

England’s Marcus Rashford clashes with Montenegro’s Marko Vesovic. Photograph: David Klein / Reuters


GOAL! England 4-0 Montenegro (Rashford 30)

Englandtake the corner short. Oxlade-Chamberlain sends in a cross from deep. Montenegro’s defense melts away again and Maguire is left with a free header at the back post. The keeper saves well but the ball comes to Rashford, who eliminates a defender with a subtle touch and then curls the ball low into the far corner. We want 10, we want 10!

Marcus Rashford of England curls the ball into the net to make the score 4-0.
Marcus Rashford watches his shot go into the net. Photograph: Kieran McManus / BPI / Shutterstock

England’s Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their fourth goal.
Rashford celebrates scoring England’s fourth goal. Photograph: Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Updated (at 3.) pm EST

29 min: Alexander-Arnold sees Sancho peeling away into space on the right and duly deposits the ball into his path. (Montenegro) scramble to concede a corner.

27 min: Haksabanovic does indeed provide a good delivery, which apparently takes Stones by surprise, as the Man City defender allows Simic to get the run on him and aim a fine header towards goal from 10 yards. Pickford has much better reactions, pawing the ball away superbly!

(min) : Chilwell has to turn to defensive duties now to stop a run by Vesovic. He catches him on the foot, conceding a freekick in a useful crossing position. IS there a Montenegrin Chilwell to take the setpiece?

GOAL! England 3-0 Montenegro (Kane 23)

Another assist from Chilwell – this time from an outswinging corner – another goal for Kane, a header from six yards.

England’s Harry Kane scores their third goal.
Harry’s head does the business again. Photograph: Dylan Martinez / Reuters


(min) : Chilwell was a big contributor to Leicester’s 9-0 win at Southampton a few weeks back.Englandcould rack up a similar score here if they really want to. Especially if James Maddison is introduced later.

(min:) Rashford rushes back to help out Chilwell and nullify aMontenegrobreak.

GOAL! England 2-0 Montenegro (Kane 19)

Chilwell curls over an inviting corner from the left. The defenders get themselves in a muddle and Kane doesn’t even have to jump in order to guide a header into the net from six yards.Englandare on Easy Street.

England’s Harry Kane scores their second goal.
England’s Harry Kane scores their second goal. Photograph: Dylan Martinez / Reuters


(min) : Oxlade-Chamberlain puts an end to some decent play byMontenegroby winning the ball in midfield, setting up a rapid counter-attack that concludes with Rashford unloading a powerful shot that the keeper does well to push behind for a corner.

15 min:Montenegroenter the England half for the first time in a long time. And Vesovic scampers all the way into the box, wriggling past two defenders before Maguire comes across to poke the ball out for a corner.

13 min: Sancho runs on to a clipped pass and hooks it back into the danger zone from near the byline. Kane fluffs his header and as Mount hares in to try to prod the bouncing ball into the net from close range, Mijatovic throws himself at it to divert it away.


Updated (at 3.) PM EST

8 min: Alexander-Arnold sends over a freekick from the right, but it’s too close to the goalkeeper.

6 min: Lovely play by Winks! He used his body well as he received a pass about 40 yards out and then threaded a precise ball through to Sancho on the right. The winger glided past his marker and fired a low pass across the face of goal. Sofranac made a heroic block to deny Kane a tap-in!


4 min:Oxlade runs on to pass down the right and chops over a decent cross. Mijatovic strides off his line to snaffle it.

3 min: Montenegro win the first corner of the game. Haksabanovic delivers to the near post, where Kane make a good block before England clear the danger.

2 min: Nifty play on the left between Chilwell, Rashford and Winks. But it peters out before anyone can get a cross in. Still, a bright opening byEngland.

1 min: We have kickoff!

“Silly question!” Announces Bob Zoellner. “When the average age of theEnglandteam was calculated, were leap years added in with 366 days rather than 365 days for ‘normal years’? ”I’ll level with you, Bob, I was just repeating the statistic given by man on the TV. I’ll do my own calculations if I get a moment during the game …

Wembley looks to be about 85% full and not many of those in attendance seem inclined to join in with the national anthem, by the sounds of it.

The players are in the tunnel, preparing to be led out by Kane, who drops the pennant while he’s waiting. Remember that if this match doesn’t pan out as planned, you can go back and say it was an omen.


Southgate speaks

Inevitably, the first question is about the Sterling / Gomez palaver: “It was a difficult decision [to omit Sterling] but we made it earlier in the week and moved on from there. Everyone’s focused on the game. ”Would he have left out Sterling if this were a key World Cup encounter? “It’s a hypothetical question. I could give you an answer but it doesn’t mean anything. ”Is there a risk of Sterling now feeling marginalized? “No, he’s been really good, I have to say. It’s behind us. We drew a line under it on Monday night and now it’s all about qualification. ”

What of the inclusion of Oxlade-Chamberlain, returning to theEnglandstarting lineup for the first time in nearly 19 months: “He’s a good player. He’s got speed and power and he’s a goal threat. We want to play high up the pitch and he’s got some fantastic attributes. It’s a good night for him to come back in. ”


So here are those lineups in full:

England: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Winks, Mount, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sancho, Rashford, Kane.

(Subs) : Pope. Trippier, Maddison, Gomez, Rose, Wilson, Tomori, Henderson, Mings, Hudson-Odoi, Rice, Abraham

Montenegro: Mijatovic; Vesovic, Sofranac, Simic, Radunovic; Hocko, Lagator, Vukcevic; Jovovic, Haksabanovic; Beciraj

(Subs) : Sarkic, Raspopovic, Sekulic, Vujacic, Bulatovic, Kojasevic, Kopitovic, Mugosa, Boljevic, Jankovic, Petkovic

Referee: A Lahoz (Spain)

Despite the relatively gnarled central defense, this is England’s youngest starting XI since 1959, with an average age of 23 years and 255 days.

England team

Southgate’s selections have been revealed. The midfield looks to have much more thrust about it than in recent matches, especially with the inclusion of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Southgate has decided to go for experience in central defense in the form of the Maguire and Stones, which means no starting place for Tomori or Scratched Joe Gomez.

England: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Winks, Mount, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sancho, Rashford, Kane.



Montenegro are in town!AndEnglandhave a chance to gain the point that would secure the place at Euro 2020 that was in doubt right up until the format of this competition was revealed. As if that’s not enticing enough, this is also England’s 1000thmatch! No other country has played so many! That’s a heritage to be proud of and there’s no harm in taking a moment to think of all the players who have contributed a thread or two to this wonderful international footballing tapestry, from Segar Bastard to Harry Kane MBE via Joe Gaetjens, Antonio Rattin, Jim McCalliog, Jan Tomaszewki, Diego Maradona, Ray Houghton, David Gualtieri, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Mladen Petric and Mario Mandzukic. If there’s anyone else you believe deserves a mention, please don’t hesitate to say so. You might even spare a thought for Raheem Sterling, dispatched to the naughty step this week but not forgotten.

Ultimately, though, today is about the here and nowand, um, the future: Gareth Southgate is expected to send out a youthful lineup to signify his optimism that England are on the verge of radically improving that success rate of one trophy per every 1, 000 matches. Here we go, here we go, here we go!

Kick-off: (7.) PM GMT.


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