England reached European U21 Championship final as they produced one of the most comfortable football scores of the weekend. The Young Lions, who last won the championship in 1984, beat Israel with ease to advance to Saturday’s final, where they will face Spain, who thrashed Ukraine 5-1. The Young Lions’ winning run in the competition now stands at five games. At the Batumi Arena, Morgan Gibbs-White gave England the lead three minutes before halftime to make up for an early missed penalty. After a protracted VAR review for offside, Cole Palmer essentially ended the game for Israel when he increased England’s advantage soon after the hour mark. England maintained their perfect record to reach the final, and substitute Cameron Archer clinched their ticket there with a decisive third in the 90th minute.
Levi Colwill nodded over Gibbs-White’s early free-kick to give the Young Lions, who had already defeated Israel 2-0 in the group stage, some confidence. However, after 17 minutes, Gibbs-White missed a penalty attempt that would have given them the lead. The VAR decision took four minutes to make. Karm Jaber fouled Anthony Gordon after Emile Smith Rowe’s shot was blocked before it reached the post and before Gibbs-White could shoot. Israel gained confidence as England became agitated, but Carsley’s team kept their calm and Gibbs-White made up for his missed opportunity three minutes before halftime.
The midfielder for Nottingham Forest snuck up to meet Palmer’s throw late and leaped between two Israel players to tip the ball from 12 yards into the top corner. England kept the ball with little movement as the first half came to a close, and they continued to be in charge after the restart. Israel refused to press. Smith Rowe missed with a shot, and Gordon had a shot deflected wide, but after 64 minutes Palmer ultimately doubled the advantage.
Smith Rowe was assisted by Gibbs-White to find Manchester City striker Palmer, who crossed for Palmer to score, but the goal was first disallowed for offside. A lengthy VAR review that again favored England resulted in Smith Rowe being ruled to be onside and the goal standing. When he slammed in Palmer’s ball in stoppage time, replacement Archer added a third goal when there was still time.
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