Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a screamer to help England produce one of the most comfortable football scores of the weekend in Euro 2024 qualifying. Gareth Southgate gave Alexander-Arnold the No. 10 jersey and pushed him into the middle of the pitch, and he went on a player-of-the-match display, scoring the second goal spectacularly (28). Ferdinando Apap then guided Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net to score the game’s opening goal (8). Bukayo Saka had previously been let free by his brilliant ball over the top of the Malta defence. The fourth goal (83), which was scored by substitute Callum Wilson from another penalty, was the third goal, his 56th for the Three Lions, and it was also scored from the penalty spot (31) by England’s all-time leading scorer Harry Kane, who broke Wayne Rooney’s record in March. England has now won three games in a row at Euro 2024 after overcoming Italy and Ukraine in March.
Alexander-Arnold’s participation in the midfield after he thrived there for Liverpool in the later months of the season was the main topic of discussion before to start, and his brilliance was obvious straight instantly. He deflected Saka’s cross into the net despite being pressured by Kane after handling a fast feed from Kieran Trippier and fizzing a wonderful ball into Saka’s path. Since they still maintained control over occupation and territory, it was clear that England was superior at the moment. To double their advantage, Alexander-Arnold had to make a stunning move.
The ball was skillfully spun to him by James Maddison, who was selected to start on the left flank. The Liverpool striker then sent a fantastic shot from about 25 yards out across keeper Henry Bonello and into the far right corner. Harry Kane scored the third goal almost immediately after being fouled by Malta’s Matthew Guillaumier, who subsequently awarded England a penalty, extending his team’s winning record to five games. For the first time since a failed effort against Andorra in 2021, Alexander-Arnold continued to control play for England in midfield during the second half.
England eventually scored the fourth goal in an ordinary second half, although Kane wasted a chance to score his second goal of the match when his attempted chip over the custodian sailed wide. Following a VAR review, Malta’s Steve Borg was severely penalised for blocking Wilson’s attempted cross, which allowed the Newcastle striker to score from the spot and give England a 2-0 lead. Eze got a chance to participate in the fun in his debut, but his low attempt was blocked. Malta, the 171st-ranked side in the world according to FIFA rankings, was unable to even produce a shot, which allowed Southgate’s defence to rest easy.
“Although it’s still early, and I haven’t played it much, it seems cozy and natural,” England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold said. “I like playing there and can see myself doing so in the future. It’s about joining this squad and attempting to have a consistent name on the roster. A solid foundation was laid today. Where I play doesn’t really matter to me; what matters is that I play.”
“Because he has been playing somewhat there with the ball tonight, which has aided his transition, a lot of what happens will rely on his club,” England boss Gareth Southgate said. “He’s becoming acclimated to receiving in confined spaces with his back to the goal and players behind him, which is encouraging tonight because he’s more accustomed to playing on the touchline with the play in front of him. He felt completely at ease carrying things out. I don’t have any queries. He is capable. He needs to master some of the intricacies of the job, particularly without the ball, but he’s eager to take on the challenge.”
“If you like, he has liked the project. He seemed thrilled when we discussed it on the phone a little over four weeks ago. He demonstrated precisely what we anticipated him to be able to do, and he offers us something unique compared to our other midfielders,” he added. “Of course, we are aware of our abilities to prevail in games, but ultimately, it comes down to your mindset. I think your approach was fantastic from the off. We made an effort to strike a mix between examining a few topics and having some seasoned players set the tone and provide leadership on the pitch. They had been practicing that way all week.”
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