Gareth Southgate: Andorra v England press conference
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Gareth Southgate praised his players for their professionalism in England’s 5-0 win over Andorra on Saturday night – with the Three Lions’ boss picking out five ‘nice’ moments for his players to look back on.
England ran out 5-0 winners with five different scorers at Andorra’s Estadi Nacional, as the Euro 2020 finalists took one step closer to the group stages of the 2022 World Cup with a routine win in the landlocked country.
Ben Chilwell, Tammy Abraham, Bukayo Saka, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish got themselves on the scoresheet, with the Three Lions’ professional performance putting them four points clear of Albania with just nine to play for.
In a game which England were always going to win, it took until 18 minutes for Ben Chilwell to break the deadlock.
With Jack Grealish later scoring his first England goal, alongside James Ward-Prowse doubling his tally, there was reason to celebrate all-round despite the routine victory.
And after a troubled summer for Chilwell after failing to break into the England side, Southgate praised him for his attitude and conduct – whilst also praising four other scorers for their contributions and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for his bright performance.
“The (good) way the team went about the game, against a very specific sort of challenge in the low packed defence to break down,” Southgate said.
“We picked a team with players in it that could take the challenge on. I think you saw that with the link play in midfield especially, and I thought the application throughout was excellent.
“We know those types of defences. Those diagonal runs from wide that Ben (Chilwell) made throughout the game, with Phil (Foden) – who you know you can hit them, as can Prowsey (Ward-Prowse) – it was very much ‘could we get between the lines, could we get wide against one v one?’. But those diagonal runs in behind were a real threat.
Sam Johnstone made his third appearance for England in the win, with his second coming against the minnows too – but his quick-thinking set Grealish up for his first ever international goal, something Southgate praised him for.
“Very bright piece of play, I thought he made a great save from the play that was offside,” he continued.
“Some nice moments there: for Chilly (Chilwell) to get a goal after such a tough time in the summer with us.
Obviously Jack’s first goal as well, Tammy, Prowsey, Bukayo – they’re all players who haven’t scored often, so that’s proud moments for them.”
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The Three Lions take on Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday, as they look to further their grip on the World Cup group stages.
And with the 4-0 win attained in Budapest just a month ago, there is reason to look forward to the crunch clash.
However, England’s regular stars such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Declan Rice will likely come to the fore.
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