England thump Malta to maintain 100% record

England looked to continue their 100% success rate in the EURO 2024 Qualifiers as they headed to Malta on Friday, in a match that came just six days after Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League success in Istanbul. Those involved in that fixture were kept on the bench for this match.

MLT: Bonello; Attard, Muscat, Borg, Apap, Mbong; Teuma, Guillaumier, Kristensen; Jones, Nwoko

ENG: Pickford; Shaw, Maguire, Guehi, Trippier; Henderson, Alexander-Arnold, Rice; Maddison, Kane, Saka

Gareth Southgate’s looked to take an early lead at the Ta’Qali National Stadium, forcing a save from Bonello in the opening stages as Kane looked to pounce from close range. The Three Lions wouldn’t be made to wait too long for the opener though, as Alexander-Arnold picked out Saka’s run on the right flank with a beautiful ball over the top – the Arsenal star sent a ball towards Kane in the centre of the box, though it was diverted into the net by Apap.

Though the following twenty minutes or so were relatively quiet, England remained in control – and their dominance was cemented in the 28th minute with a stunning strike from Alexander-Arnold. James Maddison was the creator, proving his worth once more as he dropped his shoulder to create space before picking out the Liverpool man, who had been awarded the number ten shirt for this fixture.

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The third goal of the evening was added just mere moments later, as Kane converted from the spot to bag his fiftieth competitive goal for England. The Spurs striker had been dragged to the ground inside the box by Guillaumier, thumping a comfortable penalty home past Bonello to punish the hosts.

Gareth Southgate’s side took this three-goal lead into half-time, after a rather dull opening 45 minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Maddison had certainly been the standout performers, with the duo seemingly involved in every England attack – and Alexander-Arnold’s strike certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Much like the first half, England were the better side in the second period but failed to find a breakthrough until they were awarded one last opportunity to add to their tally, as Borg was penalised for a handball offence – despite his best efforts to move out of the ball’s path. Callum Wilson stepped up to strike, tucking his effort calmly under Bonello to round out a great evening for the travelling fans.

England’s next match is on Monday 19 June, as they host North Macedonia. Due to concerts at Wembley, the match will be held at Old Trafford – with kickoff at 19:45. Once again, it’ll be televised live in the UK on Channel 4, and we’ll bring you a detailed match report just minutes after the final whistle.

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