Sterling Shines As England Score Five
Raheem Sterling grabbed all the headlines this weekend as England beat Czech Republic 5-0!
England played their first game of the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday night against the Czech Republic. They came away with all three points after a very impressive 5-0 win. Sterling was the star performer after the Man City winger scored his first ever hat-trick for England.
It was also a memorable night for three of England's younger players. Jadon Sancho who has been a revelation in the Bundesliga got his first start for the home side. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Declan Rice also made their debuts for Gareth Southgate. The latter has joined the England squad after recently changing nationalities from the Republic of Ireland. Hudson-Odoi, at the age of 18 years and 135 days old, is now the youngest player to make their debut for England in a competitive match.
England started the game positively creating a few chances early on. The Czech Republic struggled to get on the ball and this seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night. However, it wasn't a positive start for Spurs midfielder Eric Dier. He took a knock on the 12th minute and was forced to go off for Ross Barkley on the 17th minute.
It took 24 minutes for England and Sterling to make their breakthrough but what a goal it was. 25 passes made up the goal with 10/11 England players touching the ball. Kane played a great pass inside the left back to Sancho who squared it across goal. Sterling was at the back post to pass it into an empty net.
England kept pushing for their second goal but it looked like it would be 1-0 at half time. With one-minute remaining Sterling got on the ball and dribbled into the box and was sandwiched by two defenders. The referee game himself a couple of seconds to think and then awarded the pen. Kane stepped up and put it into the left-hand side of the goal. England have now scored their last 18 penalties at Wembley.
The second half started and it could have been 2-1, but Pickford got down well to save the shot from the corner. Sancho will be wondering how he didn't mark his first start with a goal. Kane squared him the ball and with no keeper in the way, it looked a certain goal. However, he was denied on the line.
England's third came on the 62nd minute. Sterling found himself in the box and knowing it wasn't on for him to shoot on his right he spun himself round to his left. He curled the ball into the top left corner, the keeper getting nowhere near it.
His third goal came six minutes later. A massive slice of luck helped this one. A shot from 25 yards out hits a defender on the back and wrong-foots the keeper, falling into an empty net.
The fifth and final goal of the game was an own goal. Hudson-Odoi cut inside and had a shot at the bottom left corner. The keeper pushed it out but the ball hit an oncoming defender and went into his own net. The game finished 5-0 after a very impressive and promoising England performance.
England are now top of their group and look to have carried on their form from last years World Cup. Even though we are over a year away from Euro 2020 Bet365 still have odds on the tournament. France are the favorites at 7/2, especially after winning the World Cup last year. Spain are the second favorites at 5/1. England come in as third favorites at odds of 6/1.
However, England still have the Nations Leauge to play before then. They have Holland in the semi-final, with Portugal and Switzerland making up the other game. England are the 7/4 favorites to win the first Nations League tournament.