Bellingham debut in routine England win

Jadon Sancho’s low shot was the pick of the goals

England strolled to victory against the Republic of Ireland in their friendly international at Wembley.

Manager Gareth Southgate gave his undercard a chance as he kept England’s main players back for the Uefa Nations League match in Belgium on Sunday – but they still had far too much for an outclassed Republic side.

Jude Bellingham, brought on as a substitute for his debut in the second half, became England’s third youngest full international at 17 years and 137 days.

And Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson also won his first senior cap as a half-time replacement for Burnley’s Nick Pope.

Harry Maguire, given the captain’s armband, erased some of the misery of his last England appearance – when he was sent off in the Nations League home defeat by Denmark – by heading in Harry Winks’ cross after 18 minutes.

Jadon Sancho doubled England’s advantage before the break and their total control was emphasised when Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored emphatically from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after Bukayo Saka was fouled by Cyrus Christie. It sealed England’s first win against the Republic since 1985.

Grealish runs the show

All judgement of England must be placed in the context of a mediocre Republic of Ireland performance, but this was still a very impressive night for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

The 25-year-old, who actually played for the Republic’s Under-21 side before switching allegiance to England, has been the subject of much debate with many wondering why Southgate has not used his mercurial talents more regularly.

Here, given a roving role, Grealish was in confident mood as he relished possession and was one of England’s main creative forces before being substituted and getting a warm embrace from his manager after a fine display.

It remains to be seen whether Grealish has done enough to figure more prominently in Southgate’s thoughts for the key clash in Belgium but there is no doubt he made another big impression, albeit in a game that occasionally resembled a practice session.

Better night for Maguire

Maguire cut a disconsolate figure on his last Wembley appearance for England, capping a 31-minute horror show against Denmark with a second yellow card.

That night, he looked for all the world like someone who needed to be taken out of the team – after the on-field setback of being in the Manchester United defence that had conceded six goals at home to Tottenham and the off-field trauma of his well-publicised court case in Greece.

Here manager Southgate demonstrated his huge faith in Maguire by making him captain – and the centre-back had such a comfortable night that he was able to set aside any minor defensive duties to score one goal and have opportunities for more.

It will provide the perfect morale booster for the stern test in Belgium.

England’s second string saw plenty of good things from Calvert-Lewin, while Henderson made one smart save in his 45-minute debut performance,

It was hard to make any serious judgements in such a low-key friendly but Southgate will be pleased England were able to show such domination for almost the entire game.

More to follow.

Player of the match

GrealishJack Grealish

Republic of Ireland

  1. Squad number6Player nameHourihane

  2. Squad number2Player nameDoherty

  3. Squad number21Player nameCurtis

  4. Squad number20Player nameO’Shea

  5. Squad number13Player nameHendrick

  6. Squad number17Player nameHorgan

  7. Squad number9Player nameIdah

  8. Squad number15Player nameO’Dowda

  9. Squad number7Player nameBrowne

  10. Squad number23Player nameRandolph

  11. Squad number22Player nameMolumby

  12. Squad number4Player nameDuffy

  13. Squad number5Player nameEgan

  14. Squad number14Player nameLong

  15. Squad number10Player nameBrady

  16. Squad number12Player nameChristie

  17. Squad number11Player nameMcClean

Line-ups

England

  • 1PopeSubstituted forHendersonat 45′minutes
  • 4Keane
  • 5Maguire
  • 6MingsSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 61′minutes
  • 2James
  • 7MountSubstituted forBellinghamat 73′minutes
  • 8Winks
  • 3Saka
  • 10Sancho
  • 9Calvert-LewinSubstituted forAbrahamat 63′minutes
  • 11GrealishSubstituted forFodenat 61′minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Henderson
  • 14Rice
  • 15Abraham
  • 16Maitland-Niles
  • 17Bellingham
  • 18Foden
  • 19Kane
  • 20Dier
  • 21Chilwell
  • 22Pickford
  • 23Henderson

R. of Ireland

  • 23Randolph
  • 12ChristieSubstituted forLongat 61′minutes
  • 4Duffy
  • 5EganSubstituted forO’Sheaat 14′minutes
  • 2Doherty
  • 13Hendrick
  • 6HourihaneSubstituted forMolumbyat 71′minutes
  • 17HorganSubstituted forBradyat 60′minutes
  • 7Browne
  • 15O’DowdaSubstituted forMcCleanat 61′minutes
  • 9IdahSubstituted forCurtisat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Travers
  • 10Brady
  • 11McClean
  • 14Long
  • 16Kelleher
  • 18Collins
  • 19Maguire
  • 20O’Shea
  • 21Curtis
  • 22Molumby

Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande

Live Text

  1. Match ends, England 3, Republic of Ireland 0.

  2. Second Half ends, England 3, Republic of Ireland 0.

  3. Foul by Tammy Abraham (England).

  4. Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by James McClean with a cross following a corner.

  6. Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Reece James.

  7. Offside, England. Bukayo Saka tries a through ball, but Phil Foden is caught offside.

  8. Attempt missed. Harry Maguire (England) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Reece James with a cross following a corner.

  9. Corner, England. Conceded by Kevin Long.

  10. Attempt saved. Ronan Curtis (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  11. Hand ball by Bukayo Saka (England).

  12. Foul by Jude Bellingham (England).

  13. Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Phil Foden (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Foul by Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland).

  16. Substitution, England. Jude Bellingham replaces Mason Mount.

  17. Harry Winks (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Dara O’Shea (Republic of Ireland).

  19. Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Reece James.

  20. Attempt saved. Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robbie Brady.

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