Evening all, welcome to the coverage of the UEFA Euro U21 Qualifying. My name is Daniel Lambert and I’ll be covering England U21s vs Czech Republic U21s from Turf Moor, the home of Burnley tonight.
England sit third in the group and trail the Czechs by five points in the qualifying group stages. The Czechs have won all four of their qualifying games, scoring nine goals and conceding zero so far this campaign, so no doubt will travel here in fine form.
It’s closely approaching 18:00- I’ll bring you the team sheets shortly.
Players are waiting patiently in the tunnel with the referees. It’s lined up for a cracking game, a critical night for the three lions for another step towards qualification. And a big night for England U21 debutant Folarin Balogun, the young Arsenal striker no doubt is hungry to impress.
Both sets of teams are gathered around the halfway line ready for the Remembrance day preparations, ever the more important tonight, emphasised by the fact today is Armistice day.
1′ Both sides take the knee and Czech Republic get kick-off underway.
4′ GOAL! England 1-0 Czech Republic. It’s the absolute perfect start for England. Early sustained pressure from England dispossesses the Czech’s of possession. Cole Palmer drove infield skipping past Czech bodies before laying it off to Anthony Gordon in the wide left position. He cuts inside and hits a shot that takes a huge deflection off of Martin Vitik. Thanfully for Gordon the goal remains his- especially on his debut.
10′ A wonderful ball from Max Aarons breaks between the Czech Republic midfield and defensive lines to reach Palmer out wide. Palmer drives inside on his left foot but it goes out for a corner. Nothing happens with the resulting corner.
11′ GOAL! England 2-0 Czech Republic. A dream debut for Gordon as he scores a second. Balogun cuts out a misplaced pass before slotting Conor Gallagher through with a lovely weighted pass. Gallagher shoots from a tight angle and the parry from the keeper falls to the onrushing Gordon. Utter dominance from England so far.
16′ After several sustained attacks by England early on, they’ve dropped off into a 4-5-1 off the ball and have invited some pressure from the Czechs but so far are defending comfortably.
19′ There was some temptation to overplay there from England as Jacob Ramsey played a short back-pass to Marc Guehi but Guehi calmly collected possession and recycled down the England flanks.
20′ Cries of laughter as Luke Thomas miskicks a cross into the box but the ball falls kindly to Gordon. The ball then falls out to Aarons from 40 yards out but it was skied over the bar. After that shot it’s fair to say Aarons was hopeful.
22′ Claims for a penalty by England. Balogun Cruyff turns through a Czech defender’s legs into the box and is wrestled to the floor. No foul says the referee. Jacob Ramsey is looking very sharp driving England forward.
26′ Czech Republic are finding it hard to break England so far as England form a low block in numbers out of possession, Carsley’s men showing they are well drilled in many aspects of their game.
30′ GOAL! England 3-0 Czech Republic. Too easy. Czech Republic give the ball away in their own half again, Ramsey picks it up and feeds Balogun on the right-hand side of the box and he slides it low beyond Matej Kovar.
32′ Filip Kaloc is the first player to go into the book for a foul on Ramsey. Yellow Card.
34′ Gordon tries a speculative effort to seal his hat-trick but his shot is driven wide of the post. How many will it be before half-time?
35′ The Czech’s make an early first substitution as Tomas Cvancara makes way for Lukas Cerv. Cvancara doesn’t look injured, so I’d assume it’s a tactical change.
38′ Balogun has a shot saved by Kovar. England recycle possession before Kovar comes out to claim a Aarons cross
38′ Penalty to Czech Republic. Some confusion with the ref there as he had the yellow card out but some quick feet from Adam Karabec does enough to draw Luke Thomas into the foul. Thomas receives a yellow card for the challenge.
40′ GOAL! England 3-1 Czech Republic. Karabec takes the penalty and rifles the ball down the middle. The game is now back on.
44′ How England don’t score there I will never know. Gordon takes on the Czech right back with a fee stepovers before sending a dangerous cross across goal into the path of an unmarked Balogun. The ball just falls and bounces off his feet. He’ll be ruing that missed chance.
45′ Two minutes are added onto the end of the first half.
45+2′ Max Aarons goes into the book for a foul and gives away a free-kick as a result. First yellow card for England.
HT England 3-1 Czech Republic. Total domination from England’s young lions so far.
46′ The Czech Republic make another change – Michal Fukala is replaced by David Jurasek. England get us underway in the second half.
51′ Gordon lays a pass on the edge of the box for Palmer to line-up but drifts further left and makes the angle tighter. He threads through Balogun in the left half space and a Balogun cross goes out for a corner.
52′ Gordon with another chance to seal his hat-trick with a lovely defence splitting diagonal ball from Harwood-Bellis but Kovar saves comfortably.
55′ Cole Palmer looks like a strong gust of wind would blow him over, but it’s that weightlessness that makes his movement so effortless. Clear to see why he’s not been sent on loan by Man City. Isolating defenders and linking up with Balogun to devastating effect for England U21’s tonight. Pep Guardiola clearly rates him highly.
58′ The tempo of the game has dropped in the second half. Particularly from England it’s become disjointed between midfield and attack so I wonder whether Lee Carsley will opt for a substitution soon.
59′ Czech Republic no.4 Adam Gabriel receives a yellow for a late challenge on Gordon.
61′ Successive quick turnovers in Czech Republic’s own half gives Palmer and Ramsey time on the ball in some dangerous positions but both shots go over the bar. You’d think the Czech’s would have learnt their lesson by now with playing out from the back.
64′ Everything is coming through Jacob Ramsey for England tonight. A combative midfielder but most importantly a brilliant ball carrier, progressing England up the pitch a lot tonight. No surprise to see his involvement in the Aston Villa first team this season.
71′ Czech’s lively midfielder Karabec shows quick feet to shimmie past England players and falls down claiming a foul but the ref waves away the claims.
72′ A double substitution for the Czech Republic. 13 and 19 on for the No. 9 and Karabec
73′ England sub. Angel Gomes is on for the injured Cole Palmer who looks to be clutching his hamstring. Worrying signs for the bright talent.
77′ A stroke of fortune for England as a spinning deflection falls beyond the England backline and Harwood-Bellis but a Czech handball relieves England of any Czech danger.
83′ England are guilty of falling asleep late on as Czech Republic capitalise on a few sloppy balls but thankfully for England, the Czechs were unable to take advantage of the given chances.
86′ Matej Koubek receives a yellow card for a high boot on Marc Guehi.
88′ Substitution for Czech Republic. Martin Vitik is replaced by Robin Hranac.
89′ A short U21’s debut for Charlie Cresswell tonight as he replaces Conor Gallagher. England shifting into a 3-4-3 for the final few minutes.
90′ The Fourth official has announced there will be an additional four added minutes at the end of the second half.
FT England U21’s 3-1 Czech Republic U21’s. An assured and impressive performance from the young lions tonight. It should give them a lot of confidence going into the latter qualifying stages.
The win for England means it takes them into second place, trailing the Czechs by only two points now with a game in hand on the Czechs. Lee Carsley will be confident they can beat anyone in this group with the quality of his squad and is no doubt glad that their future lies in their own destiny.
Thanks for joining me for the qualifying game for the Euro U21s between England and Czech Republic- I hope you enjoyed the coverage.