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Southgate delighted with England performance

27 March, 2018, 06:26 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Jordan Pickford in goal for England against Netherlands as Gareth Southgate opts for Everton star as No 1 in friendly

It was a sad sideline that Gareth Southgate was forced to discuss the behaviour of England's fans on a night when he had every right to be able to focus exclusively on the excellent performance of his team.

Jesse Lingard's second-half goal - his first for his country - sealed the victory.

With that in mind, Southgate raised eyebrows with some selections for the final game on foreign soil before heading to Russian Federation, but England looked confident against one of the most notable World Cup absentees.

"For me, lots of individual positives and I think probably the most pleasing thing is the players looked like they enjoyed their football".

While an injury inside 10 minutes to Gomez disrupted Southgate's plans, England were well organised and not inhibited by the role changes. On Friday night, he gave Rashford the nod ahead of Jamie Vardy as England's No 9 and the Manchester United man should have been rewarded for an industrious performance with a penalty.

The finish, just before the hour, had all the Lingard trademarks that have brought him 13 goals for United this season.

Has there been a shift in Southgate's goalkeeper plans? The 24-year-old didn't look out of place either.

"Kyle's use of the ball was really composed, as well as his pace being a tremendous asset".

And some strong performances during his debut Goodison Park campaign has seen Pickford beat the likes of Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Nick Pope to a starting spot against the Dutch.

Liverpool's Henderson is the other alternative and he put a series of below-par England displays behind him to excel in Amsterdam. It was also their first victory over the Netherlands anywhere since Euro 96 - but this was hardly vintage Dutch opposition.

Netherlands may be in the process of rebuilding after missing out on two consecutive major worldwide tournaments.

"It was one of the best performances I've seen from an England team in a long, long while", the ex-England global told the Weekend Sports Breakfast.

"We are playing England and you see the difference in quality", Koeman said.

It was the first taste fans got of the possible formation and style of play they can expect from England when they travel to Russian Federation in the summer, and many were impressed by their composed display.


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