Two goals from Jack Grealish on his full debut, along with strikes from Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, a brace from Cauley Woodrow and an own goal secured the win for Gareth Southgate’s side in Aubagne.
England 7-1 Guinea
Monday 23 May 2016
Stade de Lattre, Aubagne
Live on BT Sport
And they had to recover from an awkward start, as Guinea stunned the Three Lions after just 45 seconds when Thierno Diallo’s scuffed effort took a bounce off the turf to wrong-foot Angus Gunn and give the African side a better start than they could ever have imagined.
That blow simply sparked England into life though and it took a good save from Ousmane Doucoure to keep Guinea level in the sixth minute as John Swift played in Woodrow, whose shot was beat away by the keeper.
But they didn’t have to wait much longer as Woodrow turned provider by digging out a cross to the far post for Grealish, who volleyed home with aplomb to get England back on track.
Moments later, England were almost in front when the impressive Redmond found half a yard just inside the area before smashing a low shot against the outside of the post.
England finally took the lead on the half-hour mark, as captain Ward-Prowse slotted home from the penalty spot, after Naby Sampou was adjudged to have blocked Swift’s route into the box with his hand.
The turnaround was complete four minutes later, when Redmond took aim from 30 yards to fire home an unstoppable shot past Doucoure with the Guinean stopper left grasping at thin air. Undoubtedly, it was the goal of the tournament so far.
And on the stroke of half time, Grealish had his second of the night, when he ghosted past two defenders into the box before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
The Three Lions added a fifth less than ten minutes after the re-start, as Grealish set up Woodrow for a shot which was saved by Doucoure before bouncing back off Souleymade Makadji and creeping into the bottom corner for an unfortunate own goal.
Woodrow got the goal his endeavour deserved soon after when he found space on the left channel to slot a low finish past the exposed Doucoure to make it six.
And the Fulham striker had his second soon after when a raking pass from Nathaniel Chalobah sent fellow sub Duncan Watmore clear down the left. He placed a cross to the far post, where Woodrow arrived to side-foot home from close range and complete the scoring.
England Under-21s (4-1-2-1-2): 13 Angus Gunn (Manchester City); 15 Jack Stephens (Southampton), 18 Robert Holding (Bolton Wanderers), 6 Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 3 Matt Targett (Southampton); 8 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) (c); 17 John Swift (Chelsea), 16 Matt Grimes (Swansea City); 14 Jack Grealish (Aston Villa); 11 Nathan Redmond (Norwich City); 9 Cauley Woodrow (Fulham).
Substitutes: 4 Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea) for Ward-Prowse 41, 19 Kasey Palmer (Chelsea) for Redmond 54, 5 Calum Chambers (Arsenal) for Hause 54, 7 Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) for Grealish 60
Subs not used: 1 Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), 2 Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 10 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 12 Lewis Baker (Chelsea), 20 Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).
Head coach: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Jack Grealish 7, 40, James Ward-Prowse 30 (p),Nathan Redmond 34, Souleymade Makadji (OG) 50, Cauley Woodrow 58, 73
Guinea: 16 Ousman Doucoure, 13 Abdoulaye Cisse, 3 Naby Sampou, 5 Mohamed Toure, 14 Babacar Camara, 8 Salimou Toure, 6 Alpha Kaba, 20 Thierno Diallo, 11 Fode Guirassy, 17 Amadou Diallo, 9 Mamadou Guarassy.
Substitutes: 15 Souleymade Makadji for Sampou 44, 7 Cherif Tasfir for Salimou Toure 48, 12 Seiti Toure for Guirassy 55, 18 Bangaly Soumah for Guarassy
Subs not used: 1 Kandjoura Diaby, 2 Abou Magnora, 4 Jean-Francois Kamano, , 10 Pepe Guilavogui, , 19 Joey Milimono.
Head coach: Koivogui Koly
Goals: 20 Thierno Diallo 1
Match highlights: England U21s 7-1 Guinea