Back to winning ways
England got the new season back on track with their first win of the campaign. A second-half goal at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium from Marcus Rashford proved enough to seal a deserved victory over a strong Switzerland outfit, fresh from a 5-0 win over Iceland in the UEFA Nations League. It ended a run of two straight defeats for the Three Lions, three if we count the shootout reverse in the World Cup semi-final, as England bounced back from Saturday’s Nations League loss against Spain at Wembley. Gareth Southgate spoke ahead of the game about his plan to get minutes on the pitch for his squad and he was true to his word as he made nine changes to the team. And he will be pleased with aspects of their display, but also aware of where he can continue to work on other areas when they meet again for Nations League trips to Croatia and Spain.
- Kick It Out International
- Tuesday 11 September
- King Power Stadium, Leicester City FC
- Live on Sky Sports
Rashford on the road
It’s fair to say Rashford enjoys England’s games on the road. After notching in previous trips away from Wembley at Sunderland in 2016 and Leeds earlier this year, the Manchester United man added another to his travelling tally in Leicester. With the second half less than ten minutes old, Danny Rose's corner was half-cleared out to Kyle Walker, who swiftly delivered a pacy cross to the far post. With Rashford finding himself some space, he met it firmly on the half volley to sweep home and put the Three Lions ahead with his fifth goal for England.
While both sides will feel they could’ve been ahead at the break, it was Switzerland’s Yann Sommer who was the busier of the two goalkeepers. For England, captain Eric Dier glanced a header narrowly wide from Rashford’s clever free-kick. Sommer then saved from Walker’s free-kick, but produced even better when he blocked the excellent Danny Rose’s angled effort from close range, following an excellent cross from Rashford. The Borussia Monchengladbach stopper then did well to save a deflected effort from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Switzerland had their own good spell though and Xherdan Shaqiri will feel he might’ve done better when his low drive from the left clipped the outside of the post following a defensive mix-up, but that was as close as they got.
England ended the game with two Leicester City players on the pitch in Harry Maguire, who excelled throughout, and Ben Chilwell who was handed his debut as a second-half substitute to what was the second biggest cheer of the night. The Milton Keynes-born full-back has been in impressive form for the Foxes this season, which saw him added to Southgate’s squad on Sunday after previously featuring for the U21s last week. And as a product of the Leicester’s academy, it was a moment to be proud of for the local supporters with Chilwell becoming the first player to make his England debut on his own club's turf since Paul Scholes did it at Old Trafford in May 1997 in a game against South Africa. Ironically, Gareth Southgate was also in the England line-up that day.
Kick It Out kicking-on
The match was played in a good spirit on the pitch and with a great atmosphere off it, thoroughly fitting for the first-ever Kick It Out International. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of an organisation which has done so much to eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination in the game and society, there was a strong Kick It Out presence around the King Power Stadium. And for those at home, the first 25 seconds of coverage were broadcast in black and white to raise more awareness of Kick It Out's anniversary and good work.
England: 1 Jack Butland (Stoke City), 2 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 3 Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), 4 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 James Tarkowski (Burnley), 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester City), 7 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 8 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) (c), 9 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), 10 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), 11 Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Substitutes: 15 John Stones (Manchester City) for Tarkowski 60, 18 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) for Loftus-Cheek 61, 19 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) for Welbeck 61, 17 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) for Delph 68, 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur) for Alexander-Arnold 78, 14 Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) for Rose 79
Substitutes not used: 13 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 21 Alex McCarthy (Southampton), 22 Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), 16 Joe Gomez (Liverpool), 20 Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Marcus Rashford 54
Cautions: Jordan Henderson 81
Switzerland: 1 Yann Sommer, 2 Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5 Manuel Akanji, 8 Remo Freuler, 10 Granit Zhaka, 13 Ricardo Rodriguez, 17 Denis Zakaria, 19 Mario Gavranovic, 20 Johan Djourou, 22 Fabian Schar, 23 Xherdan Shaqiri.
Substitutes: 3 Francois Moubandje for Akanji 46, 18 Admir Mehmedi for Rodriguez 46, 11 Edimilson Fernandes for Zakaria 66, 14 Steven Zuber for Freuler 67, 16 Albian Ajeti for Gavranovic 67, 9 Haris Seferovic for Shaqiri 80
Substitutes: 12 Yvon Mvogo, 21 Gregor Kobel, 4 Timm Klose, 6 Kevin Mbabu, 7 Breel Embolo, 15 Djibril Sow
Head coach: Vladimir Petkovic
Cautions: Stephan Lichtsteiner 27