Sunday, December 5, 2021

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Saka seals win for England, France thrash Wales

Teenager Bukayo Saka netted the winner as England continued their countdown to the Euros with a 1-0 win over Austria at Riverside Stadium.

Manager Gareth Southgate saw his experimental side secure victory when Arsenal’s Saka crowned a fine move with an angled finish for his first international goal after 56 minutes.

Southgate, who named his 26-man squad for the Euros on Tuesday, picked a side with an unfamiliar look as players involved with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City in the Europa League and Champions League finals were not selected.

There was however a sour-point for the Three Lions as Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold limped off late on.

The victory means England have won their past seven friendly matches, their best run in over 30 years.

Elsewhere, Neco Williams saw red as Wales were beaten 3-0 by France in their first friendly in preparation for Euro 2020.

Liverpool youngster Williams was sent off just 25 minutes into the match, after a VAR check deemed his handball had illegally impeded a goal-bound effort from Karim Benzema.

Benzema, making his first international appearance for almost six years, had his penalty saved by Danny Ward, who then did well minutes later to keep out Adrien Rabiot’s deflected shot before Kylian Mbappe scored on the rebound.

Antoine Griezmann curled in a beautiful second goal early into the second half and substitute Ousmane Dembele struck France’s third after Benzema had hit the post.

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