Arsenal ace Emile Smith Rowe scores for first time in 9 months as England Under-21s beat France 4-0
EMILE SMITH ROWE netted in his first start in nine months to help Lee Carsley’s Young Lions to a resounding win over much-coveted France.
Noni Madueke and Curtis Jones also joined the scorers list after coming off the bench, before the former put down a fourth-place finish for fellow coach Jacob Ramsey.
Arsenal prodigy Smith Rowe, 22, underwent surgery in September to cure a nagging groin problem but is yet to be named in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI this season.
That means he last started England Under-21s’ surprise 2-1 defeat by Slovenia in Huddersfield on 13 June 2022 – our first EURO qualifier defeat in over a decade.
Smith Rowe gave his club manager a timely reminder of his talent after being overlooked in the opener just after half-time.
It paved the way for a stunning victory in Leicester – albeit just a friendly – against a respected French side ahead of this summer’s European Under-21 Championship in Romania and Georgia.
Sylvain Ripoli’s Les Bleus will have struggled after dominating the first half.
Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise, eligible for England, missed a number of chances from distance.
Whilst Matthis Abline was thwarted by an impressive stop from James Trafford after playing a clean one-two and firing on target from a tight angle.
Loaned to Bolton from Manchester City, Trafford was England’s top-performing player in the first 45 when he overplayed Manu Kone’s wicked shot.
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Carsley’s men came out more determined in the second half at the King Power and were ahead after 51 minutes.
Tottenham’s Oliver Skipp brilliantly intercepted a weak pass and handed it to captain Morgan Gibbs-White.
The Nottingham Forest man took a touch and lobbed a spot-on cross over the French defence, which included Chelsea’s Benoit Badiashile, and found Smith Rowe.
Arsenal’s No 10 did the rest by finding the corner with a measured header.
It was all England from then on, especially when Madueke and Jones were introduced.
Liverpool midfielder Jones, playing in a false nine roll, snuck through a clever pass that allowed Madueke to find the corner to make it 2-0 in the 77th minute.
Moments later, England had a third as the pair combined again, this time Chelsea man Madueke delivering a low cross that Jones outrageously flipped home with a back heel.
Carsley’s men went wild as Madueke slipped inside Ramsey to meet another.
Four goals flattered the hosts but there was no doubt that Carsley’s men deserved victory after their impressive second-half display.
It gives them renewed confidence ahead of this summer’s European Championships, where getting out of the group stage will be the bare minimum after failing to do so in the last two tournaments.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7718318/arsenal-emile-smith-rowe-goal-england-france-u21s/ Arsenal ace Emile Smith Rowe scores for first time in 9 months as England Under-21s beat France 4-0