Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football

Clinical Lingard is hailed by Southgate

Netherlands 0 England 1

By Simon Peach

England boss Gareth Southgate praised his new-look defence after the Three Lions won 1-0 in Holland last night.

Southgate's plea for fans to behave fell on deaf ears with news of 90 arrests in Amsterdam city centre filtering through during a game that started with the boorish element of the 5,253 travelling fans booing the Dutch national anthem.

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

The clean sheet meant England have not conceded a goal in 517 minutes, with Slovakia in September 2017 the last team to score against them.

Jordan Pickford was in goal while Kyle Walker, John Stones and Joe Gomez started at the back, although the injured Gomez was replaced after just 10 minutes by Harry Maguire.

Southgate said: "The back three and the goalkeeper were excellent, the way they were able to play from the back, they played with real composure.

"The defenders and goalkeeper are all capable of using the ball well. There's a lot to work on and we can get better and there are more things we want to look at on Tuesday (against Italy)."

Southgate also reserved praise for match-winner Lingard.

He said: "I'm delighted for him. This season he's starting to finish the chances."

On the game overall, Southgate added: "I think it was a good test, we came away from home, controlled the game and used the ball really well."

Time is running out for players to prove their worth with the World Cup just three months away, while Southgate does not have many more opportunities to tweak things ahead of the opener against Tunisia.

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

Southgate will be first to admit that there is still much work to do, but his side looked in control for the most part at the sold-out Amsterdam ArenA as Ronald Koeman's first match in charge of the underwhelming Oranje ended in defeat.

Marcus Rashford was angered not to win a penalty shortly after half-time, but Manchester United team-mate Lingard struck in the 59th minute with a smart first-time finish.

Southgate's first win in a glamour friendly came at the sixth time of asking and the Three Lions boss will want to see more from his side against Italy at Wembley on Tuesday - the final match before he selects his World Cup squad.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph