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Published 25 March 2023 4 min read
Men's U21

Report: England MU21s 4-0 France

Written by:

Jonny Bray

Goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Noni Madueke, Curtis Jones and Jacob Ramsey secure an impressive win for Lee Carsley's Young Lions in Leicester

Noni Madueke grabbed a goal and two assists as England men's under-21s ended France's 14-game unbeaten run with an emphatic 4-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

The first half started slowly, but it sprung into life in the final ten minutes, and either team could have gone into the break ahead.

But Emile Smith Rowe gave Lee Carsley's side the lead in the 50th minute before goals from Madueke, Curtis Jones and Jacob Ramsey wrapped up an impressive win.

France controlled possession in the early stages and had the first chance of the game, but Chelsea defender Benoît Badiashile headed straight at England goalkeeper James Trafford from a corner.

They had another half-chance when Amine Adli found a yard of space in the box, but a poor touch allowed the ball to slip out of reach.

Crystal Palace's Michael Olise then fired over with a trademark left-footed curler in the 15th minute and, just moments later, he produced a more measured effort, but for the second time Trafford was not really tested.

With ten minutes left of the half, France had their first clear-cut chance when Rayan Cherki, who had been their most creative player, conjured a one-two inside the box before forcing a good stop from Trafford.
Noni Madueke made a big impact after coming on, including scoring the second goal of the evening
Noni Madueke made a big impact after coming on, including scoring the second goal of the evening
That sprung England into life, and they went straight down the other end of the pitch through Djed Spence, but his cross was comfortably beyond Cameron Archer.

Another Spence cross led to England's first shot on target. The on-loan Rennes defender's delivery was deflected and found its way to Archer, whose volley forced an excellent reaction from France goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier.

With four minutes remaining of the half, a thunderbolt from Kouadio Koné forced another excellent save from Trafford, who responded superbly to tap the dipping effort over the bar.

After the break, Harvey Elliott's volley from the edge of the box was straight down the throat of Chevalier.

And just a minute later, England were 1-0 up when Smith Rowe headed Morgan Gibbs-White's delightful delivery goalward at the far post.

Trafford was equal to another Koné effort as the game entered the final 30 minutes.

A free-flowing French move nearly set substitute Enzo Le Fée through on goal, but the England stopper was quick off his line to claim the ball.

But Madueke made sure of the result with 14 minutes left on the clock, linking up well with fellow substitute Jones before finishing calmly past Chevalier.

The roles were reversed a minute later as Jones scored one of his own, this time getting on the end of Madueke's cross to emphatically flick home his fourth goal for the MU21s.

England were on fire, and soon had their fourth when Ramsey got on the end of another clever Madueke delivery, wrapping up a statement win in style.

England: 1 James Trafford (Bolton Wanderers, loan from Manchester City), 24 Djed Spence (Rennes, loan from Tottenham Hotspur), 15 Charlie Cresswell (Millwall, loan from Leeds United), 4 Levi Colwill (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan from Chelsea), 2 Max Aarons (Norwich City), 19 Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), 6 Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), 20 Angel Gomes (Lille), 9 Cameron Archer (Middlesbrough, loan from Aston Villa), 7 Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest)

Substitutes: 17 Curtis Jones (Liverpool) for Archer 65', 11 Noni Madueke (Chelsea) for Smith Rowe 65', 3 Luke Thomas (Leicester City) for Aarons 71', 18 Tommy Doyle (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City) for Skipp, 23 Cole Palmer (Manchester City) for Elliott 71', 8 Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa) for Gomes 71', 14 James Garner (Everton) for Gibbs-White 71', 5 Ben Johnson (West Ham United) for Spence 77'

Substitutes not used: 12 Nathan Wood (Swansea City), 13 Josh Griffiths (West Bromwich Albion), 16 James McAtee (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), 21 Rico Lewis (Manchester City), 22 Carl Rushworth (Lincoln City, loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), 32 Anthony Patterson (Sunderland)

Manager: Lee Carsley

Goals: Smith Rowe 50', Madueke 77', Jones 79' Ramsey 86'

France: 16 Lucas Chevalier, 17 Valentin Gendrey. 2 Mohamed Simakan, 5 Benoît Badiashile. 3 Yasser Larouci, 7 Kouadio Koné, 19 Johann Lepenant, 22 Michael Olise, 10 Rayan Cherki, 15 Amine Adli, 18 Matthis Abline

Substitutes: 6 Enzo Le Fée for Larouci 63', 11 Amine Gouiri for Adli 63', 12 Niels Nkounkou for Cherki 63', 8 Andy Diouf for Olise 73', 9 Arnaud Kalimuendo for Koné 73', 21 Bradley Barcola for Abline 73', 14 Castello Lukeba for Badiashile, 13 Han-Noah Massengo for Lepenant

Substitutes not used: 1 Illan Meslier, 4 Warmed Omari, 20 Pierre Kalulu, 23 Stefan Bajic

Manager: Sylvain Ripoll