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Published 22 March 2024 4 min read
Men's U21

Report: Azerbaijan 1-5 England MU21s

Written by:

Ben Hart

The Young Lions continue their winning run with convincing victory in U21 EURO qualifying in Baku

England men’s under-21s coasted to a 5-1 victory over Azerbaijan to register their fifth win in six UEFA U21 EURO qualifying matches.

Goals just four minutes apart from 2025 qualifying top-scorer Harvey Elliott and Noni Madueke broke Azerbaijan’s early resistance.

Jaden Philogene added a third shortly after half time before Elliott tapped in for a fourth to complete victory in Baku.

Substitute Ramin Nasirli scored a late consolation for Azerbaijan before debutant Archie Gray restored the four-goal margin at the death.
England MU21s' starting line-up for their game with Azerbaijan in Baku
England MU21s' starting line-up for their game with Azerbaijan in Baku

The hosts set up with a back five, inviting England forward before looking to strike on the counter attack. They kept their shape well to begin with but two openings in quick succession for debutant Morgan Rogers suggested the home defence was starting to creak.

Rogers first swept wide from a James McAtee square ball and rippled the wrong side of the net again moments later after a cut back from Philogene.

Dzhamal Dzhafarov then missed a great chance for Azerbaijan, heading wide from close range when unmarked in the England box.

And Lee Carsley’s side made them pay almost immediately when Elliott claimed his sixth goal of the qualifying campaign. The Liverpool midfielder bundled home at the far post after a brilliant low cross from Tyler Morton on 25 minutes.

A combination of Madueke and defender Suleyman Damadayev then gave England a healthy half-time cushion after Philogene’s cross from the byline. 

Goalkeeper Rustam Samiqullin managed to get a hand to it but could not stop the ball looping into the net as England continued their hot scoring streak of netting at least twice in every match of their qualifying campaign.

22 Mar 2024 120:00

Full match: Azerbaijan 1-5 England MU21s

Watch the full game in Baku live as the Young Lions resumed their UEFA U21 EURO qualifying campaign with a win

The tempo slowed before the break but Callum Doyle had to be alert to deny Azerbaijan a lifeline, poking the ball away from Nariman Akhundzade as the forward looked to pull the trigger.

Dzhafarov took aim from distance with the first shot of the second half and despite having little else to do, James Trafford made a good save at full stretch.

A fortuitous third England goal then arrived on 52 minutes via Philogene as Morton’s inswinging corner was met by Taylor Harwood-Bellis and his downward header diverted off the back of Philogene’s calf and into the corner of the net.

Elliott then added his second but it owed much to the strength of forward Rogers as the Aston Villa man held off his marker before swivelling brilliantly to create space for a cross and lay it on a plate for the prolific Elliott to provide the finish.

England's clean sheet was lost late on though, as substitute Nesirli tucked home the rebound from a Samir Abdullayev shot to reduce the arrears, only for Leeds midfielder Gray to ensure the afternoon ended on a high note by notching his first Young Lions goal shortly with a neat finish after coming on for his debut.

Carsley's side are back in action on Tuesday evening (7pm) for their first home fixture of 2024, with Luxembourg the visitors to Bolton Wanderers.

England: 1. James Trafford (Burnley), 2. Rico Lewis (Manchester City), 3. Callum Doyle (Leicester City, loan from Manchester City), 5. Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Southampton, loan from Manchester City), 6. Tyler Morton (Hull City, loan from Liverpool), 7. Jaden Philogene (Hull City), 10. James McAtee (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), 11. Noni Madueke (Chelsea), 19. Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), 20. Morgan Rogers (Aston Villa), 23. Nathan Wood (Swansea City)

Substitutes: 21. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund) for Philogene 74’, 14. Alex Scott (AFC Bournemouth) for Elliott 75’, 17. Sam Iling-Junior (Juventus) for Madueke 75’, 12. Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Millwall, loan from Arsenal) for Lewis 83’, 18. Archie Gray (Leeds United) for McAtee 83’

Substitutes not used: 4. Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), 9. Jay Stansfield (Birmingham City, loan from Fulham), 13. Sam Tickle (Wigan Athletic), 15. Charlie Cresswell (Leeds United)

Cautions: Elliott 42’, McAtee 60’

Goals: Harvey Elliott 25’, 67’, Noni Madueke 29’, Jaden Philogene 52’, Archie Gray 88'