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‘There remain serious questions defensively’

England 5-Kosovo 3

England faced Kosovo on Tuesday in their final game of the most recent international break.

England headed into the game top of Group A with Kosovo behind them by a single point, although they have played one more game than England.

Tuesday’s game didn’t get off to a great start for Gareth Southgate’s side with Kosovo taking the lead inside two minutes.

However, England then stepped up a gear with the score 5-1 by half-time.

England’s goals came from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, an own goal and a Jadon Sancho brace.

Kosovo put on a strong showing in the second 45 though and managed to bring the score back to 5-3.

Keown on England’s defence

While Kosovo put up a good fight and showed their passion, it was largely England’s mistakes that lead to them scoring.

The opening goal of the game saw Michael Keane play a very poor ball, which was intercepted by a Kosovo player leading to them scoring.

Declan Rice also gave the ball away, which lead to a goal. And Harry Maguire made a rather rash tackle to give Kosovo a penalty, which they scored.

After the game, ex-Arsenal player Martin Keown has written about England’s defensive mistakes and stated that there remain serious questions defensively:

“There remain serious questions defensively.  In the first minute, Michael Keane made a sloppy pass in defence and England were punished.

“Early in the second half, Declan Rice made a sloppy pass in midfield and they were punished. 

“Then Harry Maguire made an unnecessary challenge on Vedat Muriqi, gave away a penalty, and they were punished.

“Southgate will want to get rid of this mindset of sloppiness that seems to have crept in.” As quoted by the Mirror.

Related: Gareth Southgate: England were both ‘outstanding’ and ‘poor’ against Kosovo

England 5-3 Kosovo – Raheem Sterling Full Post Match Press Conference – Euro 2020 Qualifiers



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