England expose Irish shortcomi...


England expose Irish shortcomings in comfortable friendly win

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It was a chastening night for the Republic of Ireland, who suffered a first defeat to England since 1985. 

Gareth Southgate's side won 3-0, courtesy of goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny had to contend with more late withdrawals for the game at Wembley. Captain Seamus Coleman suffered a recurrence of a previous injury, while James McCarthy was absent due to family issues.

A seeming concussion to John Egan early in the game meant Ireland had to rely on a horribly out-of-form Shane Duffy more than ever.

Despite all that, there was a bright opening for the visitors, with Daryl Horgan causing England early worries down the right flank, often combining well with Alan Browne.

But the hosts opened the scoring with 18-minutes on the clock. Harry Winks lofted a ball in from the right, with Harry Maguire outfoxing Shane Duffy to nod beyond Darren Randolph.

Duffy atoned for losing that battle seven-minutes later, blocking a Dominic Calvert-Lewin effort after Jack Grealish and Reece James conspired to slice open the Irish defence.

But England were beginning to dictate the game, and on the half-hour they were 2-0 up.

Jadon Sancho found himself in far too much space down the Ireland left, the Dortmund man cut inside and curled a right-footed shot low inside the far post.

Gareth Southgate's side continued to take advantage of Ireland's defensive short-comings, particularly down the right. Jack Grealish left Cyrus Christie standing to send an inviting square ball across the area that wasn't converted.

And just before half-time, Tyrone Mings grazed the side-netting with a shot from distance.

England started as the second half how the ended the first, Grealish setting up Bukayo Saka who found the side-netting when it seemed easier to score.

Christie was having a bad night, compounded by his concession of a penalty by fouling Saka. Calvert-Lewin made no mistake from the spot.

Ireland's first shot on target came with 19-minutes remaining. Alan Browne's shot cannoned off debutant Dean Henderson and out for a corner.

Substitute Ronan Curtis was next to test the Manchester United keeper, after a surging run from Jayson Molumby.

In the end it was all too easy for England, who made 17-year old Jude Bellingham their third youngest ever player.

For Kenny, it's again the hope that one day - maybe - he'll have a full-strength squad at his disposal.

Football greed equals injury woe, Klopp into the market, Ireland’s issues | JOHN GILES

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Adam Idah Alan Browne Conor Hourihane Cyrus Christie Daryl Horgan Duffy England Grealish Harry Maguire Ireland John Egan Kenny Republic Of Ireland Seamus Coleman Shane Duffy Stephen Kenny

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