Gallagher features as England score seven in Manchester
Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher made his seventh cap for England as the Three Lions won 7-0 against North Macedonia at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old is the only Blues representee in the current England squad due to injuries to several of our more experienced internationals. He played over half an hour in Manchester as Gareth Southgate’s side signed off until September with an emphatic performance.
The Three Lions took the lead on the half hour mark. Following neat work from Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw on familiar territory, the latter pulled the ball back for England’s No.9 Harry Kane to finish comfortably. It meant the Tottenham man has now scored in six consecutive matches for his nation.
The hosts’ then doubled their advantage, Bukayo Saka scoring his ninth England goal in the opening half after lashing home a Kyle Walker cross. England were now purring and played some incredibly attractive football, Marcus Rashford the third goalscorer of the night on the stroke of half-time.
Saka then netted a second and third to claim his first-ever Three Lions hat-trick, the second a simply wonderful strike.
Conor Gallagher was one of four England changes used at once, replacing Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson. Gallagher had over 30 minutes to stamp his mark on a game that was, in truth, already wrapped up for Southgate’s side.
Gallagher, wearing the No.19 shirt, had fleeting flourishes on the ball and was denied a clear-cut goalscoring opportunity with 10 minutes to play, as a defender’s foot prevented an inevitable free shot at goal.
England play Ukraine and Scotland in September. It is the third campaign in a row in which we have gone four from four in European qualification.
Across the English Channel, Wesley Fofana was an unused substitute as France beat Greece by the singular goal – Kylian Mbappe the match-winner. The centre-back made his international debut last time out but could not add to his first cap on Monday evening. France are top of Group B and have won all of their contests.
Academy graduate Ethan Ampadu started in midfield in Turkey as Wales lost 2-0. They did have 10-men, however, as Portsmouth’s Joe Morrell was sent off for a high challenge early on.
Elsewhere, on loan midfielder Denis Zakaria played in Switzerland’s draw with Romania in Group I of qualification. Two 90th minute strikes from the Romanians prevented Switzerland winning four from four.
The Swiss have now won three of their matches, and sit top on 10 points. Denis played 75 minutes in Lucerne. Earlier on in the day, Argentina played Indonesia in a friendly and won 2-0. Enzo Fernandez did not feature.
Ukraine, in England’s European Championships qualification group, beat Malta 1-0 but Mykhailo Mudryk was also unused. He is set for action at the Under-21 European Championships, which commence this week.