England 1-0 Austria: Bukayo Saka nets winner for stuttering Three Lions… but Gareth Southgate is left sweating on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after he limps off in the friendly victory
- Trent Alexander-Arnold limped off injured in the closing moments of the friendly
- Issue will leave Gareth Southgate sweating on his fitness ahead of Euro 2020
- England defeated Austria with a 1-0 victory at the Riverside Stadium
- Bukayo Saka struck winner with his first international goal in the second half
- Gareth Southgate announced his official 26-man squad on Tuesday
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
It’s hard to know what will have unnerved Gareth Southgate more in the closing moments of this hitherto uneventful game on Teesside.
Strange as it sounds, it may not have been the sight of Trent Alexander-Arnold limping round the perimeter of the field after pulling up on the far side.
It would be desperately unfortunate for the Liverpool full-back if he were to go down lame now but England are, as we know, well-stocked for right-backs.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is helped off the pitch after picking up an injury late in the game
The full-back raises his shirt over his head after picking up his leg injury during the match
Conor Coady attends to Alexander-Arnold who looked concerned with his left thigh
England boss Gareth Southgate consoles the defender as he limps down the tunnel
More worrying for the England manager may well have been hearing Jack Grealish call for ice to be applied to his fragile right shin shortly after being substituted. It already feels as though Grealish will have a prominent part to play in this summer’s European Championship if he can just stay fit.
But then it may have been just about the final act of the night that troubles Southgate more than anything.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s extraordinary decision to leap recklessly and dangerously above his own defender Ben Godfrey to try to punch clear a harmless ball almost led to a goal.
Ben White had to clear the subsequent follow up shot from the line and that was all that stood between a victory becoming a draw that Austria really would not have deserved.
Bukayo Saka had earlier scored the winning goal for England in a 1-0 win over Austria
The Arsenal star celebrates scoring his first international goal at the Riverside Stadium
England (4-3-3): Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Coady, Mings (Godfrey 62), Trippier, Grealish (White 71), Rice (Ward-Prowse 61), Bellingham, Lingard (Watkins 61), Kane (Calvert-Lewin 61), Saka.
Subs not used: Johnstone, Ramsdale, Phillips, Jordan Henderson
Goal: Saka 56
Booked: Calvert-Lewin, Alexander-Arnold
Austria (4-4-2): Bachmann, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Friedl, Lainer (Trimmel 81), Baumgartner (Schaub 62), Laimer (Grillitsch 62), Xaver Schlager (Baumgartlinger 81), Alaba (Schopf 72), Sabitzer, Kalajdzic (Gregoritsch 71).
Subs not used: Pervan, Alexander Schlager, Ilsanker, Lienhart, Posch, Ulmer.
Referee: Lawrence Visser (Belgium)
Pickford smiled as he left the field at the end and that’s fair enough. No point dwelling on these things. He had earlier produced a very good save to deny Marcel Sabitzer, touching his 20-yard shot on to the crossbar.
But, equally, these are the moments that can cost you in a big tournament. Pickford has worked hard on his concentration and his focus this season. Southgate referenced it last week. It is to be hoped that this was the one lapse that the Everton goalkeeper had to get out of his system before the serious stuff starts at the back end of next week.
As far as Alexander-Arnold goes, he can only wait. He had enjoyed a productive night but just as all the fuss about his inclusion in the squad had started to die down, he put his foot through a late clearance and clearly felt something in his thigh. Muscle injuries are unpredictable. Some recover quicker than others but his chances of starting the opening game of the tournament against Croatia – already slim – would now appear to have receded further.
Grealish should have a better prognosis. He has been nursing a shin injury for some time and the chances are he will ease it through this tournament. If he can do so while playing like this then he will very valuable indeed.
Jack Grealish ended the game with an icepack on his shin as a precaution after a strong display
The midfielder helped create England’s goal in a match where he was persistently fouled
This was an unspectacular evening for England but that’s often the way with pre-tournament friendlies. Nobody expects fireworks at this stage. It was a 6/10 performance but Grealish and Saka were two of the stand out performers.
Both were targeted by an Austria team that was not afraid to play physically but neither were daunted by that and combined to produce a winning goal in the 56th minute.
Jude Bellingham – partnering Declan Rice at the base of the midfield – muscled his way to possession and when he fed Grealish, he was able to move forwards before supplying Harry Kane on the left.
Kane’s ball to the top of the penalty area was then laid in to Grealish’s path nicely by Jesse Lingard only for Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer to tackle. When the ball rolled to Saka on the left he could not miss and did not. It was his first international goal.
England went close to scoring early in the game through Alexander-Arnold’s rising drive
Harry Kane captained England as the Three Lions prepared for the European Championship
Kane had a chance to score in the first half thwarted by the Austria keeper Daniel Bachmann
England had started the night playing that kind of football. They moved the ball well and used the width of the field. Kane supplied Alexander-Arnold were a superb long pass in the fourth minute and his shot was touched over. Then, from the resulting corner, Bellingham headed in to the goalkeeper’s arms before a Lingard cross was soon half-cleared to Saka who volleyed over.
It was all bright and promising and expansive but it did not last. Indeed by half-time focus had turned to footage showing Tyrone Mings body checking an opponent on the edge of his own penalty area. The officials did not spot the incident and there was no VAR in use here. But again a lesson must be learned. If Mings does not later in the summer, it will in all likelihood end his tournament.
Austria, ranked 23rd in the world, were keen to break up the game whenever was possible but they did grow in to the contest in the second half.
Pickford’s save from Sabitzer was a sharp one and that came moments after Godfrey – one of four players no longer in Southgate’s tournament squad to be used here – had almost marked his own debut by passing the ball in to his own goal.
Austria rallied late in the game with Jordan Pickford saving an effort from Marcel Sabitzer
In stoppage time debutant and substitute Ben White cleared off the line to seal the victory
Late on, Austria enjoyed some persistent possession. Substitute Michael Gregoritsch headed a really good chance wide when left unmarked and then came Pickford’s moment of rash judgement.
So England may have turned victory in to something less palatable at the death and there should be a lesson in there. Concentration levels in the last five minutes were maybe not what they should be.
Nevertheless, Southgate will have seen some things to encourage him. Bellingham, on his first start, was another young player who advanced his case for a place in the team for the Croatia game.
Southgate has options this summer and in all likelihood will need them.
Southgate applauds the supporters inside the Riverside Stadium following the friendly win
White applauds the fans as Pickford shares a discussion with Everton team-mate Ben Godfrey
RE-LIVE ALL THE ACTION AS IT HAPPENED…
But the real concern is now the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold – who had to be helped around the pitch after going off.
Ben White clears off the line as England survive the final few minutes.
90min: Alexander-Arnold is then ludicrously booked for coming back onto the pitch, but he soon has to depart again and you would have to say judging by the way he is limping – that’s a huge worry heading into the Euros…
England down to 10 men as Michael Gregoritsch heads a sitter wide for Austria.
89min: Martin Hinteregger is booked but of more importance, Alexander-Arnold looks to have pulled a hamstring.
He kicked the ball away following a simple throw in, and that does not look good. England have made all their subs.
Scotland looked to be heading for a morale boosting win against Holland but Memphis Depay has had other ideas with a free-kick a minute from time seeing that game end 2-2.
82min: Austria haven’t been too much of a nuisance for England but they would be worthy of an equaliser should they get it. Sabitzer again the problem as his long range effort is stopped by Pickford.
79min: Half-chance for England as Calvert-Lewin plays a low ball into the box, the only problem is the person who should be attacking it was playing the pass himself. Slightly worrying to see Jack Grealish’s shins plastered with ice packs, but it will be all part of his recovery I’m sure.
76min: England’s defence has not been at its best this evening. A corner into the six-yard box sees Ben Godfrey miss his header with the ball bouncing through before going away to safety.
73min: Grealish’s low ball into the ball is an excellent one but here are no takers inside the six-yard area to turn it home. Shortly after the Villa midfielder departs, to be replaced by debutant Ben White as England go three at the back.
Grealish meanwhile has some ice applied to his shins, with the Villa star still trying to work his way back up to fitness.
67min: Calvert-Lewin is now booked with his leap so high trying to win a header he ends up kicking his opponent accidentally in the head. Dangerous play apparently and it’s a yellow card.
65min: Shaky start for the new boys. Ben Godfrey’s first touch is nearly a passback for an own goal before Jordan Pickford clears, withthe Everton keeper then having to be at full stretch to tip a first-time Sabitzer lob onto the crossbar.
62min: After Marcel Sabitzer fires just low and wide from the edge of the box, England freshen up the side with a few faces. On come Ben Godfrey, James Ward-Prowse, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins as Tyrone Mings, Declan Rice, Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard make way.
Not a great evening for Wales as they fall 2-0 down in France, with Antoine Griezmann on target for the world champions against the 10 men.
56min: And we get both! Harry Kane counters from a Jack Grealish pass before finding Jesse Lingard with a pass on the edge of the box, his through ball finds Grealish inside the box, with the ball then being diverted into the path for Bukayo Saka to roll home from a difficult angle for his first international goal. Good move from England.
55min: Never mind goals, this game could do with someone having a shot on goal. It’s quite even now with both sides looking to counter each other.
53min: Meanwhile Stefan Lainer has made one sliding challenge too many as he is booked for chopping down Bukayo Saka who was looking to counter down the left.
There is more encouragement for England’s rivals north of the border, with Kevin Nisbet slotting home well following a counter attack to give Scotland a 2-1 lead against Holland.
48min: A bit more zip about Austria at the start of this half. They have controlled the play so far and are making England look very uncomfortable on the ball. Still no chances at the moment.
After a bright start, England’s attacks got fewer and less dangerous as the half progressed, with some of the problems looking related to Kane just dropping a little too deep and leaving nobody up top to attack any potential cross or pass through. I guess that’s why we have these warm up games though – to see what works and what doesn’t.
Neco Williams has been sent off for Wales, and while Karim Benzema missed the resulting penalty on his return to the side, Kylian Mbappe has since fired France in front.
I don’t think playing with 10 men was part of Wales’ planned preparation…
39min: The last 10 minutes have seen Austria advance more into the England half, with Gareth Southgate’s side now labouring a bit in attack. It’s certainly a much more even game now – you could even argue Austria are on top as Baumgartner’s shot from point blank range is well saved by Pickford.
36min: Bit better from Austria. Sabitzer lays the ball off for Sasa Kalajdzic 23 yards out, but his low strike is straight at Jordan Pickford and gives him a comfortable stop.
33min: Austria enjoying a rare spell of possession but they do not look too keen to attack England. As a result, the likes of RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer are hardly seeing any of the ball. He’s hardly had a kick.
Half-time in Portugal by the way, it remains Holland 1-1 Scotland.
30min: Chance for England. Grealish releases Kane inside the box but his first touch is a bit heavy and it allows Daniel Bachmann to make a save at point blank range.
28min: Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick is deflected off the wall but is recycled by Kane, whose first time cross for Lingard is deflected on target but saved.
26min: This is getting silly now. Grealish has now been fouled three times quite blatantly – and remember he has only just come back from injury.
No cards this time but England do have a free-kick 30 yards out just to the left.
23min: England are on top here. All the play has been inside the Austria half, and the hosts are finding space to attack the flanks. Austria though for now are standing firm as an Alexander Arnold cross is blocked behind.
20min: You know a friendly is getting a little bit reckless when yellow cards are being handed out after just 20 minutes. Austria’s robust tackling has seen them make one too many as Xaver Schlager is cautioned with a late challenge on Saka who a few moments later just turns the ball over from close range.
17min: The last thing England want is their key men getting pole axed in friendlies, and it is not a good look to see Jack Grealish rolling around in agony. after being brought down by a late challenge from Stefan Lainer.
Thankfully he is ok, but the Three Lions fail to seriously trouble from the set-piece.
14min: It’s been a decent first 15 minutes or so to this friendly. It’s come to a halt though with Saka down needing treatment. He should be ok to continue though.
11min: Bukayo Saka has also made a bright start on the left, with the Arsenal star using pace and skill to find a gap to attack before his dangerous cross is put behind for a corner.
England have the ball in the net through Jesse Lingard as a result of that set-piece, but the whistle had already gone for a foul. No VAR this evening by the way.
8min: Back come Austria though. They find it a little bit too easy to attack through the centre, before Christoph Baumgartner fires just over Jordan Pickford’s crossbar.
5min: Good start for England. Harry Kane drops deep to collect the ball before releasing Trent Alexander-Arnold in on goal down the right.
The Liverpool full-back charges into the box but his rising drive (below) is tipped over the crossbar. From the corner, Jude Bellingham is free for a header he nods straight at the keeper.
Jack Hendry had given Scotland the lead against Holland in Portugal, but Memphis Depay has since equalised for the Dutch.
After an awkward mixed reaction to the players taking the knee – an even sounding mixture of boos and applause from fans – the game gets underway.
The supporters are in full voice for the national anthem, after the (arguably real) national anthem of ‘Three Lions’ was played prior to the teams walking out. Here is a reminder of the line-ups for both teams:
England: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Coady, Mings, Trippier, Grealish, Rice, Bellingham, Lingard, Kane, Saka.
Subs: Johnstone, Ramsdale, Calvert-Lewin, Godfrey, Phillips, White,
Watkins, Ward-Prowse, Jordan Henderson, Sancho.
Austria: Bachmann, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Friedl, Lainer, Baumgartner, Laimer, Xaver Schlager, Alaba, Sabitzer, Kalajdzic.
Subs: Pervan, Alexander Schlager, Baumgartlinger, Gregoritsch, Grillitsch, Ilsanker, Lienhart, Posch, Schaub, Schopf, Trimmel, Ulmer.
Referee: Lawrence Visser (Belgium)
Scotland and Wales have also qualified of course and they too will be featuring in respective matches against Holland and France.
Scotland kicked off at 7.45pm and the score is currently 0-0.
France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Lucas, Pogba, Tolisso, Rabiot, Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe-Lottin.
Subs: Mandanda, Maignan, Ben Yedder, Coman, Dembele, Digne, Dubois, Kounde, Lenglet, Sissoko, Thuram.
Wales: Ward, Gunter, Rodon, Mepham, Connor Roberts, Wilson, Allen, Neco Williams, Morrell, James, Bale.
Subs: Hennessey, Adam Davies, Brooks, Cabango, Colwill, Ben Davies, Levitt, Moore, Norrington-Davies, Ramsey, Tyler Roberts, Jonathan Williams.
Referee: Luis Godinho (Portugal)
Holland: Krul, Dumfries, Timber, De Vrij, De Ligt, Wijndal, De Roon, Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, Weghorst, Depay.
Subs: Berghuis, Bizot, Luuk de Jong, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Koopmeiners, Malen, Promes, Stekelenburg, van Aanholt, Van de Beek, Veltman.
Scotland: Gordon, Tierney, Cooper, Hendry, Robertson, Armstrong, McGregor, Turnbull, Forrest, Dykes, Christie.
Subs: McLaughlin, McTominay, Taylor, Gallagher, Nisbet, Fraser, Gilmour, McKenna.
Referee: Victor Ferreira (Portugal)
Barnes believes that while England should stroll to victory, it will be the performance that will matter most to Gareth Southgate.
‘England should beat Austria comfortably, by two or three goals, he told BonusCode bets.
‘We always do well in friendly matches, qualifying games and the early rounds of tournaments – that’s when people start saying we’re going all the way! But then come the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, when things become more difficult.
‘Austria are not as strong as they were a few years ago, but I’ll be happy with a 0-0 draw against them if we can see a method emerging, and we then stick with this way of playing rather than chopping and changing every game.
‘Of course, you want to win every match but at this point it’s more important to put on a good performance. Are the team playing with cohesion and understanding? That’s really what you are looking for.
‘The result is always important, but it’s the performance Gareth Southgate will be focusing on. If England perform really well, hit the bar ten times and draw 0-0, he won’t be too worried about that.’
It was an important clash though, with Sven Goran Eriksson’s side having to come from behind to defeat Slovakia 2-1 in a Euro 2004 qualifier this month 18 years ago.
Michael Owen scored twice that evening, with Gareth Southgate also starting for the Three Lions.
It’s not all just fringe players featuring at the Riverside either, with Harry Kane starting.
Trent Alexander-Arnold comes back into the England team for their Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Austria.
Aafter a furore around his inclusion – Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold starts at right-back.
Kieran Trippier, another of the four right-backs in Gareth Southgate’s squad, shifts across to left-back as Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady start as the central defensive duo.
Jude Bellingham is handed his first senior start at the age of 17, while Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka also comes into the team.
There are starts for Jack Grealish, whose timely return to fitness at the end of the season presented him with a chance to stake his claim for a place in Southgate’s side at the Euros, and Jesse Lingard – who missed out on a place in the 26-man squad for the finals.
The team for the European Championship opener against Croatia is likely to be markedly different as Southgate was unable to call on players from Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United following their European finals last week.
The domestic season may be over but along with the weather in the UK football is only just starting to heat up with Euro 2020 on the way.
All the squads have now been named, but now it’s time to look at the teams themselves and wouldn’t you know it, England are in action tonight as they face off against fellow qualifiers Austria at the Riverside Stadium. Good evening to you all following.
England begin their preparation for Euro 2020 when they take on Austria in their first warm up game ahead of the tournament at the Riverside Stadium.
Gareth Southgate has named an experimental team for the clash against their fellow qualifiers, with the match kicking off at 8pm BST.
Follow Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY for live Euro 2020 warm-up coverage of England vs Austria, including scoreline, lineups and build-up.
Elsewhere, Scotland are also in action against the Netherlands, while Wales take on World Cup champions France. We’ll keep you up-to-date with both matches.
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