England U21s have proved the future is bright as won the U21 Euros in Georgia – with Liverpool’s Curtis Jones the difference maker in a scrappy encounter against Spain
England fans are starting to get their hopes for the 2030 World Cup – after England U21s beat Spain to win the U21s Euros.
The Young Lions did it the hard way – with James Trafford coming up big in the final seconds to deny Abel Ruiz from the spot. Ruiz was fouled in the final minute – meaning Trafford kept a clean sheet in every game at the tournament.
Curtis Jones was the difference maker, not that he knew too much about it, as Cole Palmer’s free-kick took a deflection of the Liverpool man to curl into the back of the net at the Adjarabet Arena.
“England’s talent pool is crazy. Their first team should be settling for nothing short of the final in the next World Cup at least,” one fan commented. While a second added: “We are just a level above the rest of Europe right now…the future looks promising!”
England had the best of the chances in the early exchanges, with Levi Colwill heading onto the bar following a delightful ball from Palmer. The Manchester City man was involved again moments later, winning and taking the free-kick that gave England the lead.
However, the Spanish weren’t happy with Palmer’s celebrations, and a mass bust-up resulted in two red cards, both for members of each team’s coaching staff. For England, that was Ashley Cole, who marched down the tunnel furiously after his dismissal.
|Curtis Jones didn’t know too much about England’s equaliser (Image: Sam Barnes – Sportsfile/UEFA via Getty Images)|
Spain thought they had levelled when Abel Ruiz nodded past James Trafford, but the Young Lions were saved by the offside flag.
England started to fall deeper into their box as Spain turned up the pressure, but there were glimpses of brilliance on the break. Curtis Jones saw his shot saved, while Anthony Gordan was key in breaking up the play from the Spanish onslaught.
Noni Maduake was the standout, and his mazy runs helped to offer relief from the mounting pressure. The Chelsea starlet was unlucky not to find the net himself, when his shot was cleared off the line.
|James Trafford was the man of the moment|
However, there was one last twist in the tale – as Ruiz was fouled by Colwill in the final minute. The foul was initially missed, but after the referee was sent to the monitor, Spain had a penalty.
Ruiz stepped up to the plate, but Trafford guessed right, keeping his clean sheet record alive. Trafford denied the follow-up – with the third shot flying over the bar.
Tensions boiled over once again in the fallout, there was a red for the Spanish bench – and then one for Morgan Gibbs-White. However, the Nottingham Forest man wouldn’t care, England were European champions.