Euro 2020 qualifiers: 3 reasons why England beat the Czech Republic
England’s Euro 2020 campaign began tonight with a qualifier against the Czech Republic at Wembley. Gareth Southgate’s side performed excellently by anyone's standards, mauling the Czechs 5-0 by the time the final whistle sounded.
England started relatively slowly but once the Three Lions kicked into gear, the Czechs simply couldn’t keep up with them. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in the first half before a Harry Kane penalty put England 2-0 up on the stroke of half-time. Two more goals from Sterling and an own goal from Tomas Kalas in the second half gave England a well-deserved victory.
Here are 3 reasons why England beat the Czech Republic.
#3 Southgate has underrated strength in depth
It could be argued that Gareth Southgate faced somewhat of an injury crisis leading into tonight’s match with the Czechs. While midfielders Harry Winks and Jesse Lingard were unavailable from the off, Fabian Delph, John Stones, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Marcus Rashford ended up withdrawing from the squad later due to injuries.
In the end though, it did not matter. Michael Keane performed admirably in central defense in the absence of Stones, Jadon Sancho made an argument for starting ahead of Rashford in the front three, the likes of Ross Barkley and newcomers Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi worked so well that nobody was really missed in the game.
England now has a firm identity under Southgate, using quick passes and building from the back as well as remaining dangerous on the counter. It appears that the majority of players he can pick from – largely due to their experience in England ’s age group sides playing in the same system can fit in easily. It means the Three Lions are sneakily underrated when it comes to strength-in-depth, which bodes well for their Euro 2020 campaign despite the harsh Premier League season.