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Noni Madueke brace for England U21; Moisés Caicedo and Kendry Páez star for Ecuador

International action from Thursday

England v Serbia: UEFA U21 EURO Qualifier Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

In a fairly credible Stone Cold Steve Austin impression, England opened a very large can of whoop-ass on poor old Serbia last night, averaging a goal every ten minutes and beating them 9-1 (nine!) at Nottingham’s City Ground in U21 Euros qualifying. The Young Lions probably could’ve gotten into double digits had they gotten into the scoring mood prior to the 38th minute.

Three Chelsea players started the match, including Cole Palmer, who captained the side and Noni Madueke, who grabbed two of the nine goals. Bashir Humphreys, on loan at Swansea City, started at left back and played the full-90. Madueke played about an hour and Palmer a little over 50 minutes, evidently being forced off with “what looked like a dead leg”. So that’s not a huge concern (despite the presence of the word “dead”), but hopefully he gets to rest up the rest of the break then.

Madueke’s first goal, an entirely individual effort, was particularly nice.

Later, far on the other side of the world, two more Chelsea players, one current, one future, made telling contributions to their national team. Moisés Caicedo picked up two assists, including on Kendry Páez’s opening goal and on Kevin Rodríguez’s late winner in Ecuador’s 2-1 win over Bolivia in World Cup qualifying.

Kendy’s still just 16, so he won’t be joining us for a couple more years, but he’s already impressing on the international stage, and that’s great to see — as is seeing Caicedo make an impact not just with his tackling.

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