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Madueke, Colwill impress in England’s 2-0 opening win at U21 Euros

Good work from the Chelsea boys

Czechia v England - UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023 Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

England recorded a 2-0 win in their opening match of the U21 European Championship, scoring very early and very late on in the second half to dispatch an inferior but certainly not cowed Czech Republic side, who made things difficult especially early on with their energetic press.

England’s lack of midfield presence left the defenders with plenty of work to do, both in possession and without the ball, but Colwill handled that task with the aplomb that’s become expected of him over the past season, showcasing quality passing, aerial strength, and a good reading of the game.

At the other end, Noni Madueke was England’s greatest threat, even if his efforts were not rewarded on the scoresheet. He did hit the crossbar once, missed a couple other shots by inches, and was denied at least one assist when Aaron Gordon’s goal was ruled out for an infraction in the build-up. Madueke’s direct and generally fearless style is certainly a breath of fresh air in this Chelsea squad.

In the other games on Thursday, Switzerland beat Norway, 2-1, Germany were held by Israel, 1-1, and Italy were beaten by a combination and France and some poor refereeing decisions, with their last-minute equalizer not given despite the ball clearly crossing the line (no VAR or goal-line tech in this tournament for some reason).

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