England Under-21s secured their place at the 2019 European Championships with an emphatic 7-0 win against Andorra.
A brace for Dominic Calvert-Lewin alongside goals from Ademola Lookman, Ezri Konsa, Dominic Solanke, Reiss Nelson and an own goal from Christian Garcia completed the rout for Aidy Boothroyd’s side as they sealed a spot at their seventh-consecutive under-21 EUROs.
The Young Lions came into the game knowing that a point would be enough to seal their place at next summer’s tournament, having picked up 20 points from their first eight fixtures in Group 4.
Chelsea trio Tammy Abraham, Jay DaSilva and Jake Clarke-Salter were all named amongst the substitutes by Aidy Boothroyd, with Fikayo Tomori left out of the matchday squad.
It took only nine minutes for the Young Lions to make the breakthrough. Tom Davies’ incisive pass found Everton colleague Jonjoe Kenny, who picked out his fellow Toffee Lookman to fire the hosts ahead; a goal scored in Derbyshire but made in Merseyside.
From then on, it was one-way traffic; Lewis Cook forced a fine save from Francisco Pires shortly after, but Brentford defender Konsa was on hand to tap the ball home for England’s second.
With Phil Foden, making his debut at this level, and Cook pulling the strings in the heart of midfield, it was evident it would be a case of how many for England.
That number became three, just before the half-time whistle blew. Calvert-Lewin tapped home England’s third inside the six-yard box after he was picked out by the impressive Lookman.
It took Boothroyd’s side just three minutes to extend their lead after the half-time break. Calvert-Lewin grabbed his second of the game from the penalty spot, calmly slotting home after some grappling in the penalty area.
Chelsea fullback Jay DaSilva was then introduced with 17 minutes remaining, alongside former Blues striker Solanke.
The Liverpool frontman took just five minutes to get in on the act, tapping home after rounding the goalkeeper for England’s fifth of the night.
Substitute Nelson, also making his under-21s debut, added number six in the last minutes, finishing off a fine passage of play with a skilful finish.
There was still time for one more goal, however. This time it was Andorra who applied the finishing touch to cap a miserable display from the visitors, with Garcia inadvertently scoring in his own net.
That proved to the last action of the match, with Boothroyd now able to plan for a trip to Italy and San Marino next year.
The Young Lions are in action again on Tuesday night, as they face Scotland at Tynecastle. A win for the Scots would keep their chances of qualifying for the play-off places alive.
By Elliott Jackson at the Proact Stadium