Calvert-Lewin passes England audition and should support Kane at Euros
This is Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s world and we’re all just living in it.
The on-fire Everton striker is Europe’s most in-form striker and Wales found him just as unstoppable as everyone else.
Calvert-Lewin celebrated his England debut by scoring his tenth goal in seven games for club and country.
And he already looks like he has well and truly jumped the queue of England strikers looking to back-up Harry Kane at next summer’s Euros.
Conor Coady then marked only his second start for his country with his first goal since April 2018 for Wolves – in the Championship.
And Danny Ings bagged the third as the Three Lions roared in a much improved performance inspired by man of the match Jack Grealish.
While England boss Gareth Southgate called the build-up to this game a “circus”, he certainly ended it relieved he hadn’t sent in the clowns.
And his side have now kept six clean sheets in a row – the first time in 14 years the Three Lions have managed that.
What a way to warm up for Sunday's big test against World No 1 Belgium in the Nations League, their second game in six days.
Southgate’s week started with apologies from Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho for breaching Coronavirus rules.
And with Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood still out in the cold you could be forgiven for thinking he’s had easier selections.
With key men like Harry Kane getting the night off, Southgate named an experimental side with players from ten different clubs in England’s starting line-up, the most since 1997.
The Three Lions boss earned more caps for his country than his starting XI had put together, and admitted beforehand that “wasn’t ideal”.
But this was a golden opportunity for some new faces to grab their chance with both hands ahead of next summer’s delayed Euros.
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And take it they did – although it took Grealish grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck in the 25th minute to get them going.
The man who monstered Liverpool not so long ago switched wings, stole a yard, and laid the opener on a plate.
Calvert-Lewin, completely unmarked, could not miss and buried a point-blank header from the Aston Villa man’s cross to get his Three Lions career off to a dream start.
Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey, who was equalling the 92-cap record of his hero Neville Southall, was powerless to stop it.
Things got worse for the Welsh when they lost Cardiff City striker Kieffer Moore to injury – and England took a firm grip on the game when Coady made it 2-0 on the half-volley.
Skipper Kieran Trippier swung the ball in and the Wolves defender came up with a cool right-footed finish.
That was the queue for a string of substitutions, and if there’d been any fans in the stadium Calvert-Lewin would have gone off to a standing ovation.
With the Everton man off the pitch, Southampton striker Ings got the chance to take over up front and wasted little time grabbing the third with an overhead kick.
It was criminal defending again but a towering header from substitute Tyrone Mings which created it. Southgate’s second string have certainly given him something to think about.
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