Two things that stood out in England’s 2-0 win over Ukraine

England beat Ukraine 2-0 in a Group C match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers at the Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday. Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka scored the goals in a space of three minutes in the first half to guide the Three Lions to the victory.

England had earlier beaten Italy 2-1 in their first match in Naples on Thursday. They are now at the top of their group and have taken a significant step towards ensuring qualification.

2 Things That Stood Out in England vs Ukraine

England attacked a lot through the right

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England started the match with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with James Maddison and Jordan Henderson replacing Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips, respectively, from their starting XI in the match against Italy. However, Maddison was primarily present in the central areas along with Jude Bellingham, which meant that England lacked a proper left winger.

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Hence, England depended a lot on Ben Chilwell’s overlaps through the left flank. Still, their attacks were primarily made through the right flank and inside-right channel. Midway through the first half, Henderson started moving to right more often and also sending crosses into the box.

The crosses from the right made the difference in the end, as they helped England break through the Ukranian defence. Saka registered an assist and then scored a goal to steer England towards a well-deserved victory. Ukraine primarily depended on counter-attacks and hardly did enough to trouble Jordan Pickford in England’s goal.

Kane and Saka underlined their importance for England

Kane, who had become England’ all-time highest goal-scorer in the match against Italy, broke the deadlock by volleying home from Saka’s cross in the 37th minute. It was his 55th goal of the English national team. Kane frequently dropped back to create moves from a deeper position and it was he who had played the ball to Saka before moving into the box to make contact with the cross.

Saka then scored with a scorching left footer from the inside-right channel in the 40th minute after Henderson had played the ball to him. With every match, the 21-year-old Arsenal winger is underlining his impact on both his club and national side.

He has also become a better finisher than he was a year ago and that makes him an even more dangerous proposition to the opposition forwards. With both Saka and Kane in good form, Gareth Southgate’s team will take some stopping and remain the favourites to top their group.

England could not score in the second half, but had done enough in the first to see Ukraine off. Moreover, their win came without the services of Marcus Rashford, who has been in sublime form for Manchester United this season. That should satisfy Southgate even more, as the improvement of England under his tenure is for everyone to se

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