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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 26 November 2020


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England 3-0 Ireland

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

1985 was the last time England managed to beat Ireland, as an Eoin Hand-managed team were defeated 2-1.

There have seven matches since then. Ireland have won one, one has been abandoned and the rest have been draws.

Stephen Kenny, of course, is still without a win as Ireland senior manager, and beating the Three Lions would certainly end this barren run in style.

Yet with the Irish squad looking a little depleted owing to withdrawals as well as the fact that some players are being saved for upcoming Nations League encounters, Gareth Southgate’s men start this evening as strong favourites.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

England (818)
Ireland (252)
Draw (185)

It’s been a scrappy start to this game.

Ireland have begun with a 4-2-3-1, with Alan Browne rather than Jeff Hendrick operating as the most advanced midfielder.

Mount’s corner is cleared.

Egan and Hourihane collided when attempting to defend that ball, and the Sheffield United man took a knock from his team-mate’s elbow. He looks okay to continue though.

As I type, Sancho flicks on a corner for Mings, whose header goes wide under pressure from O’Dowda.

Good spell for Ireland.

Hendrick finds Horgan with a ball over the top.

The Wycombe man’s low cross is cleared with a lack of Irish shirts in the box.

Ireland have kept the ball really well in recent minutes and shown good composure at the back.

They have a free kick in a promising position now.

Hourihane’s free kick is cleared by Pope, but Duffy was adjudged offside anyway.

Still, encouraging from an Irish perspective.

Horgan and Hourihane in particular have looked sharp early on.

Meanwhile, Egan is receiving more treatment from that knock earlier and he’s replaced by Dara O’Shea.

What a moment this is for the West Brom youngster for his second cap.

Close for England!

A James cross is parried by Randolph, before he smothers Saka’s attempt on goal.

Winks crosses for Maguire, who towers above Duffy and heads home.

It’s a great header and is tough on Ireland, who have started this game well.

Good flowing move from England, with Sancho and Grealish at the heart of it.

In the end, Duffy has to make a last-ditch block to deny Calvert-Lewin.

From the ensuing corner, a Maguire header is tipped over by Randolph.

Ireland need to cope better with those set pieces.

Ireland almost get caught for playing it around in their box.

Calvert-Lewin nicks the ball off Duffy, but the defender makes a good recovery challenge.

Grealish plays it to Sancho.

Hendrick doesn’t get close enough, and the Dortmund star fires home an unstoppable shot.

This could get ugly.

Ireland had a good spell of possession there, before Hourihane overhit an ambitious ball.

The visitors have tried to play as much as possible, but they don’t really look a goal threat at the moment.

Christie does really well to block a goal-bound Sancho shot.

Mount’s subsequent corner goes straight into Randolph’s arms.

Hendrick does well to block a Mount cross.

Ireland are starting to look tired and ragged with England increasingly in control of this game.

Ireland have just enjoyed a decent spell of possession.

However, it’s all a bit laboured and lacks incision at the moment.

Mings flashes a shot just wide as the first half approaches its conclusion.

Prior to that, there was another decent spell of possession for Ireland.

dara-oshea-and-jeff-hendrick-leave-the-pitch-dejected-at-half-time Ireland's Dara O'Shea and Jeff Hendrick leave the pitch dejected at half-time. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

England make a change at half-time.

Dean Henderson wins his first cap, in place of Nick Pope.

Lovely move from England.

Grealish and Mings link up to play through Saka, whose finish can only find the side netting.

A Saka cross finds Calvert-Lewin, whose header goes just wide.

England are well on top here, with Ireland struggling.


Christie trips Saka as he goes past the defender.

A clear penalty.

Calvert-Lewin’s penalty leaves Randolph with no chance.

It’s right into the top corner.

Ireland are looking tired from chasing the ball so much.

They could do with a few substitutions now.

There’s been a raft of subs.

For Ireland, McClean, Long and Brady replace O’Dowda, Horgan and Christie.

For England, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish and Mings are off, with Foden, Maitland-Niles and Abraham coming on.

Another big chance for England!

Maguire gets on the end of Saka’s free kick but turns it wide.

Ireland have struggled to deal with the Man United man all night.

Keane gets on the end of Sancho’s cross.

The defender’s effort then falls to Abraham, but it comes at him quickly and he can’t direct it goalwards.

Ireland make two more changes.

Hourihane and Idah are replaced by Molumby and Curtis.

Brady plays it through to Browne. 

His shot goes off the foot of Henderson, then deflects off the defender and goes out for a corner.

After 73 minutes, Ireland have their first shot on target.

Meanwhile, Mount is replaced by 17-year-old prodigy, Jude Bellingham, who becomes England’s third youngest player, after Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney.

This second half is starting to peter out.

England seem content with 3-0, while Ireland are still struggling to create any real chances.

Good positive play from Curtis, after good work in the build-up by Molumby.

He forces a save by Henderson from about 30 yards out.

roy-keane-looks-on-during-the-game Former Republic of Ireland international Roy Keane looks on during the game. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Long does well to clear a dangerous cross ahead of the lurking Abraham.

From the ensuing corner, Maguire gets a head to it again but can’t find the target.

On RTE, Kenny Cunningham has given makeshift left-back Matt Doherty the man-of-the-match award.

There will be two minutes of stoppage time…

stephen-kenny-dejected-late-in-the-game Ireland manager Stephen Kenny dejected late in the game. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Right, that’s that.

Ultimately, Ireland were beaten by a far superior team.

There were a couple of nice touches and decent moments, but perhaps more so than in any of Kenny’s other games in charge, Ireland very rarely looked like scoring.

Meanwhile, there were also individual errors at the back that killed any chance of Ireland getting a result tonight.

It’s a tough experience for Ireland’s young team, but hopefully they will benefit from it in the long term.

Okay, that’s it from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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