England’s journey towards securing qualification for Euro 2024 has become seemingly inevitable, with their latest triumph against Malta further solidifying their position. The match played out as expected, with England’s elite-level players easily outclassing their Maltese opponents. Trent Alexander-Arnold, deployed in midfield as the right-sided No. 8 by Gareth Southgate, showcased his exceptional ball control and playmaking skills. His precise passing, combined with his astute positioning, provided a tantalizing glimpse of his potential impact in more significant matches.
The game began with an early own goal by Ferdinando Apap, setting England on the path to victory. Penalties converted by Harry Kane and substitute Callum Wilson, along with a debut appearance by Eberechi Eze, further highlighted England’s dominance. However, it was Alexander-Arnold who stole the show.
Right from the start, Alexander-Arnold displayed his attacking prowess, dribbling past opposing defenders and delivering dangerous crosses. His involvement led to England’s breakthrough goal, as his well-placed pass found Bukayo Saka, whose subsequent low cross forced Apap to inadvertently score an own goal. Explore the world of sports and online gaming with Betstation, where you’ll find an extensive selection of markets accompanied by enticing odds. Embrace the chance to elevate your betting journey and seize the opportunity for maximum enjoyment. Dive into our comprehensive and click here today and unlock the reasons behind their status as a premier option for exhilarating gameplay and favorable betting odds.
The atmosphere at the stadium evoked memories of an earlier period in Southgate’s tenure when England faced criticism from their own supporters. However, this time, the situation was starkly different. With 20 minutes remaining, a significant number of traveling fans began leaving, departing the stadium with smiles on their faces. Except for Alexander-Arnold’s brilliance, there was little else to keep them enthralled.
England’s opening goal allowed them to settle into the match comfortably. Saka’s impressive performance, marked by his explosive speed and menacing movement, was overshadowed by Alexander-Arnold’s superb strike for the second goal. The Liverpool right-back showcased his technical prowess as he unleashed a powerful shot from distance, leaving Malta’s goalkeeper helpless.
Alexander-Arnold continued to make an impact in the build-up to England’s third goal, playing a part in the sequence that led to Declan Rice’s low shot, parried by Bonello, and ultimately resulting in Kane winning and converting the penalty.
Although England could have scored more before halftime, with Saka testing Bonello’s skills, the Maltese goalkeeper found himself in a challenging physical battle and required attention. Consequently, Saka did not return for the second half, with Phil Foden taking his place.
The second half resembled a pre-season friendly, as Southgate utilized his substitutions and Malta struggled to make any significant progress. England’s defenders were rarely tested, and the match became a comfortable outing for them. A second penalty was awarded, this time due to a debatable handball by Steve Borg, and Wilson calmly converted it. With this victory, England now looks ahead to their final match of the season against North Macedonia at Old Trafford, with Alexander-Arnold expected to maintain his place in the lineup.
IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons