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Five talking points from Malta 0-4 England
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William Furness
Trent Alexander-Arnold put in a fine performance for England
Trent Alexander-Arnold put in a fine performance for England

Trent Alexander-Arnold excelled in midfield as England cruised to a 4-0 win at Malta. 

The Liverpool star created the first goal in the Euro 2024 qualifier and curled a beauty in himself for the Three Lions' second. 

Shortly after, Harry Kane smashed home his 56th international goal from the spot.

In the second half, Callum Wilson tucked away another penalty after a VAR check for handball. 

Here are five talking points from a routine win on the Mediterranean for Gareth Southgate's side. 

Trent impresses

The main topic of discussion going into the match was Southgate's decision to play Alexander-Arnold in midfield. 

He has shone in this position for Liverpool and the 24-year-old was the best player on the pitch in this new-found role. 

The Three Lions' first opening was an own goal from Ferdinando Apap but it was sourced from Alexander-Arnold's brilliant lofted ball for Bukayo Saka.

And the real statement was his wonderful strike shortly after — it was a beautiful curling effort from 25 yards out, showcasing his impressive and ever-growing skillset. 

Albeit against an inferior opponent, this performance showed Southgate that the future of England's midfield is in safe hands. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a wonderful goal in the first half
Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a wonderful goal in the first half

Professional England 

Although a convincing win was almost a guarantee, England could only beat what was in front of them.

Southgate's men did so in an extremely professional manner — playing with a high tempo in the first half and showing their class throughout the evening. 

Malta did not produce a shot throughout the game as the visitors had complete dominance and control of the affair. 

The game brought nothing but positives for England, but they certainly have bigger fish to fry. 

Eze debut 

Eberechi Eze made his debut for England
Eberechi Eze made his debut for England

In the 70th minute, Eberechi Eze replaced James Maddison to make his debut. 

It was an amazing moment for the Crystal Palace star who has not taken the easy route, beginning his career in the Championship with QPR.

This moment should send a message to all Football League products, who will now dream to follow in his footsteps. 

In a short cameo when the game was already won, he showed some nice touches and dribbles but will be hoping for further opportunities before next summer's European Championship to prove his worth.

Wilson back-up 

Wilson has the near-impossible job of competing with Kane for an England starting spot but has proved to be a reliable back-up. 

The Newcastle talisman has confirmed his place as the second striker in Southgate's setup going into the Euros.

To strengthen his case for the role, the 31-year-old was awarded minutes off the bench and was a lively presence.

When England won a penalty in the latter stages of the game, Wilson stepped up and coolly slotted it away — proving he is a competent support act for Kane. 

Saka injury 

The only potential negative coming from the victory was Saka's knock that forced him off the pitch.

In the first half, defender Zach Muscat had to slide in to stop the Arsenal forward getting a shot off, which hurt the Gunners ace in the process.

The 21-year-old was seen wincing as he walked down the tunnel at half-time. 

Treble-winner Phil Foden came on for Saka at the interval, which was presumably just a precaution — but it is still a worrying revelation for Southgate and his club all the same.  


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