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LiveScore Daily: Southgate says penalty should not overshadow Lewis debut
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Cian Cheesbrough
LiveScore
Gareth Southgate was delighted with Rico Lewis' England debut
Gareth Southgate was delighted with Rico Lewis' England debut

LiveScore Daily is here to deliver all the big talking points from the world of football throughout the day. Keep refreshing this page for the latest stories in bite-sized chunks.

Impressive debut

Gareth Southgate was full of praise for Rico Lewis after bouncing back from conceding a controversial penalty to put in an impressive showing on his England debut.

Lewis, 19, was unlucky to see a spot-kick awarded against him for handball in the first half but put in an assured display on his senior bow away in Skopje overall.

Three Lions boss Southgate was quick to rule out the penalty incident overshadowing the Manchester City starlet's night, saying: "It shouldn't do because he was excellent.

"His performance and then his reaction to what I know will have been a disappointment for him. But we're not looking at him for being at fault in any way.

"His composure with the ball was outstanding and he should be really proud because we are very, very pleased with what he did.

"We didn't feel he had anything to come back from but I know sometimes as a player you might feel that. We thought there was no crime, so we were pleased with everything he did."

Taking the Kris

Kristoffer Ajer has signed a new deal with Brentford
Kristoffer Ajer has signed a new deal with Brentford

Kristoffer Ajer has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Brentford.

Norway international Ajer, who joined the Bees from Celtic in 2021, has the option to extend the deal by a further 12 months.

The versatile defender has played 12 games in all competitions this term, cementing himself as a key man for Thomas Frank.

Frank told the club website: "I'm very pleased that Kristoffer has extended his contract.

"Now he is playing regularly at centre-back and right full-back and I think he plays both of those positions at a very high level.

"Kristoffer has shown consistency and quality in this recent block of games, which I'm pleased about."

Record WSL audience

Chelsea's 5-1 thrashing of Liverpool last Saturday was the most watched Women's Super League game ever with 1.1million tuning into BBC1 on Saturday.

An average of 796,000 viewers watched Emma Hayes' dominant victory on terrestrial TV, with a peak audience of 955,000 and a further 141,000 requests to watch the match on BBC iPlayer.

Sky Sports also recorded their highest viewing figures for a WSL game this weekend with 485,000 watching Sunday's Manchester derby.

The game at Old Trafford, which was won 3-1 by City, was watched by a peak TV audience of 589,000.

Lainer returns

Stefan Lainer has returned to the pitch after cancer treatment
Stefan Lainer has returned to the pitch after cancer treatment

Borussia Monchengladbach defender Stefan Lainer has returned to training after completing treatment for lymphoma.

The right-back, 31, was diagnosed with the cancerous disease in July but has now completed his therapy period.

He will be slowly integrated back into the fold over the coming weeks, with the first of those steps being today.

Vice-captain Julian Weigl said: "We're all very happy that Stevie's back.

"You can see how much he's missed it. Everyone knows how much of a fighter Stevie is. He's incredibly important to the team, even just as a person."

A step forward

Michael O'Neill called Northern Ireland's shock 2-0 win over Denmark a step in the right direction but knows his side remain far from the finished article.

The Green and White Army ended a hugely disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with an encouraging victory at Windsor Park thanks to goals from Isaac Price and Dion Charles.

It was their first Group H win not against San Marino and the first time they beat a team ranked higher than them since a victory over Ukraine in June 2016.

Northern Ireland beat Denmark 2-0 in their final Euro 2024 qualifier
Northern Ireland beat Denmark 2-0 in their final Euro 2024 qualifier

O'Neill said: "You can see the young lads and you can see what it means to them. 

"The ones who were involved in the previous campaign, I think they only won one game and this campaign we've only won three. We've been challenged in this campaign so they'll take a lot from tonight.

"It's a good result against a good team but that's all it is. Hopefully they’ll come back in March with added confidence and belief, regardless of who the opposition are.

"I'm not getting carried away. It's a step in the right direction and we have to take more steps in the right direction."

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