Hodgson watches England U21 Maul Scotland
Roy Hodgson guided England Under-21s to a 6-0 thrashing of Scotland Under-21s ahead of the senior sides’ clash at Wembley.
Nathan Redmond and Raheem Sterling set the tone of the evening with well-taken first-half efforts, before the Young Lions made their dominance pay with goals from Connor Wickham, Ross Barkley, Jonjo Shelvey and Thomas Carroll after the break.
Hodgson and his coaching staff took charge of the game while the Football Association look to appoint a replacement for Stuart Pearce, who was dismissed after England’s dismal display at June’s European Championship in Israel.
And the senior coach looked delighted when Redmond put England ahead after just three minutes of play at Bramall Lane.
The Norwich City winger beat the offside trap and controlled a brilliant long ball from Jonjo Shelvey, before firing past Jordan Archer with aplomb.
The Young Lions dominated the opening 25 minutes and particularly threatened down the left flank, as Scotland struggled to cope with the pace of Sterling.
The Liverpool forward saw a feeble penalty appeal turned down by the referee in the 25th minute, following a challenge from Ryan Jack, before he set up Will Hughes with a clever chipped ball and the striker fired wide.
Islam Feruz tried his best to haul Scotland back into the game when he won a corner under pressure, but Clark Robertson failed to direct his header from the resulting set piece.
Sterling inflicted further misery on the Scots in the 38th minute when he picked up a deflected ball off Wickham and smashed home to double England’s lead, which replays suggested he was offside.
The only negative for Hodgson from the first 45 minutes was that Nathan Chalobah had to be stretchered off after a nasty challenge from an off-balance Tony Watt.
But things went from bad to worse for Scotland in the second half as Archer gifted the Young Lions a third immediately after the restart.
The goalkeeper’s calamitous clearance fell straight to Wickham just outside the area and the Sunderland man reacted quickly to loft a first time volley into the net.
Shelvey almost left Archer red-faced again moments later when he tried to catch the keeper off-guard with a 35-yard free kick, but his bold effort just hit the side netting.
And seconds after Everton’s Barkley had skipped into the area to finish with ease, Shelvey netted the best goal of the evening to cap off a fine performance.
The Swansea midfielder pulled the trigger 25 yards from goal and his arcing effort sailed high into the far corner to make it 5-0.
Tom Carroll replaced Shelvey moments later and immediately got his name on the score sheet, side footing past Tottenham team-mate Archer after some fine work in the box from Redmond.
The Young Lions had chances to improve the scoreline further but saw out the game comfortably ahead of Wednesday’s senior fixture between England and Scotland.