Bukayo Saka scored his first England goal in a 1-0 win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Wednesday night as the Three Lions continue their Euro 2020 preparations.
It was a steady enough win for England but there will be immense concern over an injury picked up by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the latter stages of the contest as the Liverpool right-back appeared to pick up a thigh problem and limped off.
It was the first of two pre-tournament friendlies for Gareth Southgate’s side, with the second coming against Romania on Sunday at the same venue.
With no Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United players available due to recent club commitments, it was a new-look England team, with a youthful and exciting look.
Harry Kane was joined in the front three by Saka and Jesse Lingard, from the start, while Jack Grealish, Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice made up the midfield three.
It was Saka who proved the difference in the 56th minute, finishing off a nice move involving Kane, Lingard and Grealish as he popped up at the back post to slot into an empty net.
The move began from Bellingham winning the ball in midfield, which he did impressively throughout.
The Starboy strikes! 🤩
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 2, 2021
It was a pretty standard pre-tournament friendly otherwise, with neither team playing at full pace and not a great deal of chances created.
Kane had an excellent opportunity by his standard in the first half, played in by Grealish just before the half hour mark, but his shot was smothered.
It was the Aston Villa captain Grealish who was arguably the most notable player over the first period as he was continually fouled by the Austrian defenders and midfielders, with Southgate likely concerned about the fitness of the 25-year-old.
Austria had chances after going behind, with a powerful Marcel Sabitzer effort from distance needing to be tipped over by Jordan Pickford, while Michael Gregoritsch had an excellent opportunity with a header late on and Ben White produced an excellent goal-line clearance on debut.
However, the late drama came on the side of the pitch when Alexander-Arnold pulled up with what appeared to be a thigh injury and limped off the field with just five minutes to go.
The Liverpool man was not challenged to cause the injury, simply making a clearance and then pulling up, which looked extremely concerning.