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Luxembourg U21s 0-3 England U21s: Young Lions make winning start to Euros defence

Routine: Callum Doyle celebrates scoring  (The FA via Getty Images)
Routine: Callum Doyle celebrates scoring (The FA via Getty Images)

England Under-21s made a winning start to the defence of their European Championship title with a 3-0 win in Luxembourg.

Manchester City and Chelsea youngsters were on the scoresheet, with Liam Delap marking his debut with a goal to give the Young Lions a half-time lead at the Stade Parc des Sports, before Callum Doyle and Cole Palmer netted after the break.

England, Euro 2023 winners in Georgia and Romania earlier this summer, had a frustrating first half in their opening Euro 2025 qualifier.

Luxembourg, who beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in Lurgan last Thursday, made life difficult for England by defending deep and in large numbers.

Harvey Elliott twice went close to giving England an early lead, with his close-range effort blocked before firing inches wide from outside the penalty area.

Juventus forward Samuel Iling-Junior blazed over from in front of goal and Nathan Wood headed straight at goalkeeper Eldin Latik.

Latik then saved Palmer's low effort and Doyle headed narrowly off target as the chances mounted up for England.

Another goal-bound shot from Palmer was well saved, but Lee Carsley's side made the breakthrough just before the interval.

Palmer dissected the deep-lying Luxembourg defence with a neat through-ball and Delap applied a poacher's finish.

Miguel Fernandes had Luxembourg's first effort on target 10 minutes into the second period when his shot was saved by James Trafford.

But the Young Lions doubled their lead in the 58th minute when City defender Doyle, on loan at Leicester, lashed home from inside the penalty area.

Palmer completed an impressive night for City's young players when he struck the goal of the game in the 67th minute, a superb first-time finish from substitute Jamie Bynoe-Gittens' short pass.

Palmer saw another goal-bound effort well saved in the bottom corner before Trafford was forced to save from Lucas Correia's effort.

England took their foot off the gas in the closing stages, but went close again through Doyle's header and Palmer, who fired straight at Latik.

Additional reporting by Press Association.