Harvey Elliott’s second-half double helped England to a comfortable win over Northern Ireland in their 2025 Euro Under-21 Championship qualifying match at Goodison Park.
The Liverpool midfielder curled a free-kick into the net after the break, before chipping his second in late on to help the Young Lions move back to within three points of Group F leaders Ukraine.
Reds team-mate Tyler Morton had already drilled home to open the scoring on his full debut in the first half as England largely dominated a Northern Ireland side who are bottom of the group with just three points.
England’s last home match was a 9-1 thrashing of Serbia but this time they were without Manchester City duo Rico Lewis and Cole Palmer, who have since made their debuts for Gareth Southgate’s senior team.
Their absence did not stop the hosts from controlling the match, though, with their visitors unable to register a shot on target all match.
Morton drilled the opener home low into the corner after a cross from Newcastle’s Tino Livramento was cleared to him on the edge of the penalty area.
It was mostly one-way traffic, although defenders Jarrad Branthwaite and Jarell Quansah were on hand to stop the few times Northern Ireland looked to counter-attack.
Chelsea’s Noni Madueke went close after being put through by an excellent pass from Quansah before Jay Stansfield, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Hayden Hackney all had chances to score.
England continued to dominate after the break and it was not long before they doubled their lead.
Elliott was fouled around 25 yards out and he picked himself up to take the resulting free-kick, curling the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner.
Elliott then struck again when he was played through the middle of the Northern Ireland defence and he chipped the ball confidently over keeper Josh Clarke to make it 3-0.
The visitors’ closest chance came when left-back Aaron Donnelly put a dangerous cross into the six-yard box, which was well taken by goalkeeper James Trafford.
Elliott nearly got his hat-trick late on with an acrobatic volley but the effort was well saved by Clarke.
- 2LivramentoSubstituted forNorton-Cuffyat 45′minutes
- 4BranthwaiteBooked at 36mins
- 23Wilson-EsbrandSubstituted forPatinoat 84′minutes
- 6HackneySubstituted forMcAteeat 70′minutes
- 20StansfieldSubstituted forDelapat 71′minutes
- 21Bynoe-GittensSubstituted forIling-Juniorat 70′minutes
Northern Ireland U21
- 4ForbesBooked at 36mins
- 17DevlinBooked at 50minsSubstituted forKellyat 64′minutes
- 6McDonnellBooked at 35minsSubstituted forMcCannat 64′minutesBooked at 75mins
- 11DevennySubstituted forBaggleyat 82′minutes
- 10McKiernanSubstituted forFallsat 70′minutes
- 9McGuckinSubstituted forFogartyat 64′minutes
Match ends, England U21 3, Northern Ireland U21 0.
Second Half ends, England U21 3, Northern Ireland U21 0.
Offside, Northern Ireland U21. Joshua Clarke tries a through ball, but Conor Falls is caught offside.
Foul by Liam Delap (England U21).
Michael Forbes (Northern Ireland U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Liam Delap (England U21) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Harvey Elliott with a cross following a corner.
Corner, England U21. Conceded by Ruairi McConville.
Attempt saved. Harvey Elliott (England U21) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McAtee with a cross.
Substitution, England U21. Charlie Patino replaces Josh Wilson-Esbrand because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Northern Ireland U21. Barry Baggley replaces Justin Devenny.
Delay in match because of an injury Josh Wilson-Esbrand (England U21).
Goal! England U21 3, Northern Ireland U21 0. Harvey Elliott (England U21) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tyler Morton with a through ball.
Attempt blocked. Noni Madueke (England U21) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James McAtee.
Attempt blocked. Charlie McCann (Northern Ireland U21) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Kelly.
Attempt blocked. Liam Delap (England U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Noni Madueke.
Charlie McCann (Northern Ireland U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy (England U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Charlie McCann (Northern Ireland U21).
Attempt saved. Noni Madueke (England U21) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harvey Elliott.
(The following story may or may not have been edited by NEUSCORP.COM and was generated automatically from a Syndicated Feed. NEUSCORP.COM also bears no responsibility or liability for the content.)