Magic Mancienne kickstarts magnificent seven
By Lee Thrions
Monday 08 Jun 2009 23:43:00
Browse all Youth articles
 

A Michael Mancienne goal in the first minute helped England Under-21s romp home to a 7-0 victory over their Azerbaijan counterparts. In fact, it was so comfortable that Stuart Pearce ended the game playing his keeper up front.

 

“We had to do that because Cat's (Lee Cattermole) pulled a slight injury and with the tournament a week away we were at a loss as what to do,” he told BBC Sport.

 

“We used all our outfield subs and Joe put himself forward to go up front. It was a forced sub.

 

“Whichever way we did it we didn't want to be seen as disrespectful. That was the last thing I wanted.” Article continues below  

 

Nevertheless, you can’t help but admire the showboating really.

 

An own goal from the away side’s keeper made it 2-0 and Craig Gardner helped Pearce’s side go 3-0 up at the break. But the second half was even more comfortable.

 

Another own goal, two from Kieran Gibbs and an injury time finish from Jack Rodwell completed the rout.

 

With the European Championships in Sweden next week, you can’t ask for much more than that in terms of confidence building.

 

England U21: Hart (Loach 82), Cranie, Tomkins, Mancienne, Gibbs, Muamba (Taylor 46), Gardner (Rodwell 46), Noble (Rose 55), Cattermole (Lewis 75), Johnson, Campbell (Stearman 63).

Can the youngsters go all the way?

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