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VIDEO + RATINGS: Late heartbreak for England as they’re defeated by France in dramatic U21 Euros clash

Tonight, Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under 21s got their Euros off to a frustrating start, where they ended up losing 2-1 to France in Cesena.

The Young Lions had a good start, nearly going ahead three times in the first half and also saving a penalty.

On the 15th minute, Ryan Sessegnon entered the box, crossed low hoping it would meet Demarai Gray, though it was touched by France’s Ibrahima Konate towards his own goal before bouncing off the far post and clear.

Shortly after, Gray played in Solanke, though the striker had his stretched volley drift wide of the post.

Just minutes later, France were handed a penalty when Jeff Reine-Adelaide headered the ball in the box only for it to come off the outstretched arm of Jake Salter-Clarke. Some would say rather harsh.

Dembele stepped up, hit right, only for the ball to be captured by Henderson to keep the scoreline level.

Gray had a chance to put England in front again, though hit the side netting after going one-on-one with Bernardori.

The second half saw the deadlock broken, Young Lions’ Phil Foden got the ball near the centre-circle in France’s half, a few tricks got him away and past five tackles from French players and into the box he went to stick a low effort into the bottom right corner.

The drama only just got start as not long after, Solanke squared to Sessegnon to tap home into an empty net, however the flag went up and Solanke was correctly ruled offside.

Three minutes later, France got given another penalty. Bamba cut inside the box, tried to shoot but got taken down by Hamza Choudhury, who was given a yellow. VAR came into play and the referee then decided to send him off, deeming it a reckless challenge.

The penalty was taken a for the second time, was missed for France, a confident looking Houssem Aouar stepped up, but smashed the ball at the post. England still 1-0 up, somehow.

Dembele received a yellow for a studs-high challenge on Aaron Wan-Bissaka with just under 15 minutes of the 90 remaining.

Minutes remaining, keeper Henderson pulled off yet another cracking save, managing to get a strong hand on the ball as Ikone hit for near top corner.

France continued to push for an equaliser, and probably should have as Dembele from eight yards out, shot his half volley effort straight at Clarke-Salter.

We said it was coming and it did straight after. In the 89th minute, Ikone with his left foot and into the corner, Henderson rooted.

The French didn’t give up, five minutes were added on, they tried to get the winner and managed so when Wan-Bissaka scored an own goal in the 95th minute.

ENGLAND U21 PLAYER RATINGS (according to WhoScored):

7.7 – Henderson
6.1 – Wan-Bissaka
6.9 – Tomori
6.2 – Clarke-Salter
6.6 – Dasilva
8.1 – Foden
5.0 – Choudhury
6.6 – Maddison
6.3 – Sessegnon
6.6 – Solanke
6.6 – Gray
5.9 – Calvert-Lewin (sub)
5.9 – Abraham (sub)
5.7 – Mount (sub)


Following the full time whistle, fans took to give their reaction – take a look at what was tweeted on the next page.


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