England manager Gareth Southgate hailed Ben Chilwell following the full-back’s first goal for his country in the rout of Andorra.
Despite England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, the Chelsea full-back did not get a look in. Indeed, he did not play a single minute of the tournament amid Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier’s strong form.
He has also struggled of late for his club. Chilwell has played a bit-part role since Thomas Tuchel took charge and has only made one Premier League outing so far this season.
Nevertheless, the latest England camp provided a breath of fresh air for the 24-year-old and he took the opportunity.
The former Leicester star netted the opening goal as England went on to thrash Andorra 5-0.
Speaking to ITV Sport after the match, Southgate hailed the “nice moment” for Chilwell after he had “such a tough summer” with the Three Lions.
Jack Grealish also scored his first England goal on a counter-attack. West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone got the assist with a long throw before Grealish’s weaving run and finish.
“Very bright piece of play, I thought he [Johnstone] made a great save from the chance that was offside as well,” Southgate said.
“So there were some nice moments, Chilly to get a goal after having such a tough time in the summer with us.
“Really pleased for him and of course Jack’s first goal as well, so… Tammy [Abraham], Prowsey [James Ward-Prowse], Bukayo [Saka], they’re all players that haven’t scored that often for England so it’s a special moment for all of them.”
England dominated the ball throughout and it took only 17 minutes for them to take the lead.
Saka made it 2-0 before half time, after which Abraham, Ward-Prowse and Grealish netted.
Southgate hails England determination
Asked for his favourite aspect of the evening, Southgate said: “The way that the team went about the game. It was a very specific challenge, a low, packed defence to break down.
“We picked a team with players in it that could take that challenge on. You saw that with the link play from midfield especially and I thought the application throughout was excellent.
“We know those types of defences, those diagonal runs from wide – Ben made it throughout the game – and of course with Phil you know he can hit them, as can Prowsey.
“It was very much [about] could we get between the lines, could we get wide in one against one situations, but those diagonal runs in behind were a real threat.”
England wrap up the latest international break with a match against Hungary on Tuesday.