Premier League

Player ratings as Palmer scores first international goal

Player ratings as Palmer scores first international goal

England began their preparations for Euro 2024 as second-half goals from Cole Palmer, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane handed them a straightforward victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James’ Park on Monday night.

A forgetful game sparked into life when Palmer grabbed his first Three Lions strike from the penalty spot before Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold bagged the second with a well-placed volley.

Some six-yard box pinball action saw regular captain Kane rattle in his 63rd goal for his country to seal the victory.

Gareth Southgate’s side have another match against Iceland on Friday night before their campaign in Germany gets underway with their Group C opener against Serbia.

How the game unfolded

England‘s much-changed starting XI included starts for the likes of Palmer, Eberechi Eze and Ollie Watkins as each aimed to send a message to manager Gareth Southgate in the first of their two pre-Euro 2024 friendlies.

There was no rip-roaring start from the hosts, however. While Alexander-Arnold pulled off a few wondrous cross-field passes and Eze breezed past some opposition challenges with ease, there were some worrying lapses at the back that would have been punished by teams of higher pedigree.

Rugged centre-forward play from Watkins did yield the first chance for the Aston Villa star. The former Brentford striker wrestled away from a challenge and got his shot away, though Bosnia and Herzegovina goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj stood big enough to make the save.

The impressive Eze did well to drive forward and find Palmer, with the ball eventually dropping to Chelsea teammate Conor Gallagher who lifted his shot over the bar.

The visitors’ clear deep-sitting tactics undoubtedly made the first half a more grim watch than perhaps anticipated and the half-time whistle blew with England knowing they had plenty more to do to get their preparations for the summer off to a good start.

No changes arrived at the start of the second half with Southgate clearly looking to give some of his fringe attackers a greater look, but it took an error from Benjamin Tahirovic to give the Three Lions the chance to open the scoring.

The Ajax midfielder yanked on the shirt of Ezri Konsa from a corner and a penalty was awarded after VAR consultation. Palmer, renowned for his coolness from the spot for Chelsea, tucked away his first international goal with a crisp finish Vasilj could only get a flapping hand to.

The former Manchester City attacker was off moments after as Southgate rang…

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