Sports Mole brings you live coverage from stadium:mk where England host Finland in the U21 Euro 2015 qualifiers.
By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 18:50 UK
Last Updated: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 17:58 UK
England U21 hosted Finland at Stadium: MK on Thursday night looking to continue their unbeaten start to Euro 2015 qualifiers.
The Young Lions could take firm control of Group 1 with a win, with the two sides forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Tampere a few months back.
However, England cruised to a comfortable victory to move three points clear at the head of the table.
Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary.
6.51pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the England U21s where they host Finland at stadium:mk in the qualifiers for Euro 2015.
6.53pmSo far so good for Gareth Southgate and his Young Lions. They are well on course to earn a place at Euro 2015 in the Czech Republic, as they sit top of Group 1 after four games. They are level on points with Wales, but have played two matches less than their rivals and are yet to taste defeat in the campaign.
6.55pmWales are the only nation that England have yet to come up against, and have already met tonight's opponents in the group. Finland are the only side to have avoided defeat against the Young Lions, following a 1-1 draw back in September. Saido Berahino got the equaliser in Finland that night, after Moshtagh Yaghoubi had given the hosts the lead.
6.58pmThat point came after England had edged past Moldova 1-0 on home soil, with Berahino again scoring in that game. However, Southgate's side go into tonight's game off the back of two thrashing. They smashed San Marino 4-0 in a match that saw the currently-injured Harry Kane bag a hattrick, before thumping Lithuania 5-0 last month in Ipswich.
6.59pmIt's an important week for England, which could see them all but guarantee their place in the Czech Republic.
7.02pmRight, let's bring you some team news, starting with the hosts.
7.06pmJack Robinson, Thomas Ince and Tom Carroll all miss out, with the former two forced to settle for a place on the bench.
7.07pmThat means that Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson, Southampton left-back Luke Shaw and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling all find themselves in the starting lineup.
7.10pmIt will be an interesting night for Jenkinson in particular, who could be playing against England tonight having turned out for the Finland U21s in the past due to his Finnish mother. However, having turned out for the Three Lions earlier this year, Jenkinson now finds himself pulling on the white of England.
7.13pmRight, let's take a look at the England bench.
7.30pmLet's bring you some more on the opposition, and Finland will be desperate for a response after losing in their last game to Moldova.
7.33pmPrior to that defeat and their draw with England, Finland were held 2-2 in their opener against Lithuania, before battering Wales 5-1 in Bangor. They continued their unbeaten run in their third game with a 1-0 win in their return match against Lithuania. Finland are currently third in Group 1 with eight points from five matches.
7.37pmEngland will be hoping that they can replicate their win over Lithuania, but not in its entirety. Ravel Morrison and Wilfried Zaha were involved in a punch-up during the game in a squabble over who took a penalty decision. Morrison, who had already notched a brace in the game, wanted to complete his hattrick, while Zaha was the usual penalty taker. It was the Manchester United man who ended up converting the spot kick.
7.40pmHowever, manager Southgate has since insisted that there are no problems between the two players heading into the game.
7.43pmThe teams are out at Stadium: MK, and we're just minutes away from kick off in Group 1.
2 minEngland, playing from right to left, are wearing their home kit of white shirts, navy shorts and white socks.
2 minMeanwhile Finland, attacking the right, are wearing their away strip of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks.
3 minNice trickery from Zaha down the right to create some room on the edge of the box, but his cutback is blocked by Yaghoubi.
5 minYaghoubi has a free kick on the left from a tight angle, he goes for goal and it takes a touch off Sterling before heading out for a corner.
6 minThe corner comes to nothing, and England can clear.
8 minMore pressure from Finland as Yaghoubi wins another corner, but again, England can deal with the danger.
11 minZaha dribbles his way into the box and goes down under a challenge and asks for a penalty. The referee correctly rejects the claim, and awards a corner.
12 minEngland have dominated the early possession count, but Finland have probably had more of the ball on the attack. Zaha is certainly doing his best to wow the home crowd with his skill and trickery.
15 minWonderful run from Sterling who demonstrates his pace against his marker down the left and leaves him for dead. He goes down under a challenge but picks himself and puts a cross in, but it was a poor delivery.
17 minFinland have looked very organised so far and have done very well to contain England. Quite even at the moment, still no real chances.
19 minEngland need to up the tempo. They have a lot of quick attacking players but they are at walking pace at the moment.
21 minGood chance for England, as Ward-Prowse prepares to take a free kick to the left of the box.
21 minEngland lead through Keane, but it's a world-class delivery from Southampton's James Ward-Prowse. He curls it right onto the edge of the six-yard box where Keane heads the ball in, having pretty much carried his marker on his back in getting to the ball.
23 minSouthampton's England internationals have got off to a flyer, is that a sign of things to come?
26 minEngland have continued to dictate the play since that opener, and are starting to hit their stride now.
28 minCLOSE! Nearly a similar second goal for England, as Ward-Prowse curls in a free kick from the right to the far post, but Stones' header is deflected out for a corner.
31 minStill all England. Finland have struggled to mount any kind of attacking possession since falling behind, although England haven't really created another clear chance from open play yet.
33 minFinland do seem very defensive. They currently have everyone in their own half when England are in possession, they don't seem quick enough to play on the counter, so I'm not quite sure what their tactics are here.
35 minBrilliant run from Berahino down the left before pulling the ball back to Sterling, whose powerful shot is mishit into the path of Zaha. He then holds the ball up and wins a free kick.
8.34pmComfortable for England at the break then, and Gareth Southgate will be largely pleased with what he has seen so far.
8.36pmMichael Keane headed the Young Lions in front from a brilliant James Ward-Browse free kick, before Saido Berahino tapped in his fourth goal for England after Luke Shaw's teasing cross was palmed into the striker's path by Joronen.
46 minKICK OFF! Finland, playing from right to left, get the match back underway.
47 minNo changes from either side at the break, as England continue to control possession.
48 minSAVE! Joronen is forced into making another stop from Shaw. The Saints full-back brings the ball fantastically under control before thumping a cross into the box which Joronen takes no chances with.
51 minZaha and Sterling, the two wingers, seem to be slowing the game down and taking too long in possession whenever they get the ball, which is strange for two quicks forwards. They need start playing it earlier.
54 minNot a lot to report on in the last few minutes, neither side have managed many chances and are just exchanging possession in the centre.
56 minFinland have a corner from the right which is whipped in, but Butland comes and comfortably makes an imposing catch.
58 minSAVE! England nearly lose the chance as Morrison tries a bit too much skill and it falls loose on the edge of the box to Ward-Prowse. He slams a low effort towards the bottom corner, but it's pushed behind by Joronen.
61 minEngland seem like they're not far away from a goal, they're camped on the edge of the FInland penalty area at the moment.
63 minIt seems as if both teams are about to make substitutions.
64 minFINLAND CHANGE Kauppi is off, with Jesper Brechtel coming on.
64 minENGLAND CHANGE Chalobah and Sterling both make way for Will Hughes and Thomas Ince.
66 minEngland have absolutely dominated possession in this match. With 25 minutes to play, they have had 70%.
67 minSAVE! Zaha makes his way down the left side of the box with some stepovers. He's up against three players before getting his shot away, but Joronen can save.
69 minCHANCE! What an opportunity for England to kill the game off. Berahino twists his way on the left before pulling a shot back which deflects into the path of Ince, who has an open goal, but his first touch was unexpected and Finland can clear.
70 minRED CARD! Patrick O'Shaughnessy is shown a red for picking up a second yellow card following a late challenge in the centre of the field. It would take a miracle for Finland to get something from this game now.
73 minYELLOW CARD Yaghoubi goes into the book for a late challenge on Zaha.
75 minZaha is really taking a kicking in this second half. England win another free kick on the left as the winger is chopped down. They play it short.
77 minI'm not sure if Jack Butland is even still on the field. It's been that long since he has had something to do. Of note, I think he has only had one catch to make and that's it in this half.
78 minOFF THE BAR! England, again, come close to a third. The ball is worked into the box to Zaha, who touches to ball onto his right foot before unleashing a curling effort towards the top corner, but it comes crashing back off the bar.
82 minENGLAND CHANGE Ravel Morrison is the man to make way, with Jesse Lingard coming onto the pitch.
83 minSAVE! Butland is forced into action as Alho bangs an effort from 30 yards out which is heading to the top corner, but Butland flings himself to his right and palms the ball over.
90+1 minGOAL! England 3-0 Finland (Saido Berahino)
90+1 minGame, set and match England. Berahino gets his second of the game after finishing a nice pass from Ince.
9.44pmIt was never in doubt really from the moment that Berahino scored his first of the match and England's second. The Young Lions cruise to an easy 3-0 win thanks to Michael Keane's opener and a Berahino brace to move England three points clear at the head of Group 1.
9.45pmNext up for Gareth Southgate's side is a clash with San Marino on Tuesday, where they can all but guarantee their place in Czech Republic for Euro 2015.
9.45pmWell that's it from me tonight, I hope you enjoyed the game. Until the next time, it's goodnight.