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Mar 27, 2017 at 6pm UK at Parken
Denmark U21sDenmark Under-21s
England U21sEngland Under-21s
FT(HT: 0-2)
Loftus-Cheek (10', 69'), March (15'), Woodrow (61')

Live Commentary: Denmark U21s 0-4 England U21s - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Under-21s friendly meeting between England and Denmark, as the Young Lions cruised to a comfortable win.

England Under-21s rounded off their preparations ahead of this summer's U21 Euro 2017 tournament with a resounding 4-0 win over fellow finalists Denmark Under-21s.

A straightforward evening for the Young Lions in Randers began with Ruben Loftus-Cheek side-footing them into a 10th-minute lead, before Solly March curled home a second via a deflection.

Cauley Woodrow was the next player to register shortly after the hour, tucking home from a corner kick that was not dealt with by the hosts, while Loftus-Cheek bagged his second to round off the scoring 21 minutes from time.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the friendly meeting between Denmark Under-21s and England Under-21s at AutoC Park Randers. Both sides qualified for next summer's U21 Euro 2017 finals with ease and will fancy their chances of tasting success in Poland in the summer, with this their final warm-up matches prior to that tournament.

Denmark have been in incredible form over the past year, only seeing their unbeaten run - made up largely of comfortable wins - come to an end last Thursday with that loss to Spain. England have also been as strong as ever at this age-grade level, advancing through to the finals in top spot and looking to now make a better fist of things following successive group-stage exits in their past few involvements in the summer tournament.

Kickoff at AutoC Park Randers is around 25 minutes away now, so let us get straight into things by checking out some confirmed team news.

DENMARK U21s XI: Hojbjerg, Maxso, Blabjerg, Norgaard, Hjulsager, Vigen, Uhre, Andersen, Kristensen, Skov, Desler

ENGLAND U21s XI: Gunn, Gomez, McQueen, Hughes, Holding, Hause, March, Swift, Woodrow, Loftus-Cheek, Murphy

England boss Aidy Boothroyd has made widespread changes from the 1-0 defeat in Germany a few days back - 10 in all, in fact! The big news is that Joe Gomez comes back into the fold, starting his first match at this level since October 2015, while Sam McQueen is handed his debut following an impressive campaign with Southampton. There is also a start in the number-10 role for Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

No great surprise to see Boothroyd change things around, knowing that this double-header against Germany and Denmark provides him with one last chance to experiment prior to the Euro finals a couple of months from now. Harry Winks was expected to feature from the off in Randers this evening, however, having been rewarded with just a second cap in the defeat to Germany on Friday. A decent-enough looking side named by the visitors, regardless, which includes plenty of experience.

England head into this game on the back of that narrow defeat to Germany, then - narrow when taking a quick glance at the scoreline, at least, because the Young Lions deserved to lose by more on the evening. It was a disappointing way to officially kick off Boothroyd's tenure as manager at this level, having made the step up from the younger age following Gareth Southgate's promotion to the senior ranks.

The two men will work closely together when looking ahead to the future, with many of the U21-eligible players already enjoying life with the seniors. While John Stones and Dele Alli do not appear likely to drop back down, Marcus Rashford will almost certainly represent the Under-21s in Poland this summer, while Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse are also in contention.

England have won the U21 Euro finals on a couple of occasions in the past, but not since retaining the crown in 1984. The Young Lions have also failed to make it into the knockout stage in the previous few instalments of the competition, so there is a bit of pressure on them to succeed this time around, particularly after doing so well in the Toulon Cup last year. Southgate was their mentor then, though Boothroyd is a capable pair of hands.

Boothroyd's men have lost back-to-back friendlies heading into this one, falling to France in November prior to their loss to Germany during the current international break. That came on the back of a previous 10-match unbeaten run, though, stretching back more than a year and seeing them book their place in the Euro finals. Next up for the Young Lions after this one is the group-stage clash with Sweden on June 16.

In terms of the home side, they have more of a pedigree at the Euros compared to their opponents over the past couple of decades. The Danes reached the final four last time around, matching their previous best finish of 1994, and they will look to go one better this time as they take on Italy, Czech Republic and and Germany - a tough-looking group containing two real heavyweight sides.

Niels Frederiksen's side are winless in their last two games, playing out a goalless draw with finals opponents Italy and being edged out 1-0 by Spain last Thursday. Prior to that the Scandinavian side had won nine matches on the spin, scoring 24 goals and conceding just three. It is just that one loss to Spain in their last 13 stretching back to September 2015, meanwhile, so the visitors have their work cut out tonight.

In the Denmark ranks this evening is Mikkel Duelund, who is seen as one of the country's next big things after scoring 10 goals in 13 goals for the Under-19s side to break Michael Laudrup's previous record. Duelund, who was part of the Midtjylland side that came up against Manchester United in the Europa League last term, has been heavily linked with a number of European clubs, including Premier League Liverpool.

PREDICTION! These pre-tournament friendlies are all about managers being given one final chance to experiment with their sides, as reflected in the England XI tonight which shows 10 changes from last time out. That said, the Young Lions will not fancy heading to Poland under their new manager on the back of three losses on the spin, and I am backing them to end the run somewhat tonight with a 2-2 draw.

Some real hope around these parts in recent times thanks to the emergence of this talented Under-21s side, but can Denmark return to winning ways with a win in Randers this evening? They will not face England in the group stage in Poland two months from now, but this will give us a good idea of how these two sides are shaping up as their preparations continue - albeit with a weakened Young Lions side being fielded.

Both sets of players are now out on the field of play at AutoC Park Randers, with kickoff between Denmark Under-21s and England Under-21s just a couple of minutes away. First, time for the pre-match anthems of both sides...

Interim England Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd sings the national anthem before his side's friendly against Italy Under-21s at St Mary's Stadium on November 10, 2016© SilverHub

KICKOFF! We are up and running in Randers in this final U21 Euro finals warm-up fixtures for both sides. Denmark had a reality check of sorts when losing to Spain last time out, while England have suffered successive setbacks.

The ball is floated into the box from the left but Gunn is there to collect with ease. A few key names missing from the England ranks due to their senior involvement, so a real chance for the stand-ins to impress.

Bright enough start made by the visitors, as Gomez looks to get forward down the flank on his first international start in well over a year. The attempted pass into the path of Loftus-Cheek had a tad too much on it in the end.

SHOT! Best opening of the match so far, with McQueen sending in a good delivery from the left on his full debut at this level for Swift to meet. The Reading man could not direct his shot on target, though, and it ended in the stands.

Gomez and McQueen certainly not afraid to get high up the pitch in these opening 10 minutes of the match - two players who Boothroyd will be desperate to run the rule over this evening due to their lack of previous involvement.


A very simple opening goal to the match for England, courtesy of some nice interplay between Jacob Murphy and Loftus-Cheek. The former - the only player to retain his place in the XI from last time out - got forward down the left and picked out his teammate in the box, who simply tucked the ball into the bottom corner from 10 yards out.

Well-taken goal for England, that, with Loftus-Cheek making them most of the game's first serious chance by side-footing home. The visitors playing some decent football due to Denmark's failure to really get going.


No sign of the Young Lions' levels dropping since that opener, and they have been rewarded with a second goal. Five-and-a-half minutes after seeing Loftus-Cheek tuck the ball into the bottom corner, Solly March goes one better with a curler from range that ends in the top corner.

England going a long way to show in the opening quarter of this match that the loss to Germany was simply a one-off; a case of showing their opponents a little too much respect on their home patch. No sign of a repeat in Randers so far.

Denmark showing a bit more of themselves in an attacking sense since going two behind, winning a corner after Gomez was caught high up the field - always a risk when the full-backs are asked to play as auxiliary wingers.

CLOSE! Just about the best the hosts have offered in front goal so far, as Christian Norgaard gets a little touch on a cross into the box but fails to test Angus Gunn. Young Lions come forward again but a move breaks down in the final third.

SAVE! McQueen appeared to be looking for Woodrow in the middle with his left-sided cross, but it was miscued and forced a routine stop out of Jeppe Hojbjerg between the sticks. Another good England spell.

Been a very nice evening for the England backline so far in Randers, with little to do across these opening 27 minutes or so. The Young Lions' midfield players are on top and they are good value for this comfortable advantage.

March given time to get the ball into the area, only to completely overhit it straight out of play. Just waiting for Denmark - 1 defeat in 13, remember - to click into gear because they have been very poor so far this evening.

Been very impressed by Jacob Murphy so far this evening - the only survivor from the XI that started against Germany. He again charges into the box and is sandwiched by two opposition players, which the referee felt was legal.

All very straightforward for England at the moment, as they continue to win their individual battles across the park. Would not be surprised to see Frederiksen tinker with things slightly at the break, with a couple of senior-capped players on the bench.

It is worth pointing out that Denmark are missing those players that were involved with the seniors this week, but England are themselves lacking a few players - including the aforementioned Rashford - while Winks is also on the bench.

Loftus-Cheek attempts to put the Denmark backline under some pressure by pressing high up the pitch, but the hosts just about get away with it by clearing their lines. Good defending by Gomez up the other end to kill off an attack.

ENGLAND U21s SUB! Jacob Murphy, arguably the visitors' star performer in this one-sided first half, makes way with five minutes of the half still to play. Grealish on for his first minutes of this international break.

Norwich fans will be hoping that Murphy's exit is not injury related, and truth be told it is difficult to tell. Murphy did not look to be complaining of any sort of issue, but strange to see the change made so close to the interval.

SAVE! England put together another nice attacking move, which culminates in the ball being slipped through for Woodrow to blast goalwards from a slight angle. Hojbjerg gets down well and is equal to it, conceding a corner.

We are now into the final few seconds of the first half; a half completely bossed by the visiting side. A complete contrast in performance to what we witnessed in Germany a few days back, when the 1-0 loss rather flattered them.

SAVE! A first save of the match for Gunn to make, right at the end of this first half. Lasse Vigen Christensen given time and space to take on the shot from range, which the England stopper was always favourite to keep out.


The half-time whistle is blown in Randers, bringing an end to an opening 45 minutes largely dominated by the visitors. Denmark kept their only attempt until the final seconds of the half, with goals from Loftus-Cheek and March putting England well ahead by that point.

Prior to making the breakthrough, John Swift had half a chance to open his account but could only direct debutant Sam McQueen's cross wide of the target. England were well into their groove by that point and did not have to wait too much longer for that Ruben Loftus-Cheek opener, with the Chelsea midfielder side-footing the ball past Jeppe Hojbjerg into the bottom corner.

Five-and-a-half minutes later the visitors had a second, this time from longer range after Solly March was given time and space to get a shot away at goal on his rare start, seeing the ball take a slight nick on its way through. Christian Norgaard came close with a deft touch up the other end as an underwhelming Denmark slowly started to grow into things, but it took until the 45-minute mark for their first shot on target as Lasse Vigen Christensen was kept out by Angus Gunn.

There is no doubt that England were good value for their two-goal advantage at the break, though, with Cauley Woodrow and McQueen - the latter a miscued cross - also testing Hojbjerg. The one blemish for the Young Lions was the departure of their only survivor from the 1-0 loss to Germany in midweek, with the impressive Jacob Murphy making way just before the whistle sounded for the interval. Expect to see a change or two from both camps as we gear up for the second half in Randers.

Jack Grealish of England scores his side's first goal during the Toulon Tournament match against Guinea at Stade De Lattre on May 23, 2016© Getty Images

RESTART! We are back under way in this Under-21s friendly clash at AutoC Park Randers. No England changes at the break, but their Danish counterparts have made a total of four alterations following a poor first-half showing.

A case of the visitors seeing this one through now and now potentially looking for a third. Boothroyd may have one or two others he wants to run the rule over, with Grealish - introduced 40 minutes in - falling into that category.

Uhre flagged for offside, capping what has been an underwhelming debut display. The hosts just have not found their top levels so far, with the start of this second half not exactly bringing a change in fortunes.

Denmark have altered shape to 4-4-2 with those four half-time changes, but it has yet to have the desired effect. Grealish runs a good 25 yards with the ball but lacks the end product, running nowhere in particular.

Solly March gets to the byline and sends in a stinging cross, which Hojbjerg reads well by getting his name to first. Approaching that hour mark now, so Boothroyd may perhaps be thinking about a change or two.

SAVE! Good stop from Gunn, who had just the one save to make in the entirety of the first 45 minutes. Similar to Loftus-Cheek's opener in the first half, Lucas Andersen looks to pick his spot but was denied by the young stopper.

Denmark's performance continues to be disjointed, despite the settled nature of the starting XI. Skipper Hughes makes good inroads and picks out March, who on this occasion can only drag his attempt a little wide of goal.


Woodrow gets his name on the scoresheet as England make sure of the victory - their first in three. The Burton loanee was denied from 20 yards, with Hojbjerg helping it over for a corner, but from the set piece the ball was headed into his path and he made no mistake from closer range.

ENGLAND SUB! Denmark make another couple of changes, while Boothroyd turns to Demarai Gray - a starter against Germany - for the final 25 minutes or so of this match. More chance of England getting a fourth than their opponents pulling one back.

SHOT! Just a case of going through the motions for England now in these remaining 25 minutes. They have been given an incredible amount of room in midfield all evening, with Woodrow blasting down the middle but seeing the ball deflect aside.

Still England keep knocking on the door, looking for that fourth of the evening. No sign of Denmark stepping things up at the moment, so Boothroyd will fancy his side to add to their tally in the remainder of this contest.


Loftus-Cheek finds the net for a second time tonight, being given time to turn and shoot just inside the box to cap what has been another solid midfield display from him. Incredible just how much space Denmark are giving their opponents.

Now into the final quarter of the match and we could well see another couple of England goals. The strange things is, they have not even been that good - instead it has been a case of Denmark been incredibly poor. A real confidence-booster, regardless.

ENGLAND SUB! Cauley Woodrow will be delighted to have scored his third goal for the Under-21s, coming in his eighth cap, and he has now made way for Bristol City loanee Tammy Abraham who will be confident of bagging one of his own.

Been a lack of rhythm in this second half, not helped by the hosts making a change seemingly every five minutes. A case of job done for the the visitors, who now have less than 15 minutes of the match to see through for this resounding win.

Gomez still has energy to burn down the right but rather skies his cross at the end of it, with Loftus-Cheek well placed in the area. Hard to put into words how dreadful Denmark have been tonight all over the pitch.

SAVE! Denmark with their third shot on target of the evening, all of which Gunn has been equal to. This latest shot, which looked to be via Christian Norgaard, was at a nice height to get across and keep out.

SHOT! Swift with a decent chance to add his name to the scoresheet, but his shot was always rising over the crossbar. A training-ground feel to these final stages, with England essentially getting the job done in the first half.

Boothroyd will be delighted by what he has seen across these 90 minutes, picking up a first win since taking permanent charge of the Under-21s side. Their next outing is a little over two months from now against Sweden in the U21 Euro finals.

Back-to-back defeats to France and Germany a distant memory for England on the back of this impressive display, although it does need an asterisk next to it - Denmark have simply not turned up all evening, despite their decent form over the past 12 months.

Denmark actually enjoying their best spell of the match in the final stages of the contest, which will likely end in two minutes as the referee will be happy to put the hosts out of their misery in this one-sided friendly clash.

A Denmark shot is dragged well wide of the target, signalling what will surely be their final attempt of the evening. One to forget for Frederiksen and his coaching staff, who will be hoping for far better when those senior places are integrated back into the fold.


The whistle sounds for full time, meaning the most comfortable of victories for England Under-21s at AutoC Park Randers. Aidy Boothroyd would have demanded a response from his second-string side after back-to-back friendly defeats, and he got exactly that against an admittedly poor Denmark Under-21s side.

That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events in Randers. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while some reaction will follow elsewhere on the side in due course. Thanks for joining!

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Joe Gomez of Liverpool FC looks to pass the ball during the international friendly match between Adelaide United and Liverpool FC at Adelaide Oval on July 20, 2015
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