MX23RW : Monday, December 17 08:10:34

Result: Nathan Redmond scores three as England Under-21s beat Wales Under-21s

England Under-21s move nine points clear in their European Championships qualifying group courtesy of a 3-1 win over Wales Under-21s.

England Under-21s have moved nine points clear at the top of their European Championships qualifying group courtesy of a 3-1 win over Wales Under-21s at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

The visitors carved out an early chance to take the lead when James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard combined to set up Nathan Redmond, but the winger sliced his effort wide.

Tom Ince of England battles with Tom O'Sullivan of Wales during the 2015 UEFA European U21 Championships Qualifier on May 19, 2014© Getty Images

Redmond turned provider in the 10th minute as he picked out Lingard with a cross, only for the Manchester United youngster to nod over the crossbar.

England continued to push for the opening goal and eventually got it in the 18th minute as Redmond stole the ball off a dawdling Lloyd Isgrove before slotting his effort past the keeper.

They were ahead for less than two minutes, however, as Wales struck back immediately when Gwion Edwards was left unmarked in the box to nod a corner past Jack Butland.

The goal sparked the hosts into life and they almost completed a turnaround midway through the half as Lee Evans drew a fingertip stop from Butland.

The England keeper was forced into action again just five minutes later, although Wes Burns made it easier for the Stoke City man by firing his shot straight at him.

The visitors were left wondering how they didn't regain their lead moments later as Lingard was denied from close range twice in quick succession by a fine Connor Roberts double save.

Nathan Redmond of England is congratulated on scoring the first goal during the 2015 UEFA European U21 Championships Qualifier against Wales on May 19, 2014© Getty Images

The keeper could do nothing about England's second goal, however, as Redmond doubled his personal tally with seven minutes of the first half remaining by firing a crisp strike home from 20 yards.

Thomas Ince came close to adding a third after the break before Redmond also threatened, volleying an effort just past the post 10 minutes after the restart.

The Norwich City man came within inches of grabbing a hat-trick on the hour mark, beating two defenders only to see his low shot come back off the post.

England continued to threaten and the hosts had Roberts to thank for the deficit remaining at one goal, with the keeper denying Lingard on two occasions.

The points were finally wrapped up in second-half stoppage time as Redmond capped a fine individual performance with his third goal of the evening, converting from just inside the area to complete his hat-trick.

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England's Michael Keane celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Finland during their 2015 UEFA European Under 21 Championships Qualifier Group 1 match on November 14, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269

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