Phil Foden opened his England account with a double as Gareth Southgate’s side ended their Nations League campaign on a high with a 4-0 victory over 10-man Iceland.
Defeat to Belgium on Sunday had ensured Wednesday’s Group A2 meeting at Wembley was a dead rubber, but England’s youthful team nevertheless turned in an impressive display.
Making his first England appearance since breaking coronavirus protocol after a victory over Iceland in September, Foden marked his return in style, setting up Declan Rice’s opener before adding further gloss to a routine win with a superbly taken brace.
Mason Mount had doubled England’s tally, with Birkir Mar Saevarsson’s red card for a second bookable offence all but ending any comeback hopes for outgoing Iceland coach Erik Hamren.
For differing reasons, Jack Grealish and Foden were the big stories heading into the game and the two playmakers combined for England’s 20th-minute opener.
Rice was the benefactor, heading in his maiden England goal from Foden’s free-kick, which was won by Grealish, who moments later teed up Bukayo Saka.
The Arsenal youngster failed to beat Ogmundur Kristinsson, but Mount made no such mistake with England’s next chance, coolly prodding in after latching onto Harry Kane’s knockdown.
Harry Maguire’s marauding run forward resulted in a fine pass through for Foden, whose shot was charged down by Kristinsson, who then denied the midfielder again before Kane curled wide.
Iceland’s hopes seemed to have been extinguished nine minutes into the second half – Saevarsson receiving a second yellow for pulling back Saka.
Kari Arnason might have changed that, yet he headed wide from Ari Freyr Skulason’s corner.
Yet England had the third goal their dominance deserved in the 80th minute when Foden swept home from Jadon Sancho’s cutback.
The 20-year-old Foden was not done there, however, and capped off a fine individual display with a thumping strike into the bottom-right corner.
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