Marcus Rashford Scores Lone Goal as England Beat Switzerland in Friendly

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist ISeptember 11, 2018

England's striker Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring during a friendly international football match between England and Switzerland at the King Power stadium in Leicester on September 11, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game as England secured a 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland at Leicester City's King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

Manager Gareth Southgate made nine changes to his team and saw his side struggle in a first half which the visitors dominated.

The Three Lions improved after the break and took the lead on 54 minutes. Kyle Walker sent in a cross from the right, and the Manchester United striker was left unmarked at the far post where he swept home.

The victory ends a run of three straight defeats for England, while Switzerland taste defeat for just the second time in 12 games.

    

England Display Highlights Lack Of Strength in Depth

Southgate made a host of changes to his team for Tuesday's friendly, as he sought to give some of his squad players some game time:

Only Harry Maguire and Rashford were retained from the side which lost 2-1 to Spain in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League on Saturday.

In came players including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph and Danny Welbeck, all of whom have been bit-part players for their clubs this season.

It showed too as England put in a poor first-half performance and looked as though they were heading for a fourth consecutive defeat.

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is playing in the Championship after being relegated with the Potters last season, looked nervous and got off to a poor start.

A scuffed clearance across the face of his own goal put England in trouble. He then played James Tarkowski into trouble with a poor pass which allowed Switzerland a chance at goal. Xherdan Shaqiri hit the post when he ought to have scored.

England were also struggling in midfield, as they failed to press Switzerland and struggled to keep possession. In contrast the visitors settled quickly and knocked the ball around with confidence.

Sports reporter Simon Collings noted how Granit Xhaka was controlling the game:

Captain Harry Kane was given a rest and started the game on the bench. Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Eric Dier took over the armband but did not convince, per football writer Daniel Storey:

Southgate made changes at half-time, and England improved after the break. It was little surprise that their only goal was scored by two of the team's more established players.

Rashford grabbed his second goal in two games to win the match after a superb ball from Manchester City's Walker. 

Jesse Lingard, Kane and John Stones all arrived as second-half substitutes and were followed by Jordan Henderson and Kieran Tripper, as England saw the game out with some ease.

It's a welcome win for England after a poor run of results. However, they offered a lacklustre performance, and the game highlighted the big difference in quality between the Three Lions' starting XI and their second string.

        

What's Next?

England return to action on Friday, October 12. They take on Croatia in their second Nations League match. Switzerland play on the same day, as they take on Belgium in the same tournament.

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