England U21 1-1 Poland U21: Aidy Boothroyd’s side struggle to break down resilient visitors at Ashton Gate ahead of European Championships

21 Mar

England’s Under-21 side were held by a resilient young Poland side in a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side had plenty of possession in Bristol, but failed to convert their superiority into genuine goalscoring chances.

Reiss Nelson takes on the Poland defence

England took the lead on 13 minutes through Dominic Calvert-Lewin after great work from Reiss Nelson.

The Arsenal winger, who is on loan at Hoffenheim, skipped past the goalkeeper and showed great composure to square for the Everton striker.

However, the scores were level when 19-year-old Sebastian Szymanski curled a 30-yard free-kick into the top corner of Angus Gunn’s net.

Inexplicably, the Southampton shot-stopper refused to have a wall and was made to pay as the ball sailed into the top corner.

Szymanski scored from absolutely miles out

STAR MAN – James Maddison

Although he was afforded plenty of the ball, the Leicester City man looked a class above the opposition.

His confidence from a fantastic debut season in the Premier League season for the Foxes is evident to see as Maddison was always available to receive a pass and looked to make things happen.

Tricky on the ball and with the versatility to play across the attacking midfield positions, it is clear to see why the former Norwich City starlet has created 81 chances this season – the most in Europe.

The Arsenal winger was impressive at Ashton Gate


While Jadon Sancho may have earned the majority of the plaudits for his exploits in Germany, it has allowed Nelson to thrive in the Bundesliga.

His assist for Calvert-Lewin in the first half showed maturity beyond his years and portrayed the sort of technical ability which has had Gunners supporters eagerly awaiting the return of the winger.

With Denis Suarez set for an instant return to Barcelona, do not be surprised to see Nelson slot into the Arsenal attack in the not-too distant future.