England took on Scotland on a rainy Friday evening at a quarter-full Wembley for their second game of Euro 2020. This game marked the first time the oldest international fixture in the world was played in four years, following a 2-2 draw in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
Gareth Southgate made two changes to England’s starting line-up after the win against Croatia, replacing Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier with Reece James and Luke Shaw. Tyrone Mings kept his place despite Harry Maguire being fit again.
Steve Clarke made four changes to Scotland’s line-up following their loss to the Czech Republic. Kieran Tierney returns from injury, Callum McGregor and Che Adams are back, and Billy Gilmour gets his first international cap. The Chelsea player became the youngest player to play for Scotland in a major tournament since Duncan Ferguson in 1992.
Scotland got the ball underway in the first half but found themselves outplayed by England in the early minutes of the game. England came close to scoring multiple times in quick succession near the quarter-hour mark. John Stones hit the inside of the post following a corner kick after rising to meet the ball unchallenged by defenders. Shortly after, Sterling steals the ball from McTominay and picks out Mount, who narrowly misses. Foden also has a shot saved, before being ruled offside.
John McGinn was the most booked player in the Premier League last season and certainly showed it, his heavy tackles also resulting in multiple fouls and an early yellow card in the 16th minute.
Despite some early defensive trouble, Scotland grew into the game and soon had England on the back foot. In the 30th minute, Steven O’Donnell forced a great save from Pickford with a dangerous low drive on the volley.
The first half of the game was more passion than finesse and ended 0-0.
England began the second half with great build-up play consisting of a lot of passes, culminating in Reece James firing a long-range effort wide of the goal.
In response, Dykes volleys the ball seemingly towards goal following a corner, only for Reece James to produce a phenomenal clearance.
With the exception of a few sharp plays early in the first half, England were disappointing. Harry Kane put in a poor shift and was substituted by Rashford in the 75th minute, who was unable to exert his influence on the game either. Raheem Sterling previously showed signs of a return to form after scoring the decisive goal against Croatia, but couldn’t make his mark today and lost possession several times.
In the end, England’s lethargic performance resulted in much ado about nothing. Both sides looked promising at times with impressive attacking forays but failed to materialise anything tangible.
England faced Scotland at Wembley for the 33rd time, with this game the first of all such encounters to end goalless. England are now second in their group with 4 points, with a +1 goal difference compared to the Czech Republic’s +2.