England have beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 0 in their friendly at St James Park

England have beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in their friendly at St James’ Park

Trent Alexander-Arnold capped an impressive individual display with a tremendous volley as England beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in Monday’s Euro 2024 warm-up friendly.

Preparations for this summer’s shot at silverware stepped up at St James’ Park as players got a chance to stake their claim for a place on the plane, or even a starting role against Serbia.

Cole Palmer’s spot-kick was followed by an excellent Alexander-Arnold effort and late Harry Kane goal on a night that provides manager Gareth Southgate with plenty of food for thought ahead of Friday’s final squad submission.

Eberechi Eze and Palmer produced positive displays on their first England starts, with the latter opening his international account after Ezri Konsa, another impressive performer, was fouled in the box.

Alexander-Arnold did well on his latest audition in midfield but had reverted to a more familiar right-back role when he scored a superb late volley that substitute Kane added to.

It was a strong end to a largely-unremarkable first ever encounter with Bosnia and Southgate’s attention now turns to Friday’s send-off friendly against Iceland and that night’s final squad selection.

“I know that was then, but it could be again” read a banner in the Gallowgate End as England emerged at a packed St James’ Park, where jeers greeted Sunderland product Jordan Pickford.

The goalkeeper and Kieran Trippier, captaining his country for a third time and deployed as left-back, were the only starters on Monday that look shoo-ins to line-up against Serbia on June 16.

Ollie Watkins got the nod ahead of Ivan Toney and stayed strong under pressure when slipped in by Palmer to force Nikola Vasilj into a ninth-minute stop.

Play limped on as Conor Gallagher curled an effort over and Bosnia’s goalkeeper prevented an own goal, but Eze’s jinking run through the heart of the visiting team got bums off seats. Konsa saw a close-range strike saved from the resulting corner.

Bosnia looked solid in boss Sergej Barbarez’s first match and went close in the 41st minute. Haris Hajradinovic cut out a lax Marc Guehi pass across his own box but had his shot blocked.

Jarrod Bowen saw a drive held just before the break, when ‘Sweet Caroline’ lifted the fans more than England’s first-half performance.

Southgate’s side returned from the break with renewed vigour.

Alexander-Arnold’s delivery continued to impress and he smartly slipped in Palmer to get away a low shot that bobbled wide via a deflection.

The St James’ Park support stuck with England as they slowly chipped away, with a penalty finally unlocking the obdurate visitors.

Referee Rohit Saggi was sent to the monitor by the VAR and pointed to the spot having watched footage of Benjamin Tahirovic dragging down Konsa.

Palmer stepped up to the 60th-minute spot-kick and – despite his standing foot slipping – slammed the ball beyond Vasilj’s reach.

The goalscorer was among the five players taken off soon after, with debutants Adam Wharton and Jarrad Branthwaite among those introduced.

Kane was another of those brought on and forced a good save out of the Bosnia goalkeeper from outside the box.

The visitors were beginning to wobble and conceded a second through Alexander-Arnold’s magical effort.

Lively substitute Jack Grealish, one of those fighting for a place in the final squad, sent a lovely ball to the far post, where the midfielder unleashed a stunning, low volley.

Gallagher was denied as England pushed for a third, which arrived in the 89th minute as poacher Kane prodded home during a penalty box melee.

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