Lukaku ruled out of Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Cyprus

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Romelu Lukaku will miss Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifier away to Cyprus on Sunday with a foot injury.

The Manchester United striker missed the FA Cup defeat to Wolves and Belgium’s opening qualifying win over Russia on Thursday because of the injury and the Belgian Football Association has now confirmed he is, as expected, out of the Cyprus game too.

The statement on the Belgian FA Twitter page read:

It remains to be seen whether the 25-year-old will be fit for United’s next match, at home to Watford in a week’s time.

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England boss Gareth Southgate hails ‘devastating’ Raheem Sterling

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Gareth Southgate hailed Raheem Sterling’s new-found maturity and “devastating” finishing after the Manchester City forward helped England start their Euro 2020 qualification campaign in style.

After reaching the World Cup semi-finals and inaugural Nations League Finals last year, 2019 began with a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd on Friday evening.

Sterling netted his first treble for England and earned the penalty that saw Harry Kane score the second goal.

“I saw what I’ve seen all week from him, so the level he hit didn’t surprise me,” manager Southgate said of Sterling.


“He’s in a really confident moment, not only on the field, but off the field he’s so mature and comfortable in himself.








“I think I talked about that earlier in the week, really, how I’ve seen that.


“So I’m delighted for him to get the reaction that he did from the crowd here. We can’t hide from the fact that he’s had difficult moments with England and he’s turned that full circle.


“I also think the goals in Spain were an important moment for him. You could see the release that had brought.


“And his finishes there and tonight were finishes that he was just taking on without thinking too much.


“At times, you could almost see the thought process in the past, but he’s hungry for those goals.


“I know he’s spoken about that before, of how he’s added that incentive to his game and I thought he was devastating tonight.”



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Sancho in focus as Dortmund star shines on first competitive start for England

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Jadon Sancho was handed his first competitive start for England in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic at Wembley.

He provided an assist for Raheem Sterling’s opening goal of the 5-0 win and put in an enterprising shift on the right.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the teenager’s performance.

Young gun

Having been named in Gareth Southate’s side he became the third youngest England player to start an competitive fixture at Wembley, behind Duncan Edwards in 1955 and Michael Owen in 1998.

He started on the right of a three-man attack, which included Sterling and Harry Kane, and got his chance because of Marcus Rashford’s injury.

He was not restricted to the right, though, as he often drifted into the middle to take up central positions and also popped up on the left.

He was involved throughout the match, giving left-back Filip Novak a night to forget at Wembley and proving himself capable at this level.

King of the assists

He may be three days shy of his 19th birthday, but Sancho is already in esteemed company this season, as he and Lionel Messi have made more assists than any other player in the top five European leagues with 12 apiece.

And he needed only 24 minutes to get his first in an England shirt as he teed up Sterling for the opener.

It was a fine run in behind left-back Novak and, in exactly the sort of position that he has taken up for Borussia Dortmund so many times this season, he rolled the ball across for a tap-in.

He’s got the X Factor

It is easy to see why Sancho has hogged the column inches this season and has been spoken about in the gushing way that he has.

He brings excitement to the game and he is fearless with the way he attacks with his lightning pace and unrelenting directness.

When he gets the ball, something does not always happen, but you know it might.

There were a few unsuccessful dribbles throughout the match, but also a moment of trickery as he nutmegged Novak and then tried an audacious flick around David Pavelka which earned a corner.

A near miss

Sancho should have marked his first competitive start with an assist and a goal as he will never have a better chance to get on the scoresheet for his country.

After another fast-flowing move, involving Sterling and Harry Kane, the England captain pulled it back to Sancho who was six yards out, but his shot was blocked by Novak.

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