England 4-0 Iceland: Foden double as England impress

Phil Foden's late brace helped England ease past relegated Iceland in their last competitive match of 2020.

Highlights: England 4-0 Iceland
Highlights: England 4-0 Iceland

With nothing at stake in Group A2, England's youthful attacking midfield shone against a relegated Iceland side who played much of the match with ten men.

England vs Iceland: as it happened, reaction


Match in brief

Declan Rice scored his first England goal with a glancing header
Declan Rice scored his first England goal with a glancing headerPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

Unlike the last-gasp drama that secured victory for them in the reverse fixture in September, England needed just 20 minutes to assert their superiority at Wembley.

On his first international home start, Foden's cross invited Declan Rice to head expertly past the excellent Ögmundur Kristinsson.

Four minutes later, Mason Mount showed swift feet to finish a neat passage of play inside the penalty area, and Iceland's troubles worsened when Birkir Sævarsson was dismissed after the break.

Foden then scored twice in five minutes, finishing from a clever Jadon Sancho pass before firing a long-range strike beyond half-time replacement Hannes Halldórsson.

Simon Hart, England reporter

Rice's childhood friend, Mason Mount, was also on the scoresheetPOOL/AFP via Getty Images
Rice's childhood friend, Mason Mount, was also on the scoresheetPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

This was a very encouraging night for a fluid, focused England, whose exciting young talents linked up impressively well. Foden caught the eye with his fabulous close control, gliding runs and slick passing; in addition, his dead ball set up Rice's first international goal before he got off the mark himself for England with two late strikes. Jack Grealish was highly influential for the third game running, with his purposeful runs and clever angles of pass. Behind them, Mount, the other goalscorer, offered a positive, forward-looking presence in central midfield alongside Rice. A positive way to end 2020.

Andri Yrkill Valsson, Iceland reporter

A night to forget for Iceland. The exertions of the past week have taken their toll and the absence of many key players did not help, but the apparent lack of resilience was disappointing. The team have stood up against the big teams in the past, but that was never apparent tonight. There didn't seem to be any plan when the ball was won and 23% possession says it all. Departing coach Erik Hamrén will be disappointed to leave after a performance like this.

Reaction

Foden delight at first England goals
Foden delight at first England goals

Phil Foden, England midfielder: "To score my first goals for England means a lot to me. It would have been better if the fans were here but I enjoyed it a lot. Everyone is playing well so when you get the opportunity you have to do the best you can. We've got a lot of young talents at the moment coming through so the future looks bright. I'm just happy to be here and playing with this great team."

England manager Gareth Southgate on Foden: "Tonight we felt was a really good game for him and for us to have players like him and Jack, Mason and Harry [Winks] to link, so I am really pleased. We know what he's capable of doing and he’s one of a few who are going to be really exciting over the next years for England."

Erik Hamrén, Iceland coach: "When teams like England play well, it can be like this. Even Germany lost 6-0 versus Spain and I think they had the same stats we had. For me, attitude is so important and I wanted to have more than we had today."

Kári Árnason, Iceland defender: "It was one of the more difficult games I've played in my career. They were right up for it. They have a fantastic team and can choose from whoever they want, really. It was difficult [as] we were missing a few boys who play in the Premier League and we don't have a lot of them."

Mount was key to an impressive England win
Mount was key to an impressive England winPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

England midfielder Mason Mount on his long friendship with Declan Rice: "It's a special night for him, mostly, to get his first goal. For me to be there when he scored, it means a lot to us both. Our parents would have been there if they had been allowed, celebrating together. They'll still be at home messaging each other. We know what we can do and if we keep getting better and performing, our end goal is to win trophies. We're very excited for EURO 2020."

Key stats

• England have 21 wins in their last 23 competitive home internationals.
• The Three Lions have only lost three of their last 51 competitive internationals on home soil.
• Foden's second goal was England's 100th under boss Southgate.
• Iceland are still looking for their first points in the UEFA Nations League (L10).
• Coach Hamrén's reign ended with his side conceding 19 goals in seven matches.

Line-ups

England: Pickford; Walker (Mings 64), Maguire, Dier; Trippier (Maitland-Niles 85), Mount, Rice, Foden, Saka; Kane (Abraham 76), Grealish (Sancho 76)

Iceland: Kristinsson (Halldórsson 46); B Sævarsson, Ingason, Árnason, Hermannsson; Sigurjónsson (Eyjólfsson 62), B Bjarnason (Jóhannesson 88), Pálsson, A Skúlason; Guðmundsson (Sigthórsson 73), Bödvarsson (Þorsteinsson 73)

What's next?

The UEFA Nations League final tournament takes place from 6-10 October 2021. Teams will return to competitive action in the spring in the European Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.