Men's Team

Skipper Sterling strikes as England cruise past Ivory Coast

Named skipper for the evening, City’s Raheem Sterling was on target and provided an assist with club colleague Jack Grealish also laying on a goal as England overcame Ivory Coast 3-0 in their latest friendly at Wembley.

After Ollie Watkins had opened the scoring, Sterling then doubled the advantage for Gareth Southgate’s side on the brink of half-time before Tyrone Mings' late injury time header rounded off a satisfactory night.

Sterling and Grealish proved a livewire presence from the off against a physical and robust Ivory Coast side as the Three Lions stepped up their preparations for next winter’s World Cup.

In a lively contest, Jude Bellingham saw a first half effort hit the post before Simon Deli made a key interception to block a goal bound Sterling shot.

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However, pressure eventually bore fruit on the half hour with Sterling the provider and Watkins applying the finish.

Some superb skills and trickery from Sterling opened things up on the left.

The skipper then teed up Watkins to poke home from a few yards out for his second international goal.

Ivory Coast’s task then got even tougher when Serge Aurier was dismissed after picking up two yellow cards.

ACTION MAN: Jack Grealish presses forward for England
ACTION MAN: Jack Grealish presses forward for England

And England made the visitors pay as they doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time through skipper Sterling with City colleague Grealish providing the assist.

Some smart Watkins' hold-up play saw him flick a ball on to Sterling.

His shot rebounded to Grealish, who immediately volleyed the ball back into the skipper’s path where he connected first-time and beat the keeper with the goal allowed to stand after a VAR check.

With an hour gone Sterling and Grealish were amongst those to be replaced with City’s Phil Foden given a half hour outing from the bench.

James Ward-Prowse almost added a third with a fine long-range strike that dipped just over the bar.

But England did seal a fine night’s work with a third goal deep into stoppage time, Tyrone Mings heading home from Foden’s corner.

Meanwhile, City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who is currently on loan at Stoke, skippered England’s Under-21s as they secured a 3-0 win away to Albania in their latest European Under-21 Championship qualifier.

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