Phil Foden struggles to find his rhythm in England's offbeat midfield | Barney Ronay

Phil Foden struggles to find his rhythm in England's offbeat midfield | Barney Ronay

05-Sep-2020 20:42:53 | Guardian

The England debutant showed only flashes of craft in a game where graft was the deciding factor

Iceland in September: still cold enough to give you the shivers. Four years on from the Gothic horrors of Nice 2016 England came to Reykjavik looking for catharsis. In the event they got ... well, what exactly?

Raheem Sterling’s late penalty ensured England took all three points from what was a slow-burn, at times rather painful experience. Gareth Southgate’s team were agreeably dogged, dredging up the sheer effort of will required to win away from home, through a fug of rust, against fiercely committed opponents. On a sunny mid-Atlantic afternoon on Uefa’s most westerly outcrop England had come clanking out of the blocks like a team with fishing weights in their boots, 10-month hangover still lurking. Sterling basically carried them through this, his influence growing as the game wore on to its haggard conclusion, which saw Iceland also miss a penalty in added time.

Related: Raheem Sterling keeps his cool to see off Iceland amid blaze of late drama

Related: England player ratings from Nations League win in Iceland

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