FOOTBALL NEWS

07/06/2013 09:51, Report by Mark Froggatt

De Gea's winning start

David De Gea kept a clean sheet as Spain made a winning start in the UEFA Under-21 Championships, recording a slender 1-0 win over Russia in Jerusalem on Thursday.

 

The Manchester United goalkeeper played a full match as part of an experienced team that is hoping to win back-to-back European titles, although Julen Lopetegui's champions were partly frustrated by a combination of their own awry finishing and some stubborn Russian defending.

In the end, the match was ultimately decided by substitute and debutant Álvaro Morata, whose headed goal eight minutes from time means Spain sit joint-top of Group B ahead of Sunday’s clash with Germany, who lost their opener to Netherlands.

Elsewhere in the tournament, incoming Reds forward Wilfried Zaha hopes to face Norway on Saturday after missing England’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Italy earlier in the week.

The former Crystal Palace star, who will officially join his new team-mates at Old Trafford on 1 July, was an unused substitute against the Italians but manager Stuart Pearce has confirmed the player trained on Thursday and will be in contention to start this weekend.

In reality, the Three Lions must win the match to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals on 15 June.

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