England’s Under-21s sealed a first victory under new manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday, recording a 1-0 win over Moldova with United’s Michael Keane and Wilfried Zaha in the side.
The two Reds played from start to finish in the European Championship qualifier at the Madejski Stadium, where the Three Lions dominated much of the game but were ultimately wasteful winners after failing to build on debutant Saido Berahino’s excellent 12th minute opener.
However, Zaha’s performance was hugely impressive and the United starlet looked a cut above the rest on the pitch. Playing on the wing, the former Crystal Palace man was a regular terror for the Moldovan defence, using his pace and trickery to great effect.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Keane enjoyed a quiet game in defence but the 20-year-old will have been delighted to keep an easy clean sheet, having strolled through the 90 minutes without having to quell too much of an attacking threat.
Speaking after the final whistle, boss Gareth Southgate explained why he was pleased with his young side’s performance. “I think they have carried out what we asked them to do, we wanted to keep switching play and get overloads in wide areas and we did that," he told BT Sport.
“Most of our chances came from that play and we took the work from the training ground onto the pitch which was great. I wanted to control the game in terms of possession and now we just have to find an edge around the box.”