Phil Foden led England’s young brigade in style as they concluded their Nations League campaign with a comfortable win against Iceland in a dead rubber at Wembley.
This final game of the qualifying campaign had nothing riding on it with England’s hopes of reaching the finals ended by defeat in Belgium, and Iceland without a point in Group A2, but it was a game where Gareth Southgate’s emerging youngsters staked their claims.
Declan Rice headed England in front with his first international goal after 20 minutes before Mason Mount added a second from close range four minutes later.
Manchester City’s Foden, still only 20 and back in the fold after being dropped for breaking Covid-19 protocols in September, also demonstrated his huge potential and growing maturity on the international stage with a fine performance and late strikes as he swept in Jadon Sancho’s pass for his first England goal with 10 minutes left before quickly adding a second with a low shot.
England’s players are still fighting for places in next summer’s European Championship and the likes of Foden, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Arsenal’s teenage defender Bukayo Saka took the chance to impress manager Southgate.
Iceland were reduced to 10 men in the second half when Birkir Saevarsson was shown a second yellow card for dragging back Saka as England dominated.