Under 21 European Championships
City duo feature as England U21s suffer Euros defeat
- Credit: PA
Norwich City duo Max Aarons and Oliver Skipp saw England U21s European Championship campaign get off to a losing start after the Young Lions were beaten by Switzerland.
The pair were unable to prevent Aidy Boothroyd's side from suffering defeat in the opening group stage fixture in the competition, with Todd Cantwell an unused substitute in Koper, Slovenia.
An error from former City defender Ben Godfrey nearly gifted Switzerland the lead when Andi Zegiri was played through on goal. His effort inside the area was tamely struck and never troubled Aaron Ramsdale.
Switzerland were relentless in the press, restricting England's space successfully. The Young Lions struggled to find their rhythm during the opening period, with Mauro Lustrinelli's men having the better chances.
Aidy Boothroyd's side went close through Lloyd Kelly from a corner, but the defender's header lacked conviction.
Aarons was a source of positivity in the first half and England's right side was productive. City's right-back teed up Everton Tom Davies to shoot from range, but he curled his shot over the bar.
The post came to the Young Lions rescue just after the interval when Davies' was caught out by the intense Swiss press. Bastien Toma was teed up by a pull-back, with the goal gaping and only Aaron Ramsdale to beat, he thumped his low shot off the post.
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Callum Hudson-Odoi went close with a fiercely struck free-kick from the edge of the area. The Chelsea winger aimed for the top right corner, but Swiss keeper Anthony Racioppi was equal to it.
With less than 15 minutes to play, Switzerland did take the lead through Dan Ndoye who curled the ball beyond Ramsdale. The forward appeared to slip and fired the ball off his standing foot to loop it into the net.
It was a deserved lead for the Swiss who frustrated Boothroyd's side all afternoon and created the better opportunities.
England were toothless and lacked a creative spark against an organised Switzerland side. Their next fixture is on Sunday, March 28 against Portugal.
England Under-21 (3-4-3): Ramsdale, Aarons, Godfrey, Guehi, Kelly, Davies (Jones, 66), Skipp, Hudson-Odoi, Smith-Rowe (Eze, 66), McNeil (R Sessegnon, 76), Nketiah (Brewster, 76). Subs not used: Tanganga, Bursik, Griffiths, Madueke, Cantwell, Gallagher, Steven Sessegnon, Wilmot.
Bookings: Guehi (foul on Guillemenot, 60), Hudson-Odoi (leaving the field of play to change boots, 84), Skipp (unsporting behaviour, 90+4)
Switzerland U-21 (4-3-1-2): Racioppi, Lotomba, Bamert, Zesiger, Muheim, Toma, Domgjoni, Jankewitz, Ndoye (Mambimbi, 80), Guillemenot (Imeri, 66), Zeqiri. Subs not used: Kohn, Van Der Werff, Sidler, Ruegg, Pusic, Fayulu, Rieder, Stergiou, Sohm, Stojilkovic.
Bookings: Bamert (foul on Nketiah, 63)