Arsenal duo aim for Euro U21s semi-final spot
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 June 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal’s Calum Chambers and Rob Holding will be aiming to help England under-21s into the European Championship semi-finals today (Thursday).
The Young Lions face Poland, who include Gunners youngster Krystian Bielik, and know a win will take them through to the last four following a come-from-behind success against Slovakia on Monday.
Chambers, who scored in the 4-3 defeat against Liverpool on the opening day of last season before going on loan to Middlesbrough, played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 triumph, having also been on the pitch for the whole of England’s goalless draw with Sweden on Friday.
But Holding, who enjoyed a run in the Arsenal first team towards the end of the campaign, including partnering Per Mertesacker in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea has been an unused substitute by Aidy Boothroyd in the first two matches.
England had to thank goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for saving a penalty from Linus Wahlqvist as their clash with defending champions Sweden finished in a 0-0 draw, but they fell behind to Martin Chrien’s header for Slovakia.
Alfie Mawson levelled five minutes into the second half, though, and Nathan Redmond netted a winner just past the hour mark to leave England top of their group ahead of facing the hosts, who scored a last-minute penalty equaliser against Sweden.
The three group winners go through to the semi-finals, along with the best runner-up, and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is chasing glory with Spain.
Bellerin had pledged to donate £50 for every minute he played at the tournament to support victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and totted up the full 90 in their 5-0 win over Macedonia on Saturday.
Saul put the Spaniards in front early on, with Marco Asensio and Gerard Deulofeu (penalty) making it 3-0 at the interval.
And Asensio struck twice more after the restart to complete his hat-trick.
Spain then beat Portugal 3-1 on Tuesday to secure their semi-final spot, with Bellerin again playing the whole match. Their final group game is against Serbia on Friday.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.