42′ Ireland see off the latest set-piece, but they’re looking relatively soft there. That’s the ninth corner they’ve conceded today.
40′ Down the far end, Pope takes a neat save as an Irish cross loops in and Grealish then combines with Mount to win a corner for England down the other end. Fast-moving stuff from England.
38′ Sancho canters into the Ireland box and sees Christie get across his shot, to deflect it away. England are looking very comfortable in the driving seat right now.
37′ Jack Grealish has adapted very smartly so far to this match, delivering ball after ball with unfussy elan. Saka and Mount behind him are combining well to help oil that English wing.
35′ Gareth Southgate surely has to be chuffed with his side’s performance so far. They have been smart at the back on the rare occasion Ireland have encroached into that final third and their attack is looking lively, with sharp supply from Winks and Mount through the middle.
33′ A quick reminder of how long it has been since Ireland last beat England on the latter’s own turf; their only such away victory came back in September 1949, with a 2-1 win at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Con Martin and Peter Farrell.
31′ It’s a neat little chop-on by Grealish, who could have arguably chanced his luck from distance there. Sancho – who bags his first England goal for a year – threaded the needle perfectly. Stephen Kenny has some work to do.
31′ GOAL! JADON SANCHO DOUBLES ENGLAND’S LEAD! 2-0! It’s a soft clearance from Ireland again, and Grealish helps work it down to his fellow forward on the left of the box. The Borussia Dortmund man takes two steps back inside and rifles a low finish past two defenders and Randolph into the far corner. The Three Lions are enjoying themselves.
30′ Calvert-Lewin robs Duffy blind in the Ireland box and wins the hosts yet another corner now. That was the sort of steal they write great con movies about, to be frank.
29′ Yet another corner comes England’s way after Grealish sees a cross blocked and Hendrick turns this one back to the halfway line with some quick work. Ireland have blocked well there to stop a second from the hosts.
27′ Maguire! This time, Randolph saves the arguably better header from the England skipper and tips it over the crossbar. Hourihane heads this one away and then the visitors concede another corner.
26′ Duffy makes another sharp block to deny Calvert-Lewin, looking to latch onto a James cut-back at the right post. Corner to England.
24′ O’Shea gets some solid touches in as he builds his way into the game now. England are perhaps not exerting as much weigh in midfield as they could, though the nature of their set-up right now can leave them stretched in the middle third.
22′ Ireland are chasing a first here today of course; they have never beaten England at Wembley, having recorded three draws and three losses in their six prior games here.
20′ The wind are in the Three Lions’ sails now, as Mount cracks an effort in, cleared away by a Duffy deflection. If England prove clinical today, they could have a few in their column by the end of play. Ireland are looking a little more frustrated now; losing Egan has hurt their balance.
18′ It’s smart work from Maguire, who simply bides his time in that position, knowing that a second delivery will come his way. Winks is pinpoint there too. England have their lead.
18′ GOAL! HARRY MAGUIRE OPENS THE SCORING FOR ENGLAND! 1-0! A captain’s goal for the newly minted Three Lions skipper! The corner is cleared only as far as Winks out on the right corner of the box and he simply lofts a smart ball back in for the centre-back to bury past Randolph at the left post with a powerful header. Textbook stuff to put the hosts in front.
16′ Saka! Mount sets up a lovely breakaway move, which culminates with a fast cross turned in towards Grealish at the left post. Randolph gets a fist to it and Saka tries to rattle in the follow-up, only for the shotstopper to deflect it away.
14′ This is a bitter pill for John Egan to swallow, as that blow to the head has proven to be worse than feared. He’s off for an early change, and Dara O’Shea is on in his place.
12′ That England midfield is looking a little loose all of a sudden though and Hendrick is allowed to cut around Winks and get downfield. A free-kick comes the way of the visitors, which Hourihane whips into the box for Pope to Bioreports News away; the Three Lions get a free-kick due to an offside attacker.
10′ That’s a bit of dangerous invention from Ireland now however, as Horgan latches onto a looped delivery on the right edge of the England box and cuts back an excellent ball, albeit to no-one in the end.
8′ It’s been all one-way pressure so far from the hosts, but Ireland have weathered well so far. They’ll likely look to try and snap up their chances on the counter if they can.
6′ Mings! Close from the England defender, as a second corner from the right flank now arcs in, tipped on by a Sancho boot towards the left post. The Aston Villa man gets his head to it and just steers it wide of the post.
5′ Saka pings a lovely curling ball in towards the six-yard area, which Egan clubs away for a corner – and the defender takes a knock to the head from his teammate Hourihane’s elbow as he jostles for the delivery.
3′ Grealish now cuts into the Ireland box, and sees Calvert-Lewin pull the step-over on his throughball as it skitters towards Sancho. Egan intercepts and Ireland clear it methodically through a neat, if toothless counter-attack.
2′ The hosts – in their change strip of all blue today – are playing right to left in this first half, and make some steady incursions down the left wing, with Saka and Grealish particularly spirited.
1′ We are underway in this international friendly between England and the Republic of Ireland!
The teams are out at Wembley, and with the national anthems, there will be a moment of applause in honour of the recently departed Nobby Stiles, as well as fellow England men Tony Walters and Albert Quixall.
In other England news, Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire takes the armband of the Three Lions for the first time. The former Leicester man was the bedrock of his nation’s charge to the semi-finals in Russia four years ago, but has endured a difficult start to the new campaign after his brush with the law in Mykonos; his manager however remains steadfast in his support.
So Jack Grealish makes the cut to face his former youth nation. Both the Birmingham-born playmaker and fellow England man Declan Rice represented the Boys in Green as youngsters – the latter actually won three senior caps in 2018 before he made the switch – but it will just be the former guarenteed a reunion in the off. Southgate has faced something of a minor media storm over his allegiance to Chelsea’s arguably more workmanlike Mount than the Villa star – but perhaps this game could prove that both can coexist in a future side.
Subs: Mark Travers, Robbie Brady, James McClean, Kevin Long, Caoimhin Kelleher, James Collins, Sean Maguire, Dara O’Shea, Ronan Curtis, Jayson Molumby.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (4-3-3): Darren Randolph; Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Callum O’Dowda; Cyrus Christie, Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick; Daryl Horgan, Adam Idah, Alan Browne.
Subs: Dean Henderson, Declan Rice, Tammy Abraham, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Ben Chilwell, Jordan Pickford, Jordan Henderson.
ENGLAND (3-4-3): Nick Pope; Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings; Reece James, Harry Winks, Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka; Jadon Sancho, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish.
Both sides will be in Nations League action at the weekend, against Belgium and Wales respectively, but that has not stopped either side from unloading some talent in their starting XI tonight – and in a shock sure to set social media tongues wagging, Jack Grealish and Mason Mount both start for the hosts. Late call-up Jude Bellingham is on the bench for the Three Lions too; if he plays, he will become the nation’s third-youngest senior international in history. Ireland meanwhile have to make do without Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy; both are ruled out through injury.
England and Ireland were left in mourning in July upon the sad passing of Jack Charlton, aged 85. The one-club Leeds United centre-back remains a legendary figure for the Three Lions – as a World Cup-winning star in 1996 – but also for their rivals, who adopted the nickname Jack’s Army following his decade-long spell in charge of the national team, who he guided to three major tournaments, including a last-eight appearance at Italia 90. This match is a chance for both to honour him.
But now comes this opportunity for both managers to throw down a gauntlet to their squads. Southgate has made no bones that his Euro 2020 squad is far from finalised, and victory against their visitors could cement further chances for key performers. For Ireland, victory is needed to simply kick-start Kenny’s reign into life – but also, arguably, to honour a man much-loved on either side of the Irish Sea.
Indeed, differing fortunes followed these rivals in October. England saw the high of a win over world number one Belgium tempered by defeat to Denmark, taking Southgate’s win ratio below that of Roy Hodgson – while for Stephen Kenny, still winless in his first five games in charge, the missed chance of reaching Euro 2020 following a play-off loss to Slovakia stings his nation.
It’s only been a handful of weeks since the Three Lions last took to the turf under the arch in north-west London, but Gareth Southgate’s side will be bracing themselves for an unfamiliar opponent. It’s been five years – and two England managers – since The Boys in Green last clapped eyes on their neighbours in the British Isles; for both parties, this is more than a mere friendly today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the November international break, as England resume old hostilities with the Republic of Ireland in a friendly under the lights at Wembley Stadium ahead of their Nations League crunch clashes.