Gareth Southgate would have been hoping for a straightforward night for his team, who entered the game atop Group I, but his side were forced to come from behind to draw with their visitors, while Hungary fans clashed with police soon after the opening whistle.
Many of the away supporters booed as England players took the knee at the start of the game, and police were soon forced to contain the Hungary fans, using batons before retreating. A Metropolitan Police statement later read: “Officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward. As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators.”
On the pitch, Roland Sallai scored from the penalty spot following a high foot by Luke Shaw to put Hungary ahead in the first half, but John Stones restored parity before the break by turning in a Phil Foden free-kick at the back post. The result saw England retain top spot in their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Follow all the fallout from England vs Hungary below.
The last meeting
England travelled to Hungary in the reverse of this fixture just over a month ago and faced a torrent of abuse from the fans. Racist remarks were yelled at them and projectiles thrown onto the pitch.
The Three Lions responded by battering Hungary 4-0 with all four goals coming in the second half. Raheem Sterling started the onslaught just after the restart with Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice finding the back of the net to put the icing on the cake for England.
It was a clinical, professional performance in the face of adversity and another sign of the maturity England have developed under Gareth Southgate’s leadership.
Fans arrive at Wembley
There’s an hour to go until kick off at Wembley and the fans are starting to arrive. Gareth Southgate is already here and the players will be heading out soon to check out the pitch and start their warm ups.
Group I standings
England head into tonight’s clash with Hungary needing two wins from their last three qualifying fixtures to guarantee finishing top of the group.
They currently have a four point lead over Albania who are second but face a tough Poland side this evening. If the Albania vs Poland match ends in a draw and England beat Hungary, the Three Lions will be six points clear at the top of the table with six to play for.
Meaning, victory this evening would all but guarantee them a spot in the World Cup next year with matches against Albania and San Marino still to come.
Gareth Southgate jokes England’s strength gives him ‘headache’ picking team
The Three Lions face Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday – their 17th game of 2021.
England vs Hungary - Line up
Here is England’s starting XI. Gareth Southgate makes nine changes to the team that faced Andorra on Saturday night. Jordan Pickford returns in goal with Tyrone Mings chosen to partner John Stones in central defence. Phil Foden keeps his place in midfield and Harry Kane returns to take the captain’s armband and lead the line.
England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Mings, Shaw, Mount, Rice, Foden, Sterling, Kane, Grealish
England vs Hungary
Gareth Southgate’s team sit atop Group I on 19 points as they close in on a spot at next winter’s world championship in Qatar, having dispatched Andorra 5-0 in their most recent outing on Saturday night. Jack Grealish and Ben Chilwell scored their first international goals in that game, while Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham and James Ward-Prowse also netted.
Despite fine performances from a number of his players in Andorra, Southgate said this week: “We will definitely make changes [for Hungary]. We have got a very strong squad and part of the reason we made the changes we did the other night is there were some specific profiles of players we thought could help us win the game. Also, we want the squad to feel involved and it is important they know they are valued, that they can contribute.”
Tonight’s visitors Hungary occupy fourth place in the qualifying group with 10 points, having been beaten 1-0 by Albania at the weekend. Their reverse fixture against England in September saw the Three Lions emerge victorious by a 4-0 scoreline, and Southgate will be keen to see his side produce a similar result here.
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