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UEFA U21 Championship

  • 15 October 2013
  • • 18:00
  • • Portman Road Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Referee: A. Jaccottet
  • • Attendance: 17069
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England Under-21 5-0 Lithuania Under-21: Morrison stars in thumping win

England Under-21 5-0 Lithuania Under-21: Morrison stars in thumping win

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The West Ham youngster scored twice as James Ward-Prowse and Saido Berahino also netted to seal what was a more than comfortable win for Gareth Southgate's talented side

Ravel Morrison starred as Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 side beat Lithuania Under-21s 5-0 on Tuesday night.

West Ham starlet Morrison put England ahead after just two minutes before a stunning free kick from James Ward-Prowse doubled their lead.

Saido Berahino added a third after the break, before Morrison netted the pick of the goals and Berahino then added a fifth from the penalty spot.

England Under-21 boss Southgate made four changes to the side that beat San Marino 4-0 as Wilfried Zaha, Nathan Chalobah, Jack Robinson and Berahino all entered the starting line-up.

The in-form Morrison retained his place in Southgate’s team, however, making only his second ever international start. And the 20-year-old wasted no time in repaying his manager’s faith, opening the scoring after just two minutes.

The West Ham midfielder had played in Manchester United winger Zaha, who showed skill to beat his man down the left and deliver an unstoppable cross back into the youngster’s path. All that was left for Morrison was an easy finish into an empty net.

Disappointment followed for the Three Lions, though, as Tom Carroll left the field with an ankle injury on 15 minutes. Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson came on as his replacement.

But the switch changed little as Zaha and Morrison continued to threaten the Lithuanian back line. Berahino was next to attack, testing goalkeeper Lukas Lidakevicius with a low effort, though the limelight would soon be stolen by Southampton’s Ward-Prowse.

First, the youngster fired a left-footed effort just over the bar after effective hold-up play from Berahino. But on 27 minutes, Ward-Prowse would not miss as he curled a stunning free kick over the Lithuanian wall and into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

England saw out the rest of the opening period untroubled as their key attacking instigators – Morrison, Zaha and Ward-Prowse – all exerted an increasing influence over proceedings.

West Brom forward Berahino, too, played his part and the 20-year-old almost headed home minutes after the restart, only for Lidakevicius to deny him with a point-blank save.

Berahino would not be stopped moments later, however, as he curled a sensational strike into the far corner after being fed the ball by Zaha. The Manchester United winger this time broke through the middle and his simple pass was met by a subtle first touch and menacing shot from Berahino.

But while England’s third was impressive, their fourth almost defied belief as Morrison – who scored a superb solo effort for West Ham against Tottenham in his last Premier League outing – picked the ball up in the Lithuania half, surged past two defenders and buried the ball into the back of the net.

The Three Lions were not done there, though, as a careless challenge from Arnas Ribokas gave away a late penalty and Berahino tucked away his second and England’s fifth to complete a comfortable victory.

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