A late strike from Jamie Vardy secured a 2-1 win for England against Turkey at the Etihad on Sunday evening. However, Roy Hodgson’s side were somewhat lucky to win the game, with the Three Lions’ backline looking shaky throughout.
Harry Kane, starting up front alongside Vardy and Raheem Sterling in a 4-3-3 formation, opened the scoring after just three minutes following good link-up play with club team-mate Dele Alli. However, Kane was rather lucky not to have his strike chalked off, with the striker in an offside position.
Just 10 minutes later, Turkey got themselves level through Bayer Leverkusen forward Hakan Çalhanoğlu. That goal came after the visitors had troubled the English backline on more than one occasion.
Kane continued to threaten up front for England. However, the central defensive partnership of Gary Cahill and John Stones never completely convinced, with Turkey looking capable of bagging a second.
With Vardy moved into a more familiar central role for the last half-hour, the Leicester man’s pace started to ask questions of the Turkish backline. On 71 minutes, the striker outpaced Mehmet Topal, before going down rather easily after contact in the box. However, Kane’s subsequent spot-kick flew wide after hitting the post.
Late on, Vardy got himself on the scoresheet (for the third England game in a row), with the Foxes’ hitman firing home from close-range to secure a welcome, if overall unconvincing 2-1 win for the Three Lions.
Despite the victory, Hodgson and his staff will be well aware of the improvement needed before EURO 2016 kicks off next month, with much work still to be done at the back.
However, with just two more friendly games to play before the tournament kicks off, the pressure is very much on for this young, inexperienced England side.