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England 5-0 Czech Republic: Raheem Sterling hat-trick in opening Euro 2020 qualifier

Sterling now has seven goals in 48 games for England

Raheem Sterling scored his first England hat-trick as their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign started in hugely impressive fashion as they outclassed the Czech Republic at Wembley.

Manager Gareth Southgate gave Jadon Sancho his first international start and Borussia Dortmund’s 18-year-old repaid his faith with a fine display.

But it was Sterling who stole the show as England built on the development that saw them reach the World Cup semi-finals in Russia and the finals of the inaugural Nations League.

Sancho showed his quality with a perfect cross for the stretching Sterling to open the scoring after 24 minutes and captain Harry Kane added the second in first-half stoppage time after the Manchester City forward was bundled over by two Czech Republic defenders.

England survived minor scares at the start of the second half but reasserted their vast superiority when Sterling scored on the turn just after the hour and completed his hat-trick six minutes later when his 20-yard shot deflected in off Ondrej Celustka.

Sterling was then given a standing ovation as he was replaced by debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi, with another of England’s young brigade Declan Rice having already been given his first Three Lions cap as replacement for Dele Alli.

And Hudson-Odoi, making his England debut before his first Premier League start for Chelsea, had a hand in the fifth when his shot was saved by keeper Jiri Pavlenka, only for Tomas Kalas to turn the rebound into his own net.

More to follow.

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