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England gets a successful start on drive for championship defence


 the Under-21 European champions With an easy qualification victory in Luxembourg, England got their championship defence off to a successful start.

In the final in July, Lee Carsley's Young Lions defeated Spain 1-0 and easily won their first 2025 qualifying match.

Just before halftime, Cole Palmer's ball set up Liam Delap to score on his Under-21s debut, and Noni Madueke assisted Callum Doyle to make it 2-0.

Palmer added a third goal, hitting the crossbar with a shot from 15 yards out.

Delap of Hull and Doyle of Leicester are out on loan from Manchester City, from which Palmer on September 1 transferred to Chelsea for an initial £40 million.

With the victory, England now leads Group F, which also includes Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Only those who win their groups will be guaranteed a spot in Slovakia in 2025.

The other six nations that finish second will compete in the play-offs to determine the remaining three positions, while three of the nine group runners-up will also proceed automatically.

The next day, on October 12, England will host Serbia at Nottingham Forest's City Ground. Four days later, they will travel to Ukraine for a match that will take place in Kosice, Slovakia.