England’s Bellingham ‘Has Everything’ But Now Comes Biggest Test Yet

England’s midfielder #22 Jude Bellingham celebrates after England’s forward #09 Harry Kane scored his team’s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between England and Senegal at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on December 4, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

 

Jude Bellingham’s outstanding display in England’s 3-0 World Cup win over Senegal announced the 19-year-old’s arrival among the global elite but now comes the biggest test so far of his young career.

Much will be expected of the supremely talented central midfielder when Gareth Southgate’s side face world champions France in Saturday’s quarter-final in Qatar.

Bellingham helped create the opening two goals as England swatted aside Senegal in the last 16 on Sunday and the teenager delivered a fine all-round performance that left seasoned observers searching for superlatives.

“I think he’s a fantastic player. He has everything with and without the ball, presses really well, gets around the pitch, tackles,” said captain Harry Kane.

“With the ball, he can run, he can take players on, he can play a through-ball and as you saw today he was really important with our goal,” said the England striker.

“I like Jude a lot, he’s a really good person, he’s mature for his age and he’s got great leadership skills as well,” Kane added.

High praise indeed, but it is unlikely to go to his head — Bellingham is accustomed to accolades and well used to defying age expectations.

 ‘He has everything’ 

At 16 years and 38 days old, the son of a police sergeant became the youngest player to debut in the first team at his boyhood club Birmingham City and 25 days later became the youngest player to score for the team.

When he was sold to Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of 25 million euros he became the most expensive 17-year-old in the history of the game and promptly became the German club’s youngest scorer.

He became a full England international in November 2020, with only Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott having played for the country at a younger age.

At last year’s Euros, Bellingham became the youngest England player to have played at a major tournament and, at that time, the youngest player from any country to have featured in the European Championship.

“I’ve not seen a young midfielder perform like that for years,” former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane, now a television analyst, said after the Senegal match.

“Usually you see that from a world-class player who’s 26 or 27. Everything he does in the game… we talk about his physicality, but it’s what goes on in his brain. He’s got that maturity and decision-making.”

Keane, who is notoriously hard to impress, added that “the kid has everything”.

Keane’s old club were very close to signing Bellingham before he moved to Dortmund and this World Cup is only going to increase the interest among the top teams in Europe — and drive up Bellingham’s price.

Another former United captain-turned-pundit, Gary Neville, was impressed by the way Bellingham has coped on the biggest stage without any hint of being overawed.

“It’s the maturity and fearlessness that I can’t get my head around. I watched England players play for England for many years and the weight of the shirt was enormous,” said Neville.

“He just doesn’t feel it all, he looks like he belongs out there.”

 Biggest test 

It is a sign of the confidence England have in Bellingham that against Senegal he was chosen to be left back to cover the defence when the central defenders advanced for a corner.

Southgate, who has consistently been willing to give opportunities to young players, admitted that even he has been taken aback by the speed of Bellingham’s development.

“I don’t think we could have predicted how quickly Bellingham could mature. In the last five months that has gone to another level,” he said.

But now comes the real test at the World Cup for Bellingham and England, against Didier Deschamps’ world champions France and their outstanding striker Kylian Mbappe.

It is a challenge Bellingham believes he and England can rise to.

“We’ve shown we can score goals, we can be clinical when it matters,” said the teenager.

“We scored at really good times and we showed we can keep a clean sheet again. If we want to win the next one that will be really important.”

It will indeed. But just as important for England will be whether their wunderkind can step up once again.

AFP

England Gave Senegal World Cup Lesson, Cisse Admits 

Members of Senegal are disappointed after losing the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match England vs Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on December 4, 2022. England won the match to get a ticket for quarterfinals. Twitter/@AJE_Sport

 

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse bemoaned his team’s defensive lapses after England brushed the African champions aside 3-0 in the World Cup last 16 on Sunday, admitting there had been a gulf in quality.

First-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane gave Senegal a mountain to climb and a third by Bukayo Saka in the second half ended the contest.

“A match lasts 90 minutes and in the first half we played pretty well and created chances but unfortunately we didn’t score,” said Cisse.

“We were playing a very good England team and we saw that in their challenges, their physical strength. We weren’t as good as we should have been.”

Cisse, who was unwell in the run-up to the match, said: “Senegal’s strength before the World Cup was our defensive set-up. The fact we have let in a lot of goals at this tournament is difficult to explain. We are going to have to look at that.

“You pay for any mistake you make at the World Cup because of the calibre of the teams.”

READ ALSO: England Beat Senegal 3-0 To Book France Clash In World Cup Quarters

The coach said his side was missing two or three players who could have made a difference including star striker Sadio Mane, who was ruled out of the tournament before it started with an injury.

But he said he was making no excuses.

“We have worked for years to be the best in Africa but we were facing one of the top five teams in the world and we saw the difference tonight,” he added.

Cisse, whose side are ranked 18th by FIFA, said the team were on an upward trajectory.

“We have been trying hard to reach this level and we need to continue to ensure that at the next World Cup we can play better against a team of this calibre.”

And he said African football was getting better, despite his side’s limp exit.

“It is not easy to become world champions but in Africa infrastructure is improving,” he said. “We need more technical directors, we need to work on refereeing as well. You need all those things in place.

“We’ve made mistakes in the past. You can’t just do it overnight. In all countries in Africa there is a real sports policy in place. We have to keep that up if we want to win these tournaments.”

AFP

‘Proud’ Senegal Pose Serious Threat To England, Southgate Warns 

Koulibaly after scoring for Senegal against Ecuador. Twitter/Fifa World Cup

 

Gareth Southgate insists England’s status as favourites in their World Cup last 16 clash with Senegal means nothing because the African champions will pose a serious threat to his team.

Southgate’s side are regarded as title contenders in Qatar after reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and finishing as Euro 2020 runners-up.

England are expected to see off Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, but Southgate has no intention of underestimating Aliou Cisse’s men.

“We have been very impressed with Senegal. We know they are African champions and are very proud and have great spirit and belief in their team,” Southgate told reporters on Saturday.

“They have some excellent individual players who can cause problems, but a good structure as well.

“We will be considered the favourites and Senegal the underdogs but that doesn’t really mean anything in a one-off game.”

Despite the absence of injured Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane, Senegal have won as many games as England in the tournament, with both teams earning two victories in the group stage.

Senegal are also fresh from winning their maiden African Cup of Nations crown last year.

“Sadio is an incredible player and every team would want to have him but Senegal have become very strong in his absence,” Southgate said.

“They have shown great spirit through losing him. We have got to be at our very best to win the game. Cisse has done a fantastic job. We know the size of the job ahead of us.”

[READ ALSO] Qatar 2022: Full Last 16 Fixtures, Date And Time

 ‘Expectation levels’ 

England’s forward #11 Marcus Rashford (C front) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and England at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 29, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

 

After coming close to silverware at the last two major tournaments, England are hoping to take the final step in Doha.

Southgate believes the experience his players gained during those runs to the latter stages will stand them in good stead as they chase England’s first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

“We learned a lot from playing seven matches at the last two tournaments and the need to keep the players involved emotionally,” he said.

“The biggest thing is the expectation levels. In Russia when we qualified from the group stages we were probably more excited than this time.

“There was an awful lot of noise after our draw against the United States, but we’ve stayed on track and qualified as well as anyone else.”

Southgate must decide whether to retain Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford in England’s attack after both impressed with goal-scoring displays in the win over Wales.

Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount were all left out of the Wales game, underlining England’s strength in depth in forward areas.

“It is a good position to be in, you want your players to be in a confident mood and our forward players certainly are,” Southgate said.

“Of course you want to make the best possible decision but in some respects I am not sure there is a right or wrong. Whichever players we start with we’ll need the bench as well.”

England captain Harry Kane remains without a goal at the tournament after finishing as top scorer in the 2018 edition.

But Kane said: “I’d love to be sitting here with two or three goals by now.

“Going into the knock out stage, I feel really good. I feel as match fit as I’m ever going to feel.

“Only time will tell. I can try and come into the best form with these knockout games.”

AFP

England Sink Wales, Face Senegal In Last 16 Clash

England’s forward #11 Marcus Rashford (C front) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and England at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 29, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

 

England booked a World Cup last-16 clash against Senegal as Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden inspired a 3-0 win against Wales that sent their neighbours crashing out of the tournament on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate’s side sealed first place in Group B thanks to key contributions from Rashford and Foden after they were restored to the team by the England boss.

Foden showed why there has been such a clamour for him to start as he won the free-kick that Rashford converted to break the deadlock early in the second half at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha.

Foden doubled England’s lead just seconds later to effectively ended the one-sided ‘Battle of Britain’ and Rashford struck again to ensure Wales’ first World Cup since 1958 ended in disappointment.

With Foden and Rashford providing the cutting edge so lacking in their previous match — a dour goalless draw against the United States — England won for just the second time in their last nine games.

A spluttering first half showed the Three Lions still have room for improvement as they chase a first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

But the ruthless way they demolished Wales after the break provided encouragement ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Group A runners-up Senegal.

While England fans regard Germany and Scotland as their main rivals, Wales have never hidden how much they enjoy getting one over on their hated neighbours.

The Wales squad were famously filmed celebrating England’s embarrassing Euro 2016 exit against Iceland, while Welsh striker Kieffer Moore recently said he would love to knock the English out of the World Cup.

With those slights in mind, condemning Wales to elimination was a welcome bonus for England.

But more importantly, they eased the angst that had mounted since they were booed off after the lethargic United States stalemate that followed their 6-2 rout of Iran in the group opener.

READ ALSO: Senegal Beat Ecuador, Become First African Side To Reach Knock-outs

 England barrage 

Rashford, one of four changes by Southgate, had a golden opportunity to give England an early lead when he surged onto Harry Kane’s pass, but he took too long to shoot and Danny Ward raced off his line to save.

Unable to lay a glove on England, Wales barely made it out of their own half as Southgate’s men monopolised possession for long spells without producing the breakthrough.

When England increased their tempo and passed with more urgency, they immediately scythed through the Wales defence, but Foden’s shot whistled wide.

Criticised for his performance in the defeat against Iran, Wales captain Gareth Bale was anonymous again and the former Real Madrid star, possibly injured, was substituted at half-time.

Yet within six minutes of the restart, Bale’s absence was rendered irrelevant by England’s quick-fire barrage.

Southgate had said he was concerned about Foden feeling under pressure to deliver after the calls for him to be selected, but he didn’t need to worry after the precocious Manchester City playmaker.

Foden was the catalyst for England’s opener as he drove forward to win a 50th minute free-kick that Rashford brilliantly curled into the far corner of Ward’s goal from 25 yards.

Suddenly, England were pressing with more energy and they pounced again 60 seconds later when Rashford forced Wales to surrender possession and Kane’s low cross reached Foden, who slotted home at the far post.

Moore tried to rescue Wales with dipping effort that Jordan Pickford saved well, but Rashford delivered the knockout blow with his third goal of the tournament in the 68th minute.

Kalvin Phillips’ long pass sent Rashford scampering down the right flank and, with the hapless Wales defence backing off, the Manchester United forward cut inside before planting a low shot through Ward’s legs.

AFP

Sluggish England Frustrated In US Stalemate

England's midfielder #19 Mason Mount (L) and USA's defender #18 Shaq Moore fight for the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and USA at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
England’s midfielder #19 Mason Mount (L) and USA’s defender #18 Shaq Moore fight for the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and USA at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

England missed a chance to book their place in the World Cup last 16 as Gareth Southgate’s side produced a limp display in their 0-0 draw against the United States on Friday.

Southgate’s men would have been guaranteed to advance from Group B with a victory in their second game of the tournament, but they rarely troubled a determined US team.

Having thrashed Iran 6-2 on Monday, England lacked the urgency they showed in their opening game and were booed off at full-time.

They managed just one shot on target and could easily have conceded in the first half when the US were in control for long periods at the Al Bayt Stadium.

For the third time in three World Cup meetings with the US, England failed to live up to their status as favourites.

After a shocking defeat in the 1950 tournament and a 1-1 draw in 2010, this was another defiant American effort against England, cooling some of the hype around the Three Lions following the Iran rout.

Although it was an extremely underwhelming performance from England, they are still in control of their own destiny.

A draw in their final group game against Wales on November 29 would ensure England progress to the knockout stages, while a victory would seal first place.

The US, who have drawn their first two games, play Iran on the same day knowing a win would send them into last 16.

Gregg Berhalter’s group are the second youngest team at the World Cup, but a day after America celebrated Thanksgiving they left sluggish England looking like they were the ones who had indulged in too much turkey.

With Harry Kane and Harry Maguire recovered from an ankle injury and illness respectively, England named an unchanged team for the first time since the 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat against Croatia.

But, whereas England dominated possession against timid Iran from the opening moments, they found the US far more willing to press higher up the pitch.

Laboured England

The US desire to engage England briefly left space in behind them and Jude Bellingham’s buccaneering run and pass freed Bukayo Saka down the right side of the US area.

Saka’s cross reached Kane, whose goalbound shot was blocked by Walker Zimmerman.

That near-miss proved a mirage in the desert for England as Haji Wright, a surprise selection in place of Josh Sargent, had the Americans’ first sight of goal with a well-timed run into the area for a header that whistled wide.

It was a warning that the US could trouble England and moments later Weston McKennie should have put them ahead.

Timothy Weah’s cross from wide on the right eluded the flat-footed England defence and the unmarked McKennie pulled the trigger from 10 yards, only to fire just wide of the relieved Pickford’s goal.

Showing no signs of being intimidated by England, Berhalter’s side were inches away from turning the enterprising display into a stunning lead when Christian Pulisic jinked into space and lashed a rising drive against the crossbar from just inside the area.

Giving the ball away far too easily and laboured in their build-up play, England looked rattled and Pulisic tested their fraying nerves with a header that glanced wide.

In a rare moment of menace from England, Saka’s pass found Mason Mount and the Chelsea’s midfielder low drive from 20 yards brought a first save from US keeper Matt Turner.

Epitomising the US spirit that was such a contrast to England’s lethargy, Tyler Adams crunched into a tackle on Saka, winning the ball and roaring in delight afterwards.

England remained stuck in first gear yet Kane nearly snatched an undeserved winner in stoppage time when he headed wide from Luke Shaw’s free-kick.

AFP

Saka And Bellingham Sparkle As Ruthless England Crush Iran

England’s forward #17 Bukayo Saka (C) celebrates with teammates after he scored during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Fadel Senna / AFP)

 

England made a scintillating start to their World Cup campaign as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham inspired a 6-2 rout of outclassed Iran in Monday’s Group B opener in Doha.

Saka and Bellingham were England’s driving forces with dynamic displays that underlined their emergence as two of the game’s brightest young stars.

Bellingham, 19, shattered Iran’s hopes of frustrating England when he rose to head his maiden senior international goal in the first half.

Gareth Southgate’s side were in sparkling form at the Khalifa International Stadium and goals from Saka and Raheem Sterling put them in complete control before half-time.

Saka, 21, netted again after the interval and, although Mehdi Taremi struck twice for Iran, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish completed the demolition.

There will be far sterner tests to come for England as they bid to win their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

But this was a welcome step in the right direction for Southgate, whose team arrived in Qatar on a six-match winless run that triggered scathing criticism of the Three Lions boss and his perceived negative tactics.

The only concern for Southgate was the sight of Harry Maguire being replaced in the second half after being checked for a potential head injury.

England play their second match against the United States on Friday and conclude their Group B fixtures against Wales on November 29.

Just hours before kick-off, England revealed captain Harry Kane would not wear a rainbow-themed ‘One Love’ armband after the Football Association and several other European countries dropped their campaign in support of LGBTQ rights.

Because the armband was not a FIFA-approved piece of kit, it was reported any player wearing it would be booked — a risk England were apparently unwilling to take.

The match also took place against the background of turmoil in Iran after months of female-led demonstrations sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman of Kurdish origin who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran.

Iran’s players refused to sing their national anthem in apparent support for anti-government protesters.

READ ALSOWorld Cup Fans ‘Can Survive’ Without Beer – FIFA Chief

Sublime Saka 

Having reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 before losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, England are desperate to take the last step to silverware in Doha.

Southgate had urged his team “play on the front foot” and they responded in style, after initially finding their rhythm disrupted by a long delay when Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand smashed into team-mate Majid Hosseini.

Despite being in no state to continue amid fears of a concussion, the bloodied Beiranvand played on before finally being substituted.

England eventually penned Iran deep inside their own half and Bellingham delivered in the 35th minute.

Sterling found Luke Shaw on the left flank and his cross was perfectly weighted for Bellingham, who looped a fine header into the far corner.

Playing for Birmingham in the Championship just two years ago, the Borussia Dortmund star’s goal made him England’s second youngest scorer at a World Cup behind Michael Owen.

Eight minutes later another of England’s gifted prodigies doubled the lead.

Maguire headed down a corner and Arsenal forward Saka swivelled to lash a superb left-foot finish into the top corner.

Sterling put the result beyond doubt with his first goal at a World Cup in first-half stoppage time.

Bellingham fed Kane, whose pin-point cross was volleyed home by Sterling with the outside of his boot.

Saka made it four in the 62nd minute when he shuffled across the Iran area before stroking his shot past Hossein Hosseini.

Taremi fired into the roof of the net to reduce the deficit three minutes later.

Rashford’s cool finish in the 71st minute, 49 seconds after he came on, was followed by Grealish’s 90th-minute tap-in.

Taremi struck from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game after a shirt pull by John Stones, but the margin of victory reflected England’s total dominance.

AFP

‘Devastated’ Reece James Rues World Cup Miss Over Injury

Reece James in England’s colours against Italy.

 

Chelsea defender Reece James says he is devastated he couldn’t recover quickly enough from a knee injury to make the England team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

James, who suffered the knee injury against AC Milan on October 11, was informed by England Manager Gareth Southgate on Tuesday that he won’t make the team as he does not want to risk him.

While reacting to the news in a Twitter post on Wednesday, the wingback expressed his disappointment at not being able to make it to the World Cup even after putting in extra efforts to recover in time. He, however, acknowledged the risk involved in being included in the team without fully recovering and wished his teammate’s good luck.

READ ALSOArgentina Fans In Qatar Give Messi Noisy Backing

James was initially ruled out for eight weeks after sustaining the injury and has been doing all he could to be fit.

Last week, Chelsea flew him to Dubai to continue his rehabilitation alongside a member of the club’s medical department.

Southgate is expected to announce his squad soon ahead of the tournament which kicks off on November 20, 2022.

The Three Lions will be hoping to do better than their last outing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia where they were beaten in the semi-final by Croatia who went on to lose to the eventual winners France in the final.

Maradona’s ‘Hand Of God’ Ball To Go Up For Auction Of Up To $3.4m

View of a football with an image of late Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona during a homage on the first anniversary of his death, in Montevideo, on November 25, 2021.
Dante Fernandez / AFP

 

The ball that Diego Maradona used to score his infamous “Hand of God” World Cup goal for Argentina against England in 1986 will go under the hammer next month and could fetch up to £3 million.

Bidding will start on November 16 but prospective buyers can register online from October 28, London-based Graham Budd Auctions said, adding it anticipates the ball to sell for £2.5-£3 million (up to $3.4 million).

“With the history surrounding the ball, we are expecting this lot to be hugely popular when it comes up for auction,” Graham Budd, chair of the auction house, said in a statement.

The 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England saw a heated build-up because of political tensions following the Falklands war and came to be defined by two contrasting goals scored by the late Maradona.

READ ALSO: Saka Earns Win For Arsenal At Bodo/Glimt In Europa League

For the first one, Maradona ran into the box, rose with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net.

He later said the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God”.

The second came just four minutes later as Maradona sped past five English defenders and Shilton to score the “Goal of the Century”, according to a 2002 FIFA poll.

Argentina won the grudge match 2-1 after referee Ali Bin Nasser let Maradona’s controversial first goal stand, and the team went on to win the World Cup.

“This ball is part of international football history, it feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world,” said Bin Nasser, the owner of the ball.

In May, the jersey Maradona wore in the quarter-final sold at auction for nearly $9.3 million, more than twice the value predicted by Sotheby’s.

But the record-setting sale for sports memorabilia worn on the field was surpassed in September when basketball legend Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA finals jersey sold for $10.1 million.

Maradona died aged 60 of heart failure in November 2020.

AFP

UK Nurse On Trial For Murder Of Newborn Babies

File photo: A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, on December 8, 2020. Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country’s history with a new Covid-19 jab. Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP

 

A neo-natal nurse went on trial in Britain on Monday, charged with the murder of seven babies in her care and the attempted killing of 10 others.

Lucy Letby, 32, has denied murdering five boys and two girls, and attempting to murder another five boys and five girls between June 2015 and June 2016.

She is alleged to have carried out the killings at the Countess of Chester Hospital, in Chester, northwest England, where she was working.

Opening the prosecution case, lawyer Nick Johnson said that neo-natal mortality at the hospital had been comparable to other units around the country.

But over 18 months from January 2015 it saw a “significant” rise in the number of deaths and serious catastrophic collapses.

Consultants were concerned because babies who were dying deteriorated unexpectedly. Some who collapsed did not respond to appropriate treatment.

Others collapsed then dramatically recovered, defying “the normal experience” of doctors, he told a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

“Having searched for a cause, which they were unable to find, the consultants noticed that the inexplicable collapses and deaths did have one common denominator,” he alleged.

“The presence of one of the neo-natal nurses and that nurse was Lucy Letby.”

Johnson said deaths and collapses happened on night shifts when Letby was on shift, then when she moved to work during the day.

One review suggested that in the 12 months from mid-2015, two children were poisoned with insulin. The “only reasonable conclusion” that can be drawn was that it was done deliberately, he added.

“This was no accident,” he said, describing the collapses and deaths of all 17 children concerned as not “naturally occurring tragedies”.

Some were injected with air in their bloodstream, others were fed with insulin or too much milk, the lawyer said.

“They were all the work, we say, of the woman in the dock, who we say was the constant malevolent presence when things took a turn for the worse of these 17 children,” Johnson alleged.

In all, Letby is facing 22 charges — seven of murder and 15 of attempted murder, as she allegedly tried to kill some children more than once.

The youngest alleged murder victim — a boy who was born prematurely — was just a day old and “well” but died within 90 minutes of Letby coming on duty on June 8, 2015, the court was told.

Medical experts said his death was consistent with a deliberate injection of air or something else into his circulation minutes before his collapse.

Discolouration on the boy’s skin was consistent with some of the other cases in which Letby is alleged to have injected air into a victim’s bloodstream, the jury heard.

Letby then tried to kill the boy’s twin sister just hours later, it was alleged. She was revived and does not appear to have suffered any adverse effects, said Johnson.

AFP

Italy To Face England In Euro 2024 Qualifying

The Euro 2024 qualifying draw ceremony. Credit: Kai Pfaffenbach/AFP

 

Reigning champions Italy were drawn on Sunday to face England, the team they beat in the final at Wembley last year, and Ukraine in qualifying for the 2024 European Championship.

Euro 2024, hosted by Germany, will be Italy’s chance to regain some pride after they failed to qualify for the World Cup finals which kick off in Qatar in six weeks’ time.

READ ALSO: Verstappen Retains F1 World Championship After Dramatic Japan GP

France, who will defend their world title in Qatar, were drawn to face the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland in Group B while Spain’s opponents in Group A will include Scotland and Erling Haaland’s Norway.

Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo go into Group J including Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland.

Thomas Boecker/AFP.

 

Croatia, the losing World Cup finalists in 2018, are in Group D with World Cup qualifiers Wales as well as Turkey.

Denmark, another team going to Qatar, have Finland, Slovenia and Northern Ireland among the teams in their Group H.

Russia is excluded from the competition because of its invasion of Ukraine.

As hosts, three-time European champions Germany qualify automatically.

The Euro 2024 finals will be played in 10 German cities from June 14 to July 14.

‘Proud Of Him’: English Teammates Defend Maguire After Error Show

Photo of Harry Maguire during the English side’s 3-3 draw against Germany at Wembley Stadium on Monday night

 

English captain Harry Kane and fellow teammates have rallied around the defender, Harry Maguire after the Three Lions escaped with a draw at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

It was a night Maguire would want to put behind him as his laxity in defence gifted the Germans a penalty which was cooly converted by Ilkay Gundogan before once more losing possession in the English half that resulted in Kai Havertz’s second.

But England fought back and led 3-2 from goals courtesy of Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Kane before goalkeeper Nick Pope gift the English side an equaliser after he fumbled a shot from Serge Gnabry.

However, Kane was full of praise for his teammate claiming the Manchester United man played on “one leg” on the night.

”Any individual mistake, you’re going to be gutted. But we are a team, we will get behind each other.”

‘”They will learn from it and they’ll move on. They have been great for us every time they put the shirt on,” Lane said in the post-match interview.

The Tottenham striker also said of the 29-year-old defender'” I’m really proud of him for that.”

Also in agreement with Kane’s description of Maguire was fellow United mate, Luke Shaw who described his compatriot as an “amazing” player

“He has taken a lot of stick – probably more than I’ve ever seen before in football,” Shaw said.

‘He never hides away, he’s always there. You can have people who can hide away and not want to be in the spotlight.”

“Harry Delivered”

File photo of Gareth Southgate

 

England coach, Gareth Southgate, before his side’s defeat against Italy at San Siro, insisted Maguire remains central to his plans and even willing to put his job on the line

“Whatever reputation I have I’m putting it on there,” Southgate said. “I think you always have to back your judgement, and we feel he is an important player.”

“Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation. You want your best players playing regularly so that they’re physically in a good place and mentally in a good place.

Despite the draw and his side’s relegation to the UEFA Nations League B, the English boss defended his choice of starting the likes of Maguire and Shaw ahead of other players.

“That’s always going to raise debate, but I think in these moments we’ve got to back our best and our most experienced players unless we’re in a situation where it’s almost untenable and impossible to pick them.

Asked about sticking with his trusted players, Southgate said: “That’s always going to be a challenge, especially regarding how much football they’ve had.

“I know everyone will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments Harry delivered during the two matches.”

“People are going to have an opinion, but I think it’s the best way for us,” he said.

White House, UN Chief… Tributes Pour In For Queen Elizabeth

In this file photo taken on June 28, 2022, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II waves as she attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

 

World leaders paid homage to Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday after she died aged 96 in her Scottish summer residence following nearly a year of ailing health.

Here are some of the tributes to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who is also head of state in 14 Commonwealth countries around the world:

‘Grace, dignity, and dedication’ 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Queen Elizabeth had been “widely admired”.

“As the United Kingdom’s longest-lived and longest-reigning head of state, Queen Elizabeth II was widely admired for her grace, dignity and dedication around the world. She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change,” Guterres said.

 ‘Hearts and thoughts’ 

The White House expressed its deep sympathies, noting she was the leader of one of the United States’ strongest allies.

“Our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the queen (and) to the people of the United Kingdom,” said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, minutes after the death of the sovereign was announced.

‘Elizabeth the Steadfast’ 

EU leaders expressed regret at the death of the queen, who was head of state throughout Britain’s entire EU membership and eventual departure.

“Once called ‘Elizabeth the Steadfast’, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment,” EU council president Charles Michel tweeted.

 ‘Remarkable friend’ 

Ireland’s President Michael Higgins called Queen Elizabeth II “a remarkable friend” who had “great impact on the bonds of mutual understanding between our two peoples”.

“As we offer our condolences to all our neighbours in the United Kingdom, following the loss of a remarkable friend of Ireland, we remember the role Queen Elizabeth played in celebrating the warm and enduring friendship” between both countries, he said.

 ‘Inspiring leadership’ 

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “pained” by her death.

The monarch of India’s former colonial power had “provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people”, Modi tweeted, adding she “personified dignity and decency in public life”.

‘Marked her century’

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed Queen Elizabeth II as “a friend of France… who marked her country and her century as never before”.

“Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II embodied continuity and unity in the British nation for more than 70 years,” the French leader tweeted.

‘Balance and wisdom’ 

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the “beloved” monarch represented the UK and the Commonwealth with “balance and wisdom”.

“She guaranteed stability in moments of crisis and kept alive the value of tradition in a society in constant and profound evolution. Her spirit of service, her dedication… the deep dignity with which she held office for such a long time have been a constant source of admiration for generations,” he said.

– ‘Stability and humour’ –
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said earlier on Thursday, before the news of her death, that the queen was in his prayers.

“She has lived through so many important moments in the Western world… and has done so with calm, stability and humour,” he said, according to the ANP news agency.

AFP