England 0-4 Hungary: Three Lions slip to HUMILIATING home defeat with visitors scoring three times in last 20 minutes to pile pressure on Gareth Southgate as John Stones is sent off
Some fans have made up their minds. ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning,’ they sang as they watched England embarrassed on home soil. It will not come to that. Manager Gareth Southgate has credit in the bank and will have time to come up with an answer.
But this humbling experience in Wolverhampton tonight will leave its mark. It will raise doubts ahead of a World Cup England have a realistic chance of winning.
But there are few positives to take from England’s summer. Four games, no victories, no goals from open play and six conceded paints a bleak picture.
England suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary in a shock result in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday night
It was the night of dreams for the visitors, who were clinical in front of goal and are now top of a strong Nations League group
Perhaps the only shred of comfort England can take from from a miserable 10-day period that has seen them lose twice to Hungary is that the World Cup is still five months away. Because if it was in Qatar this summer, then England would be in trouble.
For 15 minutes or so, they appeared to be in the ascendancy against Hungary. Reece James, deployed in an unfamiliar role at left back, was making threatening inroads down the right, Bukayo Saka’s pace had caught his opposing number Attila Fiola on the hop a couple of times while Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from central midfielder had the visitors scurrying.
One move that saw Harry Kane and James rip through Hungary’s right flank was particularly easy on the eye. Jarrod Bowen’s tame header at the end of the move was less convincing, however.
The signs were promising, though, and after a largely disappointing international break the improvement was most welcome.
Southgate was not to know that events were about to turn — and his team only had themselves to blame.
John Stones’ attempt at heading Dominik Szoboszlai’s free-kick clear was horribly misdirected, Kane swung at thin air as he tried to rectify his colleague’s mistake — all that was left was for Roland Sallai to put England out of their misery. The Hungarian forward’s was clinical, his effort whizzing past Aaron Ramsdale at the near post.
That sinking feeling has become all too familiar for Southgate this summer. England have fallen behind in three of the four matches they have played in June. It is a problem that needs rectifying before the real business starts in November.
Yes, Hungary’s opener arrived against the run of play but wht does that matter?
Yes, this was not a full strength England team but, again, what does that matter?
England were — for a second time in 10 days — trailing against a team ranked 35 place below them in FIFA’s rankings. Now that does matter.
They tried to rally but their best opportunity of the first half came courtesy of Hungary defender Willi Orban, whose header from Saka’s cross was heading towards his own net before goalkeeper Denes Dibusz spared his team-mate’s blushes.
Indeed, England could easily have found themselves 2-0 down before half-time after another Szoboszlai free-kick sparked chaotic scenes in England’s defence as James blocked Kalvin Phillips’ miscued header on the line.
Boos echoed round Molineux at half-time. No wonder.
Taking England on the road seemed a good idea earlier this year. The jam-packed crowd here at the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers seemed less enthused.
Southgate reacted, moving to a back-three having started the game with the four-man defence he, in an ideal world, would start with at the World Cup.
He also sent on Raheem Sterling on half-time, in place of Bowen who, despite the collective disappointment of England’s summer, can be quietly satisfied with his introduction into the international scene.
But this was a needs must moment for Southgate. Avoiding defeat was key and Sterling was clearly needed to achieve that.
As you might expect, England were more incisive with Sterling on the pitch. Kane just failed to get a toe on to a dangerous low cross from James, who was giving a good account of himself despite being out of position.
But still England toiled in attack as Southgate looked to his bench again, bringing on Mason Mount in place of Conor Gallagher.
Southgate turned to his calvary with Phil Foden, recovered from a bout of Covid, next on the field.
But it did not make any difference as Hungary rubbed salt into England’s wounds.
Phillips was lax in possession and paid the piper; Martin Adam robbing the Leeds midfielder before setting up Sallai for his second.
The Hungary bench were in hysterics, most of them storming the pitch to celebrate. The home support were just as animated, as jeers echoed round Molineux for the second time.
The audible discontent continued well after the goal, too. This wasn’t what the city of Wolverhampton had expected when they heard the country’s elite were coming to town.
Because this was turgid, dreadful, feeble.
England’s embarrassment was complete in the 80th minute when Zsolt Nagy slammed home before Daniel Gazdag scored Hungary’s fourth.
It almost went unnoticed that Stones was sent off in between the two late Hungarian goals.
‘You don’t know what you’re doing,’ roared the furious Molineux crowd.
Time to prove them wrong, Gareth.
Here is Sportsmail’s live blog for updates on tonight’s Nations League clash between England and Hungary.
‘A disappointing night. First-half I thought we created enough chances to score but it’s been the story of this camp. Second-half is unacceptable, to concede in the way we did. It’s no time to panic, it’s time to keep our heads up and look forward to a break now and come back in December.’
It’s England’s worst home defeat since 1928 – a 4-0 loss to Hungary!
What a shock for Gareth Southgate’s men – and perhaps a reality check going into the summer.
Two games until the World Cup – plenty to ponder all round. Hungary deserved winners tonight – and how!
It does get worse – can you believe this scoreline?!
Substitute Dániel Gazdag gets in on the act. England carved open, but it’s very well-worked – the replacement is found in on goal and he chips cooly over Ramsdale.
Humiliation well and truly complete.
Kyle Walker now in the book for a cynical pull-back.
Remember that disciplined, organised, exciting side of Euro 2020? How things change 12 months on…
Damage limitation – Bukayo Saka comes off for Harry Maguire.
This will undoubtedly be the worst result of the Southgate era, as ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ rings out around Molineux.
It goes from bad to worse – John Stones sees red!
For what it’s worth, it’s never a second yellow. Stones is walking off saying it’s not even a foul and he’s right. The Hungarian player runs into the back of the England defender and the French referee deems it worthy of a booking.
Softest red you’ll ever see. Nonetheless, Southgate will be desperate for the full-time whistle now…
Me oh my. What a shock here. Hungary are three up – and it’s a screamer!
Zsolt Nagy has hit this perfectly, rifling the ball into the net beyond Ramsdale with a powerful left-foot shot outside the box.
Brilliant strike! Boos ring out around Molineux. Wow…
KANE HITS THE BAR!
Mason Mount’s cross finds the England skipper whose glancing header is terrific, but cannons off the bar!
Kane is quickest to the rebound too, but his touch is heavy and he goes down ambitiously looking for a penalty – there was no contact.
It’s not looking like England’s day. Hungary hero Sallai makes way…
Phil Foden has his first sight of goal on the edge of the box after being found by Raheem Sterling, but he pulls his shot just wide!
Reece James almost finds Bukayo Saka in the box, but like most ploys into the penalty area tonight, it isn’t inch-perfect and his cross evades the Arsenal man.
What a torrid post-season international window this is proving to be for Gareth Southgate…
Blimey, can you believe this?!
It’s Roland Sallai again, who is found after Kalvin Phillips lost the ball in the midfield, and he pokes the ball with the outside of his foot beyond Ramsdale.
He can’t believe it! And the visitors have a two-goal lead at a stunned Molineux!
For England, Jude Bellingham comes off for Phil Foden.
For Hungary, Szalai is replaced by Adam.
Signs of frustration and a chorus of groans now every time an England move breaks down, this isn’t what they came to see.
Just over 20 minutes for the Three Lions to find an equaliser.
Meanwhile, Hungary boss Marco Rossi is in the book for moaning to the referee, for some reason…
England genuinely struggling to fashion any openings at the moment – Hungary are still pressing well and yet are keeping their shape in defence.
Phil Foden could well be entering the fray shortly…
Double change for Hungary: Nagy and Gazdag ON, Styles and Szoboszlai OFF.
Meanwhile for England: Mason Mount replaces Conor Gallagher.
It’s just not coming together for England yet…
Kane’s raking diagonal pass to Saka is perfect, but the Arsenal man loses his footing outside the penalty area…
Probing direct run by Jude Bellingham towards the penalty area, but his pass through to Harry Kane has a bit too much on it and the England captain is unable to control it…
We’re back underway in the second-half!
Gareth Southgate does also make a change at the break – Jarrod Bowen makes way for Raheem Sterling.
– Netherlands 2-1 Wales
– Ukraine 0-1 Ireland
– Germany 1-0 Italy
– Poland 0-1 Belgium
England have had most of it – but they’re behind at the interval!
Roland Sallai stunned Molineux with his 16th minute goal – and the hosts have it all to do after the break!
England pressure building and they had a few chances from set-pieces to get the ball into the box, but the Hungarians are holding their own so far… and they’ve almost got a half-time lead to show for it.
First booking of the evening goes to John Stones, for an apparent elbow winning a header in the air on Hungary skipper Szalai.
Harsh, it was a glance at most…
England go close… twice!
Saka’s cross is headed inadvertently towards goal by Hungary defender Willi Orbán and well saved by the keeper, before Walker’s cross from the other side is just too far for Bellingham rushing in, with the teenager only able to head it wide!
Game has sparked into life in the last few minutes…
Hungary skipper Ádám Szalai has a go from long range after the visitors halt an England counter-attack in its tracks, but its comfortable for Ramsdale.
Bowen has had some space down the right but, thus far, the West Ham man has failed to take advantage…
Hungary almost go two up!
It’s Reece James who clears off the line from a glancing header – from another free-kick!
Straight down the other end, John Stones is first to the ball from an England corner but heads it straight down the throat of Hungary goalkeeper Dénes Dibusz.
Little bit better as Kane comes deep and feeds Bellingham running beyond, but the Dortmund man and Saka get in each others way…
England look a little shellshocked here, with their fluidity of the first 10 minutes suddenly vanishing…
Food for thought for Mr Southgate early on.
Well, this is a shock – and against the run of play!
It’s Roland Sallai who finishes powerfully at the near post beyond Aaron Ramsdale, after England fail to win the first contest from a lofted free-kick into the box.
Tough one for the England keeper to save. The hosts are behind after a quarter of an hour!
Game just stopped momentarily as Hungary midfielder András Schäfer is down with an injury…
Despite the lengthy treatment, he comes straight back on…
Lovely incisive play from England sees Reece James surge into the box and his cross to the back post is JUST too high for Jarrod Bowen to get a powerful header on goal.
It does hit the top of the Hungary defender’s arm, but would’ve been harsh from a yard away. No penalty and on we go…
Saka drives down the left with a bit of space down the left and finds Kane, but he can’t get a shot away on the edge of the box…
Kyle Walker’s overhit pass then sees the move break down, dominant start from the hosts here though!
The visitors get us underway…
Sounds like a terrific atmosphere at Molineux…
England take the knee, Hungary do not..
Time for the national anthems…
– England have failed to score in seven of their 15 UEFA Nations League games (47 per cent).
– Seven of the last eight times the Three Lions have failed to find the net in all competitions have been in this tournament.
Barnsley’s Callum Styles is a starter!
Marc Guehi, Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher among the notable starters!
Welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of England’s final game of the summer, as they look for a first Nations League win of the campaign against Hungary at Molineux!
Kick-off is at 7:45pm (BST) – team news coming up!
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