Chelsea fans reckon Noni Madueke is ‘better than Saka’ as winger scores screamer in England U21s’ defeat to Ukraine
CHELSEA fans reckon Noni Madueke is “better than Bukayo Saka.”
That’s after the Chelsea winger scored a screamer in England U21s’ defeat to Ukraine.
Lee Carsley’s Young Lions slipped to their first qualifier defeat on the road for 12 years with a 3-2 defeat on Monday.
The England U21s boss has urged his fresh-faced stars to lick their wounds and come back stronger – sooner rather than later.
But Madueke left Chelsea fans smiling as he netted another top-level goal ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash against Arsenal.
In front of around 3,000 fans in Kosice, Slovakia, the Ukrainians took a shock 2-0 half-time lead against the reigning U21 Euros champions through Nazar Voloshyn and Oleh Ocheretko.
Madueke grabbed one back in the 67th minute before Leeds defender Charlie Cresswell nodded in an 89th minute equaliser – briefly salvaging a point.
And Chelsea supporters hailed Madueke on Twitter, with one saying: “This guy is better than Saka and it’s not an unpopular opinion.”
Another declared: “Saka this, Martinelli that, we have Madueke fully fit for Saturday.”
After grabbing their second, Carlsey’s men poured forward looking for a winner, only to be done on the counter in the fourth minute of stoppage time thanks to Ilya Kvasnytsya’s curling strike.
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It was a goal that sent Ukraine to the top of Group F after three games – three points clear of second-placed England, who saw an eight-game winning streak come to an end.
The last time England’s U21s lost away from home in a qualifying match was in 2011 under Stuart Pearce, with Jordan Henderson featuring in that 2-1 setback in Belgium.
Carsley, 49, said: “This could potentially be a really good lesson for us to help the group over the next couple of years.
“We have spoken about how you respond when you lose. The way they responded in the second half was very good. You could see they wanted to score again to win the game.
“But, we ended up losing. That’s frustrating but I want the team to attack. I felt like we could have got a winning goal.
“I’d rather us try and win the game. I am now looking forward to our next camp. It gave some of the players a good idea of what football at this level looks like.”
Up next for Carsley’s side next month is a trip to Serbia’s U21s – having beaten them 9-1 at the City Ground last week – before hosting Northern Ireland’s U21s at Goodison Park.
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