England lose to Hungary: Five we things learned as Mount struggles after kids boo players

In pictures: Hungary v England

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England suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Hungary in their first match of the UEFA Nations League on Saturday. Gareth Southgate handed two debuts in Budapest but it was far from a good performance from the Three Lions as Dominik Szoboszlai scored the only goal from the penalty spot. Express Sport looks at five things we learned from the encounter.

Formation questionable

The formation Southgate plays has been a regular talking point throughout his reign as England boss. He adopted a 3-4-3 this evening, which does benefit the likes of Kyle Walker who took up his spot at right centre-back which he shone in at the 2018 World Cup.

However, Hungary were able to exploit the wing-backs being high up the pitch. Debutant James Justin and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold were often caught out as the hosts created the better chances in the first half at least.

Hungary opened the scoring via that exact route in the second half as Reece James came on to replace Alexander-Arnold and was caught out by a long ball over the top, giving away a penalty after the referee adjudged the Chelsea man to have fouled Zsolt Nagy. Southgate hasn’t got many matches to perfect this formation before the World Cup later this year.

Mount must do more

There is plenty of competition for places in the attacking spots in Southgate’s side. But Mason Mount was largely ineffective and must be careful about losing his spot.

Bukayo Saka came on at wing-back in the second half but could easily play further forward in his place, with Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling also lurking. Mount divides opinion but too often for England is unable to make an impact. He had a great chance to set up Harry Kane in the second half but was unable to find his skipper.

Bowen enjoys bow

Jarrod Bowen was handed his debut by Southgate and impressed on the right-hand side of attack. The majority of anything positive for England came through the West Ham star.

Bowen enjoyed his best goalscoring season in the Premier League this term. He had a couple of glimpses in front of goal but overall should be satisfied with his own display, making tricky runs and being a regular threat for the hosts’ defence.

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Discrimination still a problem

It appears there is still a long way to go to eradicate discrimination from the game. The match was originally set to be played behind closed doors due to a ban on the Hungarian Football Federation following homophobic banners and racist abuse at Euro 2020.

However, a late decision was made to allow thousands of school kids to attend the game with an adult. But there was audible booing from the young crowd as the England players took a knee before kick-off.

Vuvuzelas still need banning

The noise which became synonymous with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was heard throughout the game. And it hasn’t got any less painful on the ears.

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