Happy end to the season for Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond
- Credit: AP
Nathan Redmond helped England Under-21s to Toulon Tournament glory last night as they beat hosts France 2-1 in Avignon.
The Norwich City winger played for the full 90 minutes and was a key figure in a dominant display from Gareth Southgate's team saw them lift the title for the first time since 1994. Goals from Lewis Baker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the first half did the damage.
The victory caps a good season for Southgate's men, who have won nine of their 11 games this term and will renew their European qualifying campaign in good spirits in September.
England set out their intentions from the off and they took a deserved lead after just eight minutes when captain James Ward-Prowse lifted a ball over the top for Baker.
The Chelsea man sprang the offside trap before nodding over Florian Escales and into the goal to register his fourth goal of the tournament and seal the top scorer accolade in the process.
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France started to work their way back into the game and it took a timely clearance from Calum Chambers to clear the danger after 22 minutes.
Jordan Pickford was then tested by a powerful drive from France winger Roli Peirera Da Sa, who cut in from the right and fired a left-footer at goal which the stung the hands of the Sunderland stopper but not enough to beat him.
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But it was the Three Lions who doubled their advantage two minutes before the break, when Loftus-Cheek, named as player of the tournament after the game, nipped onto a pass into the box from Baker and lifted the ball home to put his side in control.
The hosts made two early changes in the second half in a bid to claw themselves back into the game and one of those replacements Maximi D'Arpino tested Pickford again ten minutes after the re-start with a snap-shot from the edge of the box.
If anything, England looked the more likely to add to their tally, with Redmond, Baker and Loftus-Cheek causing problems with their incisive play in the final third.
France made it interesting for the last three minutes though, after Abdou Diallo turned home from close range following a corner from the right to give them hope of salvaging a draw.
They couldn't find a way through, as England bravely held on for the title.