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Palmer's 1st England goal inspires win over Bosnia in Euro warmup

Matt McNulty - The FA / The FA Collection / Getty

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Cole Palmer scored his first England goal as the Chelsea forward's penalty inspired a 3-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Monday's Euro 2024 warmup.

Palmer marked his maiden start for the Three Lions with a clinical spot-kick in the second half at Newcastle's St. James' Park.

In only his third England appearance, the 22-year-old maintained his brilliant Chelsea form to underline his case to make Gareth Southgate's Euro squad.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was England's other standout performer in their penultimate game before the Euros get underway in Germany.

The Liverpool star - again deployed in midfield rather than at right-back by Southgate - scored England's second goal to cap a lively display.

Harry Kane, who came off the bench in the second half on his return to fitness, bagged the third goal in the final seconds to put a flattering gloss on an inconsistent display from understrength England.

"The great thing is we've got through the last few days with no big (injury) problems," Southgate said.

"We had an opponent that was dogged and determined, so physically it was a good workout."

After drawing with North Macedonia in their last Euro qualifier before losing to Brazil and drawing with Belgium in March friendlies, England's first win in four games brought more questions than answers for Southgate.

Palmer, Alexander-Arnold and Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze bolstered their chances of winning a seat on the plane to Germany.

"I thought Cole linked the game well for us. Lovely for him to get his first goal," Southgate said.

"Eze played with that freedom and swagger. And we know Trent's qualities. It's a beautiful finish."

But Ollie Watkins, Conor Gallagher and Jarrod Bowen might rue missing their chance to impress.

Southgate remained upbeat, saying: "I'd rather we'd had good performances that caused you to think than poor performances.

"There were lots of individual things I was really pleased with."

Clinical Palmer

Southgate must cut seven players from his provisional 33-man squad by Friday's deadline, which comes as they play their last warmup against Iceland at Wembley that evening.

Thirteen days before England's Group C opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on June 16, Bosnia's visit to Tyneside started the countdown to the Euros.

But of Southgate's starting line-up, six had fewer than 10 caps as Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire were among the absentees.

Palmer showed an early flash of class with a deft pass to Watkins, but the Aston Villa striker could not find the accuracy to steer his shot past Bosnia 'keeper Nikola Vasilj.

Causing panic in the Bosnia defence with his pace and movement, Eze threatened to break the deadlock as he shimmied into the penalty area for a shot that Vasilj pushed away.

But England's passing was ponderous and their movement too sluggish in a limp first half.

Southgate's men were rewarded for their second-half improvement with a 60th-minute penalty after Benjamin Tahirovic's shirt pull sent Ezri Konsa sprawling.

Palmer scored nine penalties for Chelsea this season and he emphatically drilled his latest spot-kick past Vasilj.

Southgate revealed Kane had been keen to come off the bench to take the penalty himself.

"He had the audacity to ask to come on and to score the penalty which was never going to happen!" he said.

Pressing his case to start at the Euros, Alexander-Arnold grabbed his third international goal with a superb volley from Jack Grealish's cross in the 85th minute.

Kane had the last word, poking home from close range in the 90th minute after James Maddison's pass deflected to the England captain.

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