Gareth Southgate highlights Kalvin Phillips display after Leeds United midfielder helps England ease past minnows

ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate picked out Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips for particular praise following his display against San Marino.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:45 am

Phillips was handed his fifth cap for the Three Lions in Thursday night's World Cup qualifier at Wembley in which a Dominic Calvert-Lewin brace plus goals from James Ward-Prowse, Raheem Sterling and Ollie Watkins sealed an easy 5-0 victory.

Phillips played the full duration of the game as the sole holding midfielder in front of a back four as West Ham United's Declan Rice stayed on the bench in the first of three World Cup qualifiers for England in a week.

Phillips had 136 touches of the ball and 114 of his 125 attempted passes were accurate. Only Ben Chilwell had more possession.

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ECONOMIC: Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, left, sends another pass forward for England during Thursday night's 5-0 victory against San Marino at Wembley. Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Asked who impressed him the most, Southgate told ITV: "I thought there were lots of good individual performances.

"We said that there was high individual motivation as well as the team and it would be difficult to pick one out.

"I thought the midfield players moved the ball really well. Kalvin Phillips I was really pleased for him.

"He's used the ball well but his athleticism around the pitch was good.

"Mason in the first half was excellent I thought and set the tone. It was good to see Jesse looking like he's enjoying his football again so I thought there were a lot of good things."

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Thank you Laura Collins