Everton key player make a mysterious mistake in the defeat.
Everton starlet Jarrad Branthwaite has been a revelation this season, but he was not at his best as England under-21s fell to a defeat yesterday.
Lee Carsley’s side had won seven games in a row prior to yesterday’s game, where they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Ukraine.
Ukraine went 2-0 up before halftime, but England managed to equalise before conceding the late winner.
Branthwaite started at the back next to Charlie Cresswell of Leeds United, and whilst his performance on the ball wasn’t too bad, he did make a costly mistake.
Branthwaite’s England mistake
With Ukraine already 1-0 up, the home side were rampant going forward, and Branthwaite was tasked with stopping them.
Around the 42nd minute, the 21-year-old found himself easily beaten by two Ukraine attackers on the left-hand side, and he subsequently tripped one after being bested on the ball.
Despite his surprised reaction, it was a fair decision, and Oleg Ocheretko then scored a stunning effort directly from the resulting free kick.
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Branthwaite initially being beaten, before giving away the foul, had led to Ukraine scoring, in what was a poor moment for him.
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Photo by Matt McNulty – The FA/The FA via Getty Images
Whilst it was a performance that he would like to move on from quickly, this should not take away from the brilliance that Branthwaite has displayed over the course of the season.
Even within this game, the defender was excellent on the ball, completing 117 passes with a 94% accuracy, as well as five long balls, whilst also winning all five of his aerial duels.
This season, he has been terrific since returning from his loan at PSV Eindhoven, and is going from strength to strength at the back under Sean Dyche.
It was a poor mistake in the defeat, but he has been a key player for the England under-21s in their winning run, and will likely continue to be an important part of Carsley’s side.