Fulham’s Matthew Briggs continued his brilliant start to the season with an impressive debut for the England under-21s as Stuart Pearce’s side put six past Azerbaijan in their first Euro 2013 qualifier at Vicarage Road tonight.
The 20 year-old left back was handed a start by Pearce in a new-look England U21 team and looked very composed coming forward from the back. Briggs did brilliantly to create captain Jordan Henderson’s fine strike for England’s third goal of the evening and came close to adding one of his own with a powerful left-footed drive shortly after the interval. There was another barnstorming run to go with some diligent defensive work in an excellent first appearance at under-21 level for the Fulham Academy graduate.
Much of the evening was a stroll for Pearce’s side. Henri Lansbury and Craig Dawson both grabbed braces, while Henderson’s terrific effort was topped by a stunning long-range strike from Martyn Waghorn on his debut. The under-21s now head to Israel for a friendly on Monday ahead of two tough away fixtures against Iceland and Norway.