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England hyperbole abounds, France star sets new record

England cemented their status at the top of their 2024 European Championship qualifying group after picking up six points over the weekend.

The Three Lions triumphed 4-0 in Malta before rattling home seven without reply against North Macedonia at Old Trafford.

Gareth Southgate’s side rarely needed to work up a sweat against opponents who failed to test them in either game.

As is generally the case when England run riot against poor teams, the hyperbole levels in some sections of the media were off the charts.

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was among the players who received plenty of praise after producing two solid performances in a more advanced role.

However, the love-in will likely leave some folk with egg on their faces the minute England try the same thing against any half-decent international team.

Strolling effortlessly around against Malta and North Macedonia is one thing – attempt it against the likes of Argentina or Spain and see what happens.

Elsewhere, Scotland’s 2-1 victory in Norway fired them to the top of their group and in with an excellent chance of qualifying for the tournament next summer.

Erling Braut Haaland showcased his lethal football boots by putting Norway in front, but Scotland fought back to stun the hosts.

Wales produced two dismal performances on their way to defeats against Armenia and Turkey, leaving themselves with an uphill battle to qualify.

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are also in poor shape, having recorded just one victory each in their respective groups.

Kylian Mbappe set another record as France maintained their perfect Euro 2024 qualifying record with a 1-0 victory over Greece.

Mbappe scored a second-half penalty to become the best French scorer over a season with 54 goals for club and country, beating the mark set by Just Fontaine in 1957/58.

World champions Argentina triumphed 2-0 in a friendly against Indonesia – Leandro Paredes and Cristian Romero got the goals.

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