Hungary beat England 4-0 on the road on Tuesday to go to the top of their Nations League group and give England its worst home loss in 94 years. Gareth Southgate’s team had hoped that the Nations League would be a morale-booster before the World Cup.
Southgate made nine changes to the team that tied with Italy last weekend so that some lesser-known players could play. But even though England had the ball most of the time, they didn’t make many chances, and the experiment didn’t work against a Hungary team that beat them in Budapest earlier in the month and was out for revenge.
Southgate said that last year’s national heroes, who were finalists at the European Championship, were booed off at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton.
Roland Sallai of Hungary started the rout in the 16th minute when he controlled the ball on his knee after a bad header from John Stones and then shot it past Aaron Ramsdale.
Sallai got his second goal in the 70th minute when Kalvin Phillips missed a tackle and Sallai finished perfectly with the outside of his foot. Two late goals from Zsolt Nagy’s chip over Ramsdale and Daniel Gazdag’s shot from far away into the corner hurt England a lot.
England’s bad night got even worse when Stones was sent off for two yellow cards.
Southgate said that he had chosen a young, experimental team with a lot of offensive talent. This left his team vulnerable when the game went against them.
We couldn’t keep trading away our best players… I think I’ve given them too much to do tonight, though. “I can see how that made people feel in the stadium,” he said.
“I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt… We have seen that you have to be at your best. All of the young players in this group of games learned a lot from it.
Southgate, who also led England to a World Cup semi-final in Russia in 2018, said, “This group of players has been amazing for the country, and it’s important that they stay together.”
After the game, the tough Hungary team of Marco Rossi was on top of Group A3 with seven points, while England was in fourth place and last with two points. Germany is in second place with six points after beating Italy 5-2. Italy is in third place with five points.
With two games left, the team that wins the group will go to the Nations League finals in June, while the team that finishes last will be kicked out.
England captain Harry Kane, who had some of England’s few good moments and hit the bar with a header, said his team’s collapse in the second half was “unacceptable,” but he also asked fans to be understanding.
“It’s been a long time since our last big loss. “We shouldn’t be scared, but we should keep our heads up,” he said.
“A night to forget, but we have to take it on the chin and move on. We have to prepare for a big World Cup, and we’ll learn much from this.” We shouldn’t forget where we came from. Not every game will go perfectly.”
England has high hopes for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, which will be held at the end of the year. Last year, England lost the Euros to Italy by a narrow margin. Fans don’t understand why they aren’t doing well in the Nations League. Some experts say it’s because players are tired after playing in the Premier League and other competitions.
It was the first time England had lost a home game by four or more goals since March 1928, when Scotland beat them 5-1. It was also the first time an away team scored four goals against England since 1953 when the Hungarians won 6-3.
Hungary was not able to get into the World Cup.