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England 5-3 Kosovo: Kane and Sterling score for hosts

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Sancho scored his first two international goals for England

England’s relentless march towards Euro 2020 continued with a thrilling victory over Kosovo, who scored after just 34 seconds.

However, a shoddy defensive display and the fearless approach of their opponents meant this turned into a night of concern for manager Gareth Southgate.

The result leaves England top of Group A with a 100% winning record after four games, while the Czech Republic moved into second place with a 3-0 win over Montenegro.

Kosovo arrived in Southampton on a 15-match unbeaten run and with confidence lifted by victory over the Czechs on Saturday – and when Michael Keane’s error gifted Valon Berisha a goal inside the first minute they briefly contemplated a huge upset.

It did not last long as rampant England, inspired by the magnificent Raheem Sterling, responded ruthlessly with five goals inside the first 45 minutes.

Keane swiftly made amends to set up Sterling to head home after a corner then Manchester City’s unstoppable attacker set up captain Harry Kane for his 26th goal in 41 England appearances.

England extended their lead when Mergim Vojvoda turned Jadon Sancho’s cross into his own net before Borussia Dortmund’s 19-year-old got his first two goals for England, both expertly provided by Sterling.

As an occasionally chaotic encounter swung from end to end, Berisha’s fine finish reignited Kosovo’s hopes early in the second half before more awful defending from Manchester United’s Harry Maguire ended with him conceding a penalty, which Vedat Muriqi scored after he was brought down.

England’s flair and flaws on show

England manager Southgate will have revelled in his side’s attacking variety and intent as they ripped Kosovo apart with those five goals in the first 45 minutes – but this was nothing like plain sailing.

Sterling’s ascent into world-class for club and country needs no confirmation and it was all on show as he tormented the Kosovo defence, scoring one goal and creating three as a wounded England hit back after that early shock.

Kane once again demonstrated his expertise in front of goal while Sancho repaid Southgate’s faith with two goals and a fine performance that earned him a standing ovation when he was substituted.

So far so good. And then came England’s defending.

Everton defender Keane had an inexcusable lapse to pass the ball straight to Berisha in a dangerous position to score the first in the opening minute and the sense of threat every time Kosovo got near England’s goal was an illustration of their defensive unease.

And defensive partner Maguire was no better, clumsily failing to clear before hauling down Muriqi for the penalty.

In the end there was no long-term harm done thanks to England’s potency up front but it is impossible to escape the belief that this defence, and the ability with which Kosovo could get at it, would be relished by better opposition.

England can celebrate the win and taking a giant stride towards Euro 2020 – but there are still problems for Southgate to ponder.

Kosovo’s fearless approach does them proud

Kosovo were not going to wait and wonder what fate held for them as they fulfilled colourful coach Bernard Challandes’ boast that they would come at England with positive intent.

Backed by a magnificent, noisy support, they had the boost of that early goal and in some ways their front foot approach cost them as England cut them apart when they poured forward.

It would have been easy to give up or go into their shell at 5-1, but they came out for the second half to a huge ovation from their fans.

And how they responded, to occasionally have England living on their nerves.

They could not complete the miracle turnaround but they fully deserved the standing ovation from their fans at the final whistle and they will still harbour hopes of being at Euro 2020 next summer.

Man of the match – Raheem Sterling (England)

Sterling now has 10 international goals for England and was a menace all evening

Super Sterling – the stats

  • England have netted 14 goals in their three home European Championship qualifiers, scoring more home goals than any other European nation in qualifying so far.
  • Kosovo became the first team to score three away goals in a competitive international against England since Croatia in November 2007.
  • England have scored five goals in three different matches in 2019 – the first time they have done so that many times in a calendar year since 1960.
  • Valon Berisha’s goal after 34 seconds was the first goal scored inside the first minute of an England international since Gareth Southgate scored against South Africa in May 2003.
  • England conceded a goal inside the opening minute of an international match for the first time since November 1993, when San Marino’s Davide Gualtieri scored.
  • Raheem Sterling has been involved in 12 goals in his last eight England international appearances (8 goals, 4 assists).
  • Harry Kane and Sterling have combined for six goals under Gareth Southgate for England – at least three times as many as any other duo.
  • Jadon Sancho (19 years, 169 days) became the youngest player to score more than once in a game for England since Wayne Rooney in June 2004 against Croatia (18 years, 241 days).
  • This was the first time both teams had scored three times in an England match since June 1995, when they drew 3-3 with Sweden at Elland Road.
  • Kane’s missed penalty ended a run of 23 consecutive penalties scored in competitive internationals by England players – David Beckham’s at Euro 2004 against France was the previous miss.

What next?

The next international period takes place in October, with England travelling to the Czech Republic on Friday 11th, followed by an away game in Bulgaria three days later.

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Vaping nearly killed me, says British teenager

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Ewan FisherImage copyright
Ewan Fisher

A teenage boy nearly died after vaping caused a catastrophic reaction in his lungs, doctors in Nottingham say.

Ewan Fisher was connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive after his own lungs failed and he could not breathe.

Ewan told BBC News e-cigarettes had “basically ruined me” and urged other young people not to vape.

His doctors say vaping is “not safe”, although health bodies in the UK say it is 95% safer than tobacco.

Listen: Beyond Today – Can vaping kill you?

What happened?

Ewan started vaping in early 2017. He was 16 at the time and wanted to quit smoking to improve his boxing.

Despite being under age, he said, “it was easy” to buy either cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

In May that year, Ewan was finding it harder and harder to breathe.

His mother took Ewan to accident and emergency on the night before his GCSE exams, because he was coughing and choking in his sleep.

His lungs were failing and he very quickly ended up on life-support in intensive care in Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

“I thought I was going to die,” Ewan told BBC News.

Ewan was getting worse. Even ventilation could not get enough oxygen into his body and his life was in the balance.

Image copyright
Ewan Fisher

Image caption

Ewan was attached to an ECMO machine to keep him alive

He was taken to Leicester and attached to an artificial lung or ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine.

“This machine saved my life,” he said.

Large tubes took blood out of Ewan, removed the carbon dioxide, added oxygen and pumped the blood back into his body.

“He had very serious respiratory failure, he had to go to ECMO and that is a very big deal,” Dr Jayesh Bhatt, a consultant at Nottingham University Hospitals, told BBC News.

“He got as ill as anyone can get.”

The case – from May 2017 – has just come to light in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

How is Ewan now?

Ewan, who is 19 on Tuesday, had a long recovery. It was six months before he was properly up and on his feet again.

“I’m still not back to normal, I’d say 75-80%, it’s in the last six months that I’m feeling a bit stronger in myself,” he said.

“Vaping has basically ruined me, I try to tell everyone and they think I’m being stupid, I tell my mates and they don’t listen.

“They still do it, they all still vape, but they’ve seen what I’ve been through.

“Is it worth risking your life for smoking e-cigs?

“I don’t want you to end up like me and I don’t want you to be dead, I wouldn’t wish [that] on anyone.”

Ewan also fears being around other vapers – everywhere from the pub to High Street – could damage his lungs again.

Is vaping to blame?

His doctors say the answer is yes.

Ewan developed a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis – something he was breathing in was setting off his immune system, with catastrophic consequences.

“You get an over-exuberant inflammatory response and the lungs pay a price and develop respiratory failure,” Dr Bhatt said.

One of the most common forms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis is “bird fancier’s lung”, which is caused by particles from feathers or bird droppings.

When scientists tested the two e-cigarette liquids Ewan had been using, they found one of them was triggering an immune reaction.

Dr Bhatt said: “The real learning point is vaping is not safe, especially for young people, they should never go near it.

“We consider e-cigarettes as ‘much safer than tobacco’ at our peril.”

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Getty Images

How common is this?

There are 3.6 million people vaping in the UK and reactions like this are rare.

However, doctors have told BBC News Ewan’s case is not an isolated incident.

“As vaping becomes more popular, we are beginning to see more cases,” Dr Hemant Kulkarni, a consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said.

He told BBC News: “Some of the cases my colleagues and I have seen are teenagers presenting with severe lung injury and some of these have been life-threatening.

“However, in the cases I’ve been involved in, patients are now regaining normal lung function.”

Dr Kulkarni is “surprised” e-cigarettes are advertised in the UK, given the severe reaction they can cause in children and a lack of scientific studies on their safety.

Is vaping dangerous?

Smoking is pretty much the worst thing you can do for your health.

E-cigarettes are promoted in the UK as a way to quit because they let people inhale nicotine in vapour rather than breathing in smoke.

Ewan’s reaction to vaping was extreme, but what about the rest of us who would not end up with hypersensitivity pneumonitis?

Public Health England says vaping is 95% safer than smoking but is not without risks.

Rosanna O’ Connor, the body’s director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, said: “Smoking kills half of lifelong smokers and accounts for almost 220 deaths in England every day.

“Our advice remains that while not completely risk free, UK regulated e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoked tobacco.”

But there are arguments about how safe vaping really is.

The World Health Organization says e-cigarettes are “undoubtedly harmful and should therefore be subject to regulation”.

It also raises concerns vaping is being aggressively marketed at young people – particularly through the use of flavourings – and risked re-normalising smoking.

Is Ewan’s case similar to those in the US?

The deaths of 39 people in the US have been connected to vaping and have prompted worldwide concern about its safety.

There have been 2,051 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (called EVALI) in the outbreak.

Most of those cases, but not all, have been linked to vaping THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Ewan was vaping standard e-cigarettes bought from a shop.

What do experts says?

Dr Nick Hopkinson, the medical director of the British Lung Foundation, said: “If people switch completely from smoking to vaping, they will substantially reduce their health risk as e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and any harmful components are present at a much lower level.

“People who do switch should try to quit vaping in the long term too but not at the expense of relapsing to smoking – and non-smokers should not take up vaping.”

Prof John Britton, the director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, at the University of Nottingham, said: “This is worrying, and the risk needs to be acknowledged, but in absolute terms it is extremely small and, crucially, far smaller than that of smoking.

“The advice remains the same: if you smoke, switch to vaping; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

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England v Montenegro: Raheem Sterling to miss Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley

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England team-mates Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling during Sunday’s Premier League match at Anfield, where Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1

England forward Raheem Sterling will not play in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday “as a result of a disturbance in a private team area”, the Football Association has announced.

The 24-year-old Manchester City player was involved in an on-field argument with Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez, 22, during the Reds’ 3-1 Premier League victory at Anfield.

“Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw,” said England boss Gareth Southgate.

“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team.

“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday. My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken.

“Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”

England play their 1,000th senior men’s international on Thursday and a win at Wembley would book a spot at Euro 2020 with one qualifying game to spare.

The Three Lions are top of Euro 2020 Qualifying Group A, three points clear of the Czech Republic and four ahead of Kosovo with the top two nations advancing.

A win for Southgate’s side will see them qualify, while a point will also be enough if the match between the Czech Republic and Kosovo also ends in a draw.

England then play their final group match away in Kosovo on Thursday, 17 November.

More to follow.

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Russia throws more weight behind Haftar in Libya

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