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BBC Sport's John Murray
"Jeffers ' three goals were beautifully taken"
 real 14k

England U21 boss David Platt
"I'm delighted with the professionalism of the players"
 real 14k

England scorer Jonathan Greening
"They got tired in the second half"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Jeffers inspires England win
Francis Jeffers scores England's first goal against Albania
Francis Jeffers slots in England's first on 17 minutes
England U-21s 5-0 Albania U-21s

England Under-21s moved a step closer to the European Championships after a comprehensive display against Albania at the Riverside Stadium.

The home side were led by a fantastic performance from Francis Jeffers whose hat-trick earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Jonathan Greening completed the rout for England, sealing three vital qualifying points.

We knew the victory over Germany would mean nothing unless we got what we needed from this
David Platt

Manager David Platt was without playmaker Joe Cole, who was suspended after picking up a yellow card in England's thrilling 2-1 victory against Germany.

West Ham team-mate Defoe replaced Cole in attack, while Charlton's Scott Parker came in for David Prutton and Jeffers was preferred to Darius Vassell up front.

And it was Jeffers who opened the scoring on 17 minutes following a fine through ball from Defoe.

The Arsenal striker rounded one defender before sliding the ball past goalkeeper Mustafa.

The home side dominated the majority of the first half as their opponents struggled to gain any sort of possession.

Jeffers notched his second of the night on 59 minutes after a sweeping England move instigated in their own half.

Jermain Defoe holds off a defender
Jermain Defoe: Scored England's third
Wayne Bridge played a superb long ball into the path of Defoe, who crossed for the unmarked Jeffers to sidefoot in from 12 yards.

After supplying the first two goals, Defoe finally got himself onto the scoresheet on 70 minutes, tapping in from eight yards.

Greening scored the fourth on 89 minutes, firing home from the edge of the box, before Jeffers wrapped up proceedings with his third - and England's fifth.

England: Stuart Taylor, Wright, Bridge, King, Barry, Greening, Davis, Parker, Chadwick, Jeffers, Defoe. Subs: Prutton, Bywater, Johnson, Pennant, Vassell, Wilson, Ameobi.

Albania: Mustafa, Demira, Belisha, Sheta, E Beqira, Ahmeti, Merxha, Bulko, Muka, Shkembi, Meleeli. Subs: Lika, Kaci, Bespallov, Kotja, Shtrepi.

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