While members of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad returned for their first day of the season, both Jones and Elliott had one final international commitment – and it was a big one.
Jones remained in the starting XI, as he has done consistently throughout the U21 Euros campaign, while Elliott was named on the bench once more for the final against Spain.
The Young Lions had the early opportunities in Georgia but they did not find the breakthrough until first-half stoppage time when Man City‘s Cole Palmer saw his free-kick deflected into the net.
That deflection came off the back of Jones as he stood in the wall – he was quickly awarded credit for his role, his first goal of the competition.
The celebrations that followed saw the two benches come to blows, leading Ashley Cole on England’s bench to receive a red card, as too a member of Spain’s coaching staff.
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) July 8, 2023
England were tested and had opportunities to extend their lead, Jones included, but they held on in dramatic fashion after a last-minute penalty was saved by James Trafford after Liverpool target Levi Colwill conceded the spot kick.
The Young Lions lift the trophy having not conceded a single goal throughout the entire competition.
Liverpool’s No. 17 played the full 90 minutes and Elliott was introduced to see out the final seven minutes of regulation time.
Jones was impressive throughout the tournament in a deeper, more central role which showcased his ability to retain possession and recycle it to keep his side ticking. He racked up 448 minutes over five games.
For Elliott, he took on more of a cameo role having started only one of six matches – but he heads back to Liverpool with a winner’s medal, a goal and 133 minutes to his name.
England’s triumph was their first in the competition since 1984 – it means we will have two delighted young Reds back in training after a short break.