England's Joe Gomez during the UEFA Nations League, League A Group Four match at Wembley Stadium, London (Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images)

Joe Gomez’s long throw helps England get the better of Dejan Lovren’s Croatia

Joe Gomez earned the bragging rights over Dejan Lovren on Sunday afternoon, as England beat Croatia 2-1 in a thrilling UEFA Nations League clash.

The Three Lions were looking for revenge after their World Cup semi-final defeat in the summer, with two Liverpool men coming up against each another at Wembley.

Gomez returned to the England starting lineup after not featuring against the USA on Thursday, partnering John Stones at centre-back and aiming to continue his magnificent form.

There was no place for Trent Alexander-Arnold, though, who dropped out as Kyle Walker returned, despite his goalscoring showing in midweek.

Jordan Henderson missed out as a precaution, with Gareth Southgate saying before the game that “he is someone who always wants to play, so I had to make that decision.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, June 3, 2018: Croatia's Dejan Lovren lines-up before an international friendly between Brazil and Croatia at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, Lovren was again a key presence at heart of Croatia’s defence, partnering Domagoj Vida, as was the case at the World Cup.

England completely dominated the opening 45 minutes, with Lovren part of a Croatia back line not exactly brimming with composure.

Andrej Kramaric scored against the run of play early in the second half, however, although Gomez was powerless to do anything in the lead-up to the goal.

Jesse Lingard equalised with 12 minutes remaining, thanks in part to Gomez’s huge long throw from out on the right wing.

Who said Liverpool acquiring the services of throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark wasn’t paying off?

The hosts then sealed a dramatic win with stoppage time looming, thanks to Harry Kane’s close-range finish.

A frustrated Lovren was booked in the final minutes, as England got over the finish line in a rare thriller of an international fixture.

For better or worse for the likes of Gomez, Alexander-Arnold and Henderson, this result means England progress to next summer’s UEFA Nations League finals in June, with Croatia relegated.

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