Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his long-awaited return to international action as England eased to a 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday night.
The victory maintains the Three Lions’ 100 percent winning record in Euro 2020 qualifiers, with three wins from three.
Despite playing a game less than their counterparts, England remain comfortably positioned for automatic qualification in Group A ahead of the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Bulgaria and their next opponent in Kosovo.
The Reds’ skipper was deployed in midfield alongside Declan Rice and Ross Barkley, positioned in an advanced role as is the case at Liverpool.
* Video via Sky Sports; geographic restrictions may apply.
The Three Lions dominated proceedings and found the breakthrough with 24 minutes on the clock through Harry Kane who was teed up by ex-Red Raheem Sterling on the six-yard line after Bulgaria paid the price for attempting to play out from the back.
Despite their control of the ball, England had to wait until four minutes after the interval to net their second having been guilty of slow transitional play throughout.
Kane was again the player on the scoresheet after converting the first of his two spot-kicks, with Marcus Rashford the player infringed before the Tottenham striker himself was fouled in the area late in the piece to complete his hat-trick.
Prior to sealing the 4-0 win, Kane returned the favour for Sterling who bundled the ball over the line from close range for the third goal of the evening, with Henderson departing soon after on the 67 minute mark following another solid but unspectacular performance.
But with 77 minutes gone Southgate handed Oxlade-Chamberlain his first international cap – and 33rd overall – since March 2018.
It was a momentous occasion for Liverpool’s No.15 and another nod to his remarkable recovery after a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain looked sharp in his brief cameo, but will no doubt be eyeing more minutes when England make the trip to Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium to meet Kosovo on Tuesday evening, where both Alexander-Arnold and Gomez could also feature.
Elsewhere, Liam Millar was used off the bench for the final 27 minutes of Canada’s 6-0 rout of Cuba in the CONCACAF Nations League A match on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old, currently on loan at Kilmarnock, made his way onto the field with the game already tied up with four goals on the board in what was an important win for his country as they push for a chance to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Ki-Jana Hoever was an unused substitute for the Netherlands’ Under-17s as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to the United States in their second game of the four-nations friendly tournament on Saturday.
Sunday will be quiet on the international front for the Reds with only England youngsters Layton Stewart, Harvey Elliott, Jarell Quansah and James Norris vying for playing time on the youth stage.