Jordan Henderson played all 90 minutes as England cruised to a 6-0 win over Bulgaria on Monday, but racist abuse from the stands overshadowed the result.
After the shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic on Friday, the Three Lions needed a win in Sofia to enhance their chances of securing a place at Euro 2020.
As was the case against the Czechs, Henderson was the only Liverpool player named in Gareth Southgate’s starting lineup.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was again bizarrely left out of the team at the expense of Kieran Trippier – it keeps him fresh for Reds duties, though.
Joe Gomez would have hoped to come in for Michael Keane at centre-back, but it was debutant Tyrone Mings who got the nod instead.
Henderson was booked early on in proceedings after a reckless tackle, meaning he will miss England’s clash with Montenegro next month.
Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium. Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well ????
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) October 14, 2019
Marcus Rashford fired Southgate’s men in front with a superb strike – it would be just Liverpool’s luck for him to hit form just before their trip to Old Trafford this weekend!
Ross Barkley scored twice and Raheem Sterling added another before half-time, although racist chants tarnished matters hugely.
The players returned after the break, despite worries that the game could be abandoned, and Sterling and Harry Kane made it 6-0, finishing off the scoring.
Henderson played far better than he did on Friday, operating as one of the more forward-thinking midfielders and almost assisted Kane in the second half, only for the striker to hit the post.
Thankfully, it’s now time for Liverpool’s players to return to Melwood in preparation for Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford.
Jurgen Klopp‘s squad have come through the international breaker unscathed, while the likes of Alisson, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah are all back to full fitness, too.