Gareth Southgate Demands Action Be Taken After England Victory Is Marred by Racist Chanting

Gareth Southgate saw his England side thrash Montenegro ​5-1 on Monday night, but the fact that his players faced racist chants from fans dampened what should have been a celebratory mood, and he has demanded that action be taken.

Despite falling behind to an early Montenegro goal, Southgate saw his side fight back through Ross Barkley’s inspired performance and score five goals without response. He will have been impressed with the way his players responded in a hostile environment when the atmosphere could have gotten to them and affected their performance. 

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Following the end of the match, and after reports of the abuse being aimed at some of his players, Southgate said that they intend to make a report to UEFA. 

Speaking with the ​BBC, Southgate said: “I definitely heard abuse of ​Danny Rose when he got booked at the end – it’s not acceptable. There’s no doubt in my mind that happened. I know what I heard. We’ll definitely deal with it in the right way and we have to make sure we support our players.”

Although he watched his side put in a good display, the England boss was more focused on making sure his players were okay, and that they received the support they needed. 

​”I heard it at the end of the game, I had not heard it earlier but certainly heard it behind us when Danny Rose was booked,” he added. 

What we have to do is make sure our players feel supported, they know the dressing room is there and we as a group of staff are there for them.

We have to report it through the correct channels, it is clear that so many people have heard it. It is an unacceptable situation. I have spoken before about this and what can we do?

“We have to make sure we look after our players, we report it and from our side, we have to continue to make strides in our country and that we have to trust the authorities to take the right action here.”

In regards to the performance, Southgate added in a separate interview with ITV (via the ​BBC)“The game was a simple one in that we talked all week about using the width. Our wingers were incredibly productive on the night. It was a fabulous performance from young Callum Hudson-Odoi. This place has been difficult for us before and it was a good test of character.”

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Ander Herrera Given Premier League Option as Arsenal Join Race for Man Utd Midfielder

​Arsenal are ready to join the race to poach Ander Herrera from Manchester United this summer, with the Spaniard’s contract running down at Old Trafford. 

The ​Mail report that the Gunners are one of the teams looking to take the chippy 29-year-old at the end of his current deal when the season concludes, with Herrera admitting during the international break that he doesn’t know whether or not his deal will be renewed at Manchester. 

The ​Gunners have lacked a disciplined figure in their midfield for some time now, although the arrival of Lucas Torreira has gone some way to plug that gap, and the chance to get a proven Premier League performer on the cheap may be too good to turn down. 

However, ​AS report that negotiations between ​Herrera’s camp and Paris Saint-Germain are ‘very advanced’, with the French side offering a 50% bump on top of the £100,000-a-week deal on offer at Old Trafford. 

PSG have a head start on Arsenal in negotiations, with the north London side having to wait until the end of the season to open talks, while overseas clubs have been able to talk to Herrera since the end of the winter transfer window. 

​For his part, the Basque midfielder said: “It’s logical when you have three months left on your contract and it is the international break. I knew something would come out. I take it with a pinch of salt, I’m focusing on playing football in the remaining month and a half of the season.

“The rest I leave to my agent, both a possible contract renewal with ​United and talks with another club about my departure.”

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Alisson Reveals the Hardest Thing About Liverpool Move as He Admits Merseyside ‘Feels Like Home’

​Alisson has joked that one of the hardest things about moving to Liverpool last summer has been getting to grips with the Scouse accent, but admitted Merseyside has become ‘home’ for him very quickly. 

The Brazilian plays with countrymen Roberto Firmino and Fabinho at Anfield and admitted that he misses his homeland – but that the presence of his family is helping him continue to settle. 

Quoted by the ​Mirror, he said: “I have been having regular English lessons. One of the hardest challenges I had at the start was getting used to the accent, not just the British accent but the ​Liverpool accent! But I’ve managed to deal with this. I can understand people and I can communicate with my team-mates, which is really important.

“Obviously ​Roberto Firmino was already here and then Fabinho arrived more or less the same time as I did. All the players are important, be they the local players from the UK or the players from overseas. I admire the strength we have as a team and the quality that every single one of our players has, but the most important thing for me is the team spirit.”

He continued: “Above all I feel at home here. Home is where the heart is and where the family is. My family is here, my daughter and my wife live here and my parents come when they can.

“My brother lives in Portugal, which is not too far, and comes when he can. That helps when I’m missing them. When I think about Brazil, I miss it a lot, but I have been welcomed here and I feel very much at home.

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Liverpool Set to Welcome Back Long-Term Absentees After International Break

​Jurgen Klopp’s previously injury-ravaged Liverpool squad could be about to look a lot healthier, with long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez in line for returns immediately after the international break. 

The latter started the season in tremendous form, coming from seemingly nowhere to establish himself as one of the league’s leading centre-backs alongside Virgil van Dijk, but hasn’t featured in 2019 after suffering from a broken leg in December. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain,Roberto Firmino

With Dejan Lovren also suffering from fitness issues, Joel Matip has offered a capable alternative in his absence, but a previously stellar defensive line has shown some frailties here and there – notably conceding three goals at home to ​Crystal Palace and two to ​Burnley, though recorded wins on both occasions. 

Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, hasn’t featured at all this season due to a knee injury picked up in last season’s Champions League semi-final, but the ​Evening Standard report that both players will return to full training imminently, despite a minor setback for the latter with the side’s Under-23s. 

Further good news comes in relation to Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, with neither expected to feel any lasting effects from minor injuries suffered in recent weeks. 

Jordan Henderson,Trent Alexander-Arnold

Captain Henderson featured in both of England’s Euro 2020 qualifying wins over the break, while Alexander-Arnold pulled out of the Three Lions squad due to back injury, but is thought to be raring to go after the rest. 

The narrowing of their injury list comes at a good time, as they endeavour to go to the wire in the Premier League, sitting two points ahead of Manchester City at present, having played a game more. 

Sadio Mane

They also remain in contention for the Champions League, and have a quarter-final date with Porto on the horizon.

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Montenegro 1-5 England: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Three Lions Win Big Away From Home

England came through a tough test in Montenegro to make it two wins from two from their opening Euro 2020 qualifying games. The game provided a learning curve for this young England side, coming from a goal down, and will stand them in good stead for sterner tests in the future

An opening goal from Marko Vesovic shocked the nervy visitors into action, but two quickfire goals from Michael Keane and Ross Barkley put the Three Lions in control – control which they refused to relinquish.

Michael Keane

Further goals from Barkley, captain Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling made the scoreline much more convincing disguising the fact that the game began in a less than comfortable fashion for the Three Lions.

The win was soured somewhat by multiple reports of racist abuse of some England players by the home fans – Raheem Sterling responded to the crowd after his goal – with BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty reporting ‘some dreadful chants aimed in the direction of Danny Rose.’


Montenegro

Key Talking Point

Marko Vesovic’s opening goal midway through the first half was the perfect example of tenacity. The Montenegrin received the ball on the left-hand side, about 10 yards from the England penalty area, before surging towards the backtracking Michael Keane and the Three Lions goal.

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Keane must have felt that he had got a crucial tackle in on Vesovic, but the ball rebounded back to the Montenegrin who continued his run before bending it into the net, just out of the reach of the diving Jordan Pickford. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Petkovic (5); Stojkovic (6), Savic (7), Simic (5), Tomasevic (6); Marusic (6), Ivanic (5), Vukcevic (5), Vesovic (7*); Beciraj (6), Mugosa (6)

Substitutions: Jankovic (5), Boljevic (5), Jovovic (5)


Star Man

Goalscorer Marko Vesovic was Montenegro’s most threatening player, causing the England defence numerous problems with his direct running and ability to draw a foul.

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He was rewarded for his industriousness with a well-taken goal, and in the absence of Stefan Jovetic, offered the clearest attacking threat for the home side. If Montenegro want to qualify for next year’s competition then performances like this from their attacking players will be key to those chances. 


England

Key Talking Point

England were shaky before conceding the opener, with Kyle Walker unhappy with the defensive work being done by youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi. Following the goal, Hudson-Odoi and Raheem Sterling swapped flanks and…well, that seemed to do the job.

The switch gave England a better shape and also allowed Hudson-Odoi to cut onto his favoured right foot. It also unsettled the Montenegrin defence who, up until that point, were dealing with England’s attack well, limiting the visitors to only a few chances.

The switch in flanks also led to England’s second goal, with Hudson-Odoi cutting in and shooting, with Chelsea teammate Ross Barkley anticipating the shot and diverting it past Danijel Petkovic in the Montenegro goal. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (6); Walker (7), Keane (7), Maguire (7), Rose (6); Barkley (9*), Rice (7), Alli (7); Hudson-Odoi (7), Kane (8), Sterling (8)

Substitutions: Henderson (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Wilson (6)


Star Man

Chelsea man Ross Barkley was England’s brightest attacking spark in the Podgorica City Stadium on Monday night. Following a positive performance against the Czech Republic, Barkley provided much of the creativity which England needed to break down a stubborn Montenegrin defence.

He provided the cross for Michael Keane’s goal, as well as being opportunistic enough to poke home Hudson-Odoi’s shot. He was also well placed to stroke home Sterling’s cutback for England’s third which opened some daylight between the two sides and made the game more comfortable for the Three Lions.


Looking Ahead

Montenegro’s welcome Kosovo in their next European Championship qualifying match in June. Montenegro will fancy themselves in this match and will see it as an opportunity to manoeuvre themselves into second place in the group.

Gareth Southgate

England face the Netherlands in their next match, in the Nations League semi-final. Gareth Southgate will be hoping to keep his key players fit for the game in Portugal this summer as he eyes a first major trophy for the Three Lions since the World Cup in 1966.

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