Montenegro 1-5 England: Gareth Southgate's side ruthless again in European Qualifiers
Report and highlights; win marred by alleged racist chanting from sections of Montenegro crowd
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 26/03/19 9:52am
A ruthless England survived an early scare to stroll past Montenegro 5-1 in their European Qualifiers clash in Podgorica on Monday night.
However, the win was soured by racist chanting, with Gareth Southgate saying he heard defender Danny Rose abused after picking up a yellow card.
Marko Vesovic gave Montenegro a shock lead with a fine curling effort after some poor England defending (17), but the visitors were soon level through Michael Keane's header, his first goal for England on his seventh cap (30).
Creator Ross Barkley then turned scorer as he touched in Callum Hudson-Odoi's shot (38) after his Chelsea team-mate cut in dangerously from the flank on his first England start at just 18.
Montenegro: Petkovic (5), Stojkovic (4), Savic (4), Simic (5), Tomasevic (5), Marusic (5), Ivanic (5), Vukcevic (5), Vesovic (6), Beciraj, Mugosa (5)
Subs: Jankovic (5), Boljevic (4), Jovovic (5)
England: Pickford (6), Walker (6), Maguire (7), Keane (7), Rose (6), Rice (7), Barkley (9), Alli (6), Hudson-Odoi (8), Sterling (9), Kane (7)
Subs: Henderson (7), Ward-Prowse (NA), Wilson (NA)
Man of the match: Ross Barkley
The impressive Barkley got his second and England's third with a simple finish from Sterling's cut-back (59), Harry Kane got in on the act by tapping home (71), again from Sterling's unselfish centre, and Sterling himself then wrapped up the win with a cool finish from sub Jordan Henderson's fine through ball (81).
The view from Podgorica
Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett gave his view of the incidents from Podgorica...
"We've spoken to some of the photographers in the North Stand, near where the Montenegro Ultras are housed, and they said it was consistent racist chanting and monkey chants throughout the second half. Hudson-Odoi also said he had a lighter thrown at him, which he has handed to FA staff.
"Danny Rose was so upset by the situation that he didn't want to speak to media after the game. His England shirt was left crumpled on the changing room floor, and refused a number of requests from Montenegro players to swap shirts, because he was clearly so angry about what happened."
England now look ahead to June's UEFA Nations League after two convincing wins from two in European Qualifiers Group A, and have now won five consecutive matches for the first time under Southgate having scored five for the second time in four days.
Gareth Southgate made four changes from the win over Czech Republic. Jordan Henderson, Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Eric Dier dropped out, while Danny Rose, Ross Barkley, Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi came in.
England dominated the ball early on, but Montenegro went ahead with their first attack as Hudson-Odoi failed to get up for a header, allowing Vesovic to run towards the box, unintentionally play a one-two with England defender Keane and curl past Jordan Pickford from 15 yards.
But Keane atoned for his sloppiness for the opener by levelling for England just after the half-hour mark, tucking a header into the bottom right corner from Barkley's outswinging free-kick on the right.
By then, Hudson-Odoi had switched from right to left wing, and the tactical move had paid off as he cut in from the flank well and saw his shot touched home by Barkley ahead of goalkeeper Danijel Petkovic.
Tackling Racism: Grassroots
Watch on Sky Sports News at 7pm on Wednesday when our panel discuss what more can be done to stop racism in grassroots football
Hudson-Odoi looked bright going forward, and his fine run and shot forced a good stop from Petkovic after the break, but Barkley gave England a two-goal cushion as he finished off at the back post after Sterling's centre from the byline had fortuitously fallen into his path.
Kane got his 22nd goal for England in 37 caps, tapping home simply from Sterling's pass as Barkley had superbly played in the Manchester City man, showcasing England's quality on the counter.
Henderson's impressive cameo appearance was topped off late on as his fine ball found the in-form Sterling, who slotted under Petkovic to continue his brilliant form after his hat-trick against Czech Republic on Friday.
Kick It Out statement
Disgraceful to hear racist chants directed at black @England players this evening.
As we’ve argued countless times, it’s time for @UEFA to take strong, decisive action - fines won’t do.
Extended stadium bans or tournament expulsion are what’s needed.
Gareth Southgate: "When Danny Rose was booked at the end of the game I definitely heard racist chanting behind me. It's completely unacceptable. The most important thing is that our players feel supported by us and we'll make sure it's reported and we are there for them and anything they want us to support them with, that we are able to do."
Raheem Sterling: "You can fine someone but what's that going to do? You've got to make it harder - you've got to punish all the fans so they can't come to the games, you've got to do something that's really going to make them think twice. Because if their team can't play with fans it's going to be difficult for them and make them think twice about it."
Callum Hudson-Odoi: In the first half, I was going over me and Danny and heard monkey chants, but that's part of football, I've had it before in Dynamo Kiev too. Hopefully UEFA deal with it properly, and we have to keep going, keep a strong mentality, keep our heads - we can't let ourselves get down because of the situation, and hopefully Rosey's okay with that and we'll have a chat about it.
"It's unacceptable. I don't think there should be discrimination no matter where you go, no matter what. It's not right in football, at all. We should be all playing fair, have a good game and enjoy ourselves but to hear that it's not right and hopefully UEFA deal with it properly."
"Not everything went Hudson-Odoi's way. His first attempted dribble was a little loose and he might have put in a stronger challenge in the build-up to the Montenegro goal that put England behind. But with the pressure on, his response showed character and quality."
- England have scored 5+ goals in consecutive matches for the first time since November 1984.
- Harry Kane has scored 17 goals in 20 appearances for England under Gareth Southgate, 11 more than any other player in that period.
- Raheem Sterling has had a hand in seven goals in his last four England games (6 goals, 1 assist), as many as in his previous 31 appearances.
- Ross Barkley scored as many goals tonight as he had done in his previous 26 games for England (2).
- Barkley's first goal was the first England goal scored and assisted by Chelsea players since September 2007 - Shaun Wright-Phillips scoring and Joe Cole assisting.
- Callum Hudson-Odoi (18y 138d) became the second youngest male player to start a competitive match for England after Wayne Rooney vs Turkey in April 2003 (17y 160d).
England now prepare for the UEFA Nations League in Portugal, facing Netherlands in the semi-final in Porto on June 6, live on Sky Sports. European Qualifiers resume for England in September, hosting Bulgaria on September 7.