Jadon Sancho was the man trusted to replace the dropped Raheem Sterling for England’s 1,000th game.
The Borussia Dortmund winger played as part of a front three with Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford as the Three Lions booked their spot at Euro 2020 with victory over Montenegro at Wembley.
Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at his performance.
Stepping into Sterling’s shoes
Sancho beat off competition from Callum Hudson-Odoi to be named in Gareth Southgate’s side and it came 364 days after his first England start. Sancho was trusted with filling the large boots of Sterling, dropped after his altercation with Joe Gomez earlier in the week. Southgate said before kick-off that he has “huge belief” in the teenager as he handed him a sixth start. He was part of the youngest England side fielded since 1959, with an average age of 23 years and 255 days.
A bright start
The 19-year-old could have been forgiven for coming into the game low on confidence as he lasted just 36 minutes of Dortmund’s Bundesliga defeat to Bayern Munich before being hauled off as Lucien Favre made a surprise tactical change. But he was full of bluster and belief as shown by an early dart into the penalty area which almost made a chance for Kane. He looked as if he had Montenegro left-back Risto Radunovic on toast as he also got the better of him to set up another Kane chance, but could not really build on an impressive beginning.
Although not at his incisive best Sancho linked up superbly with Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right. There were times where it was Sancho bombing on and Oxlade-Chamberlain holding back and also times where it was the Liverpool midfielder who advanced and Sancho sat deeper. It ensured a torrid night for the Montenegro left side and saw the Three Lions create a host of chances from that flank. Sancho, as often the case, also swapped wings regularly with Rashford.
Sancho the creator – eventually
It looked for a long period that, on a night where England peppered their visitors goal with shots, Sancho was barely going to be a provider of any of them. He had got into plenty of good positions but as the game wore on and, almost exclusively in the second half, he was wasteful, either getting dispossessed or finding an opposition player with a cross. However, he finally put that right in the final 10 minutes when, on the left, he was played in by Ben Chilwell and he put in a perfect ball for Tammy Abraham to score his first senior goal for his country.
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