Gomez booed by section of England fans after Sterling bust-up
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez was booed by some sections of the Wembley crowd as he was introduced as a second-half substitute for England during their 7-0 win over Montenegro.
Raheem Sterling was watching from the stands after he was dropped for instigating an altercation with Gomez at St George’s Park earlier in the week. The pair had previously argued when Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, though Sterling did clap as Gomez jogged on.
With England leading 6-0 in their Euro 2020 qualifying match, Gomez replaced Chelsea youngster Mason Mount with around 20 minutes to play, but there were audible boos from the home fans as he came on and at times when he had the ball.
While the boos seemed to come from a small minority, Gomez may have been taken aback that there were any at all with Sterling having assumed responsibility for the incident.
The Manchester City forward has grown into his role as one of England’s key attacking players in recent years, but his absence wasn’t felt on the pitch as a youthful Three Lions side put Montenegro to the sword.
After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s rasping early opener, a hat-trick from Harry Kane, a neat finish from Marcus Rashford and an own goal from Aleksandar Sofranac meant the game was dead and buried long before Gomez was introduced to the action.
Fellow substitute Tammy Abraham scored his first senior international goal soon after, with other relatively new faces in the squad such as Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho also playing key roles.
Those around the England camp have been keen to play down the severity of the incident, though some commentators have criticised Gareth Southgate's handling of it.
Roy Keane said before the game he thought people had made something out of nothing, and that Southgate could easily have brushed it off and moved straight on.
Sterling posted a statement after he was dropped from the squad, saying that he and Gomez were “good” and apologising for letting his emotions get the better of him. Sterling’s reaction was praised by Southgate, who says he has no qualms over bringing him back into the starting line-up for a trip to Kosovo on Sunday.