England made it four wins from four in Euro 2020 qualifying with Tuesday’s 5-3 hockey score over Kosovo at St Mary’s, and are practically assured of a spot in next year’s tournament already. A goal each from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, as well as a brace from young Jadon Sancho and an own goal from the visitors gave the Three Lions a 5-1 halftime lead, and while Gareth Southgate was none too pleased with the second half effort, the result was never in doubt.
Southgate picked Chelsea’s Ross Barkley from the start, just as he had done in 7 of the previous 9 national team matches in all competitions. Mason Mount replaced him for the final ten minutes or so, giving the Chelsea youngster a second cap as well.
Meanwhile, over in Paris, France beat Andorra 3-0, with Olivier Giroud getting another start (though no goal this time). Giroud’s claim on the center forward job for the national team had apparently come under fire recently, but Didier Deschamps is sticking with his World Cup-winning big man for now.
Didier Deschamps on his selection of Olivier Giroud: "He is in a difficult situation sadly for him & for us with his club. It is not ideal. However with us he has always given a good showing, the statistics will show you that."— Get French Football News (@GFFN) September 2, 2019
Kurt Zouma was once again left on the bench, just as Michy Batshuayi (Belgium), Mario Pašalić (Croatia), and Ethan Ampadu (Wales) were yesterday.
This wraps up the international break for Chelsea’s representatives. Now it’s time to turn attentions back to proper football, starting with Wolves away on Saturday.