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By Tony Robertson (@TonyRob84)

Abusive chanting from the Bulgarian stands overshadowed a dominant performance from England as both Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling hit braces to bounce back from Prague.

England dominated proceedings throughout the game but the real scare came in the form of the possibility of the game being abandoned as a direct result of the chanting from the crowd.

Seven minutes in Marcus Rashford opened the scoring, chopping into the penalty area from the left wing and smashing a shot into the roof of the net.

Barkley doubled England’s lead on 20 minutes as he fed off Sterling’s square pass which followed an intricate one two with Harry Kane.

However, in the 26th minute referee Ivan Bebek stopped the game to deal with racist chanting from Bulgarian fans.

After play resumed, Barkley scored with well-placed header beyond goalkeeper Plamen Iliev to double his tally for the night.

In the 43rd minute play was stopped once again to deal with further abusive chanting. The resulting pause led to an exodus of fans from the Bulgaria stands as the possibility of the game being abandoned became very prevalent.

Once again following the resumption of play, England scored swiftly through Raheem Sterling who completed a sharp counter-attacking move.

As the second half got underway Bulgaria looked more confident and threatening, following an attacking change to the hosts line up.

England soon took control of the game back and had several good chances to consolidate the lead, including efforts from Sterling and Kane.

Sterling doubled his tally for the night on the 69th minute as he deftly finished into the bottom corner following a slick passing move that started with Jordan Pickford.

Kane finally scored his goal in the 85th minute, tucking his effort into the near post.

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July 2024