What Chelsea and Man City players did after the game – 5 things spotted in England vs Romania


Saka absent

Bukayo Saka was in the headlines on Wednesday evening after netting England’s winner against Austria at the Riverside Stadium.

Handed a start by Gareth Southgate in midweek, the Arsenal man really caught the eye and got the goal his performance deserved to give his boss something to really think about ahead of the tournament.

However, there was no sign of him in the Three Lions squad for the Romania match on Sunday.

Saka is believed to have missed out with a hip injury and now he will be doing all he can to return to full fitness in time for next Sunday’s Euro 2020 match against Croatia.


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What Chelsea trio did after the game

Southgate has had to do with limited numbers since the England squad linked up at the end of the Premier League season.

Manchester United’s participation in the Europa League final meant that there was no Dean Henderson, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire or Marcus Rashford, with Man City quartet Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling also not available due to their Champions League final match.

Chelsea trio Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Mason Mount have also been missing after playing their part in the Blues’ European success and then having a rest period ahead of the tournament.

Well, they were back with the rest of their England teammates on Sunday at the Riverside Stadium but were not named as part of the squad for the game, as was the case with Man City’s England representatives.

James and Mount could be seen having a pre-match chat on the pitch, with Chilwell spotted in conversation with Sterling on the halfway line.

With the Chelsea and Man City players not involved, there was to be no quick exit for them as they were involved in a training session on the pitch immediately after the 1-0 win over Romania.

Put through their paces by the England coaching staff as they warmed up, the players, including Ollie Watkins and Jesse Lingard following their short cameo appearances, then took part in a small-sided game with Jordan Pickford and Dean Henderson between the sticks.

However, there didn’t appear to be any sign of Harry Kane out there despite not featuring in the win.

More right-back competition for James

Much was made of Southgate’s decision to include four right-backs in his 26-man squad for the Euros.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold was selected in the end despite plenty of talk about his position but he will now not play in the tournament due the thigh injury he picked up in the win over Austria.

With Kieran Trippier named on the bench against Romania and both James and Walker not in the squad, Everton’s Ben Godfrey was given the nod.



Ben Godfrey had a solid full England debut vs Romania at the Riverside Stadium
Ben Godfrey had a solid full England debut vs Romania at the Riverside Stadium

A centre-back by trade, the former York City man is a versatile player and has spent the past season playing in both full-back positions for the Toffees.

While it’s still unclear if he will go to Euro 2020 in place of Alexander-Arnold, Godfrey looks set to be an England regular in years to come.

That means James is going to face plenty of competition for a place as the Chelsea man plays in the exact same positions as his England colleague can.

Kane not risked

Southgate made a host of changes for the friendly at the Riverside Stadium so that everyone in the squad could get some minutes.

Kane was one of those to drop out of the XI after playing 60 minutes on Wednesday night in the win over Austria.

During commentary on ITV it was made clear that the striker has to stick to his own individual training plan due to his previous ankle problems and was unlikely to be involved.

That proved to be the case as he was one of the subs not to take to the pitch in the win as Southgate was clearly managing his fitness ahead of the tournament opener.

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Ward-Prowse excels

Alexander-Arnold’s injury meant it was all to play for the outfield players left out of Southgate’s 26-man party for the Euros.

Lingard was a shock absentee from the initial squad after a such an impressive second half of the season at West Ham and many believed he would be the one called up in place of the Liverpool man.

Not starting against Romania, Lingard could only watch on initially as James Ward-Prowse took his chance with both hands at the Riverside Stadium.

Excellent on the ball and coming out on top against his midfield counterparts, the Southampton ace also impressed with his outstanding delivery from set pieces.

Very good in his 65 minutes on the pitch, he may well have just done enough to nudge ahead of Lingard for the final spot.

All eyes will now be on Southgate’s final decision.





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