England 2 – Croatia 1
On Monday, the papers are full of reaction to England’s brilliant 2-1 win over Croatia in the UEFA Nations League.
With 12 minutes to go at Wembley, England were on course to finish bottom of their group and thus suffer relegation.
Andrej Kramaric gave Croatia the lead in the second half, despite England’s wealth of chances to score previously in the game.
But Gareth Southgate’s side didn’t welt. They stuck to their game-plan and retained cool heads.
In the 78th minute England were rewarded as Jesse Lingard, minutes after coming off the bench, tapped home the leveller.
With their tails up and momentum on their side, England won the match late on through Harry’s Kane’s poacher’s goal.
Liverpool’s Joe Gomez
One player who has come in for significant praise after the Croatia game is Liverpool’s Joe Gomez.
Gomez, who has played at centre-half and right-back for Liverpool this season, was picked alongside John Stones at the heart of England’s backline.
Kyle Walker and Ben Chilwell played in the full-back slots.
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Raphael Varane & West Ham’s Bobby Moore
In the Times on Monday, columnist Tony Cascarino has made some bold statements about Liverpool’s Gomez.
Gomez is labelled world class, while compared to Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and West Ham’s greatest ever defender: Sir Bobby Moore.
Joe Gomez is destined to be England’s first-choice centre half for the next ten years.
For me he is up there with Raphael Varane, of France, as world class
He has a mentality that reminds me of Bobby Moore, in that he does the simple things so well. He sees the ball and goes and wins it. He spots danger and cuts it out. He sees a pass and plays it. Simple.
Of course, West Ham’s Bobby Moore lead England to World Cup glory in 1966.
Joe Gomez has yet to win a single trophy in his senior career.
Joe Gomez: Two key moments vs Croatia
What Tony Cascarino failed to mention is that Joe Gomez could have given away a penalty against the Croats.
In the 38th minute, Gomez tripped Kramaric in the box.
The Liverpool defender mistimed a tackle by a fraction of a second, however he did foul the Croatian forward.
Fortunately for Gomez, the ref waved ‘play on’.
It’s also worth noting that Joe Gomez was key to England’s leveller.
In the 78th minute, the Liverpool defender showed another arsenal in his weaponry: his long throw.
Gomez hurled a throw-in into the mixer, and seconds later Lingard stabbed home the equaliser.