It’s sad that England’s 1000th match was dominated by the incident between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.
For 70 minutes, it looked as though it was going to be the perfect occasion for the Three Lions as they led Montenegro 6-0 on their way to sealing qualification to Euro 2020.
That was until Gareth Southgate decided to bring on Gomez.
Gomez inadvertently made headlines this week after Sterling tried to get him in a headlock on Monday, 24 hours after the two players clashed during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City at Anfield.
It resulted in the Liverpool defender receiving a hefty scratch on his face.
There was only one man in the wrong and Sterling was subsequently dropped from the squad for the clash against Montenegro.
As Sterling watched on at Wembley, Gomez was readying himself to come on.
But when he stepped onto the pitch, he was greeted by boos from many of the England fans. Incidentally, Sterling could be seen clapping.
Why was Gomez getting booed when he was the victim in the bust-up?
It’s something that Gareth Southgate couldn’t quite understand.
“I am hugely disappointed for Joe,” Southgate said after the match. “Joe had done nothing wrong. No England player should ever be booed when they are wearing the shirt. All the players are particularly disappointed with that.”
And, to his credit, Sterling himself took to social media immediately after the match to defend Gomez.
He wrote: “To all the @England fans, I wanted to leave things at it was but tonight I have to speak again: it was hard for me to see my teammate get booed for something that was my fault. Joe hasn’t done anything wrong & for me to see someone who keeps his head down and work hard especially after a difficult week for him to be booed when he came on tonight was wrong.
I’ve taken full responsibility and accepted the consequence. I felt as though I had to say this get home safe every one #Euro2020.”