MX23RW : Wednesday, November 25 13:57:29| >> :600:168595:168595:
Oct 14, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
FT(HT: 0-4)
Rashford (7'), Barkley (20', 32'), Sterling (45', 69'), Kane (85')

Live Commentary: Bulgaria 0-6 England - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England from Sofia, which finished 0-6.
Live Commentary: Bulgaria 0-6 England - as it happened
© Reuters

England took a huge step towards qualifying for Euro 2020 with a 6-0 victory over Bulgaria in Monday night's Group A clash in Sofia.

Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling both scored twice for the Three Lions, while Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane were also on the scoresheet as Gareth Southgate's side returned to winning ways in style.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England from Sofia. England missed the chance to qualify for next summer's championships with three matches to spare after losing 2-1 to the Czech Republic on Friday night. The Three Lions are still in a strong position at the top of Group A, though, and would qualify with a win tonight providing that Montenegro avoid defeat against third-placed Kosovo. Stay tuned!


BULGARIA: Iliev; Pashov, Hadzhiev, Terziev, Zanev; Kostadinov, Sarmov, Despodov; Wanderson, Isa, Popov

ENGLAND: Pickford; Trippier, Maguire, Mings, Chilwell; Barkley, Winks, Henderson; Rashford, Kane, Sterling

Ismail Isa is given the nod at the tip of the Bulgaria attack tonight, with the 30-year-old hoping to add to his one international goal. Ivelin Popov will again skipper the team from an attacking position, while the Brazilian-born Wanderson keeps his spot in the XI. It is a relatively inexperienced side at this level of football, particularly at the back with Kamen Hadzhiev actually making his Bulgaria debut tonight.

England boss Gareth Southgate has made five changes to the team that started on Friday night with Tyrone Mings, Ben Chilwell, Ross Barkley, Harry Winks and Marcus Rashford coming in for Michael Keane, Danny Rose, Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho. Mings will make his England debut tonight, and it will be very interesting to see how the defence perform as that has been an idea of concern in recent internationals.

Bulgaria are currently bottom of the section having drawn three and lost three of their six Euro 2020 qualification fixtures to debate. Can the home side cause a shock tonight?

KICKOFF:  Bulgaria kick things off on home soil...

... as expected, it has not taken long for England to take control of the possession with Winks already getting hold of the ball in the middle of the park. Rashford is wide on the left while Sterling has started on the right. The early exchanges will be hugely important here.

YELLOW CARD!  Henderson (England) picks up a yellow card for a rash challenge on Hadzhiev. As a result, the Liverpool midfielder will be suspended for his country's next match.

Not too much to report in the way of attacking football in the early stages, although England have been in control of the possession. There is also not much in the way of an atmosphere inside the stadium, but the England supporters can be heard here.


GOAL!  England make the breakthrough in the seventh minute, and it is a wonderful goal from Rashford, who works his way into the Bulgaria box before picking out the far corner with a wonderful strike. The Manchester United fans will be wondering where that has been this season!

England's Marcus Rashford scores against Bulgaria in their Euro 2020 qualifier on October 14, 2019© Reuters

It looks to be a 5-4-1 formation for Bulgaria at the moment with Sarmov at the back rather than in midfield while Wanderson and Popov are in the wide positions. Isa is at the tip of the attack, but the number 19 has not really been seen in the early stages here.

SAVE!  Really smart save from Pickford to keep out a strike from Popov as Bulgaria look to hit back in the 11th minute. Not sure about the defending from England there.

Bulgaria are allowing England to have plenty of the ball in the middle of the park, meaning that Winks has had time and space to pick passes in the opening 13 minutes.

Bulgaria have not won a single game for 12 months, and it is not too difficult to see why that is the case as England are having so much of the ball in the early exchanges here.

Better from Bulgaria in the last couple of minutes as Popov delivers a dangerous cross towards Isa, but Trippier does well to clear behind for a corner. Pickford then comes to claim the resulting set piece before looking to release Rashford in a wide position.

Trippier manages to release Sterling inside the Bulgarian box before Henderson delivers towards Rashford, but the attacker just cannot stretch to reach the dangerous cross.


GOAL!  England double their advantage in the 20th minute as a wonderful team move ends with Sterling driving a low cross towards the far post, where Barkley is on hand to score. Bulgaria were simply too static at the back, and England have a 2-0 lead in Sofia.

Bulgaria are doing their best to work something in the final third, but there is just nothing happening for the home side, who are more than a yard off the pace at the moment.

All too easy for England at the moment as they continue to keep the ball. To be honest, the score could be anything tonight as Bulgaria look like conceding with every attack.

England players celebrate Marcus Rashford's goal against Bulgaria in their Euro 2020 qualifier on October 14, 2019© Reuters

England have the chance to threaten from a free kick after Sterling is chopped to the ground, but Barkley's delivery is dealt with as Bulgaria manage to clear their lines.

Kane has just been called over by the referee with suggestions that there have been some chants directed towards Sterling here. No confirmation of anything, but there was just a stoppage and indeed a conversation involving the referee, his assistant and Kane.

There has just been an announcement inside the stadium, which is met by boos from some sections of the home fans. I suspect that we have not heard the last of this tonight, but it is again hugely unsettling if there are more issues of this kind.

Play is back underway, and England have the ball inside their own half here.

Possession football from England at the moment as they keep the ball in a central area with one eye on picking a pass further forward. Bulgaria are dropping so, so deep here.


GOAL!  England have their third and Barkley has his second as the Chelsea midfielder heads a cross from Kane into the back of the net. Very simple goal for the visitors, who have surely already secured all three points. Bulgaria are just all over the place here.

Little over 10 minutes of the second period remaining, and it is all very, very comfortable for England. Can Bulgaria find a way of making a game of this in Sofia?

Rashford one and Barkley two in terms of goals tonight, and Bulgaria are simply offering nothing in the final third at the moment with England keeping the ball so comfortably here.

Ross Barkley celebrates scoring for England in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria on October 14, 2019© Reuters

There are unfortunately still sections of the crowd chanting inside the stadium, and the off-the-field events are certain to overshadow the result if this continues. Little under five minutes of the first period remaining in Sofia, and England are in complete control.

SHOT!  Zanev strikes one from outside the England box, but the number three's effort was always rising over the crossbar. Just a bit of life for Bulgaria in the final third.

SHOT!  Rashford fires over the Bulgarian crossbar from a central position.

Bit of possession for Bulgaria in the last couple of minutes as the half-time interval draws closer. That said, their latest move breaks down around the centre circle.

The referee is again coming across to the touchline as a further complaint has been made about chanting inside the stadium. This is just such a desperate situation.

Play is at a standstill at the moment.

A number of Bulgarian fans have just left one of the stands inside the stadium, although there is no indication that they were the culprits. Discussions are still happening here.

Right, back underway, for now.

We are into the second of six additional minutes here.

Not too much to report in additional time, and there is now almost a silent atmosphere inside the stadium. As mentioned, a number of Bulgaria fans did leave the stadium when the play was stopped a few moments ago. But it remains to be seen what happens here.


GOAL!  England have their fourth of the match as Sterling taps a low Kane cross into the back of the net from close range. Again it is brilliant work from Kane inside the penalty box.

This has been a very good first-half performance from England, but sadly matters off the field have overshadowed events on it. The half-time whistle will soon arrive here.


So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with England leading Bulgaria 4-0 courtesy of a double from Barkley and goals from Rashford and Sterling. It has been a fine first-half performance from the Three Lions, but we are effectively one step away from the game being abandoned due to the racist chanting inside the stadium tonight.

STATISTICS! England dominated the first-half possession with 69%, while they had five attempts - four of which found the back of the net. Bulgaria, meanwhile, managed two shots in the first half with one finding the target. Just the one yellow card to report in the first 45 minutes with Henderson having his name taken for a rash challenge in the fourth minute.

BENCH WATCH! The likes of Abraham, Mount, Rice, Sancho and Wilson are on the England bench tonight, and it would not be a surprise to see Southgate look to give three attacking players the chance to impress in the second period. As for Bulgaria, Balakov has options in the shape of Ivanov, Slavchev, Kraev and Dimitrov.

KICKOFF:  England kick things off in the second period...

... BULGARIA SUB! Kraev has replaced Sarmov at the interval.

The players themselves reportedly agreed to go back onto the field for the second period despite the horrific chanting in the first half. It remains to be seen what occurs in the second 45 minutes, but hopefully this game can finish in Sofia.

SAVE!  Sterling and Rashford both look to carry the ball forward as England turn it over, but Popov makes the foul. Not a bad free kick to give away. Kane then strikes from distance and Ivanov has to make a decent save to prevent a fifth goal from going in.

SHOT!  Kraev strikes wide of the England post from outside the box.

CLOSE!  Sterling comes incredibly close to finding the bottom corner after Rashford had seen his close-range attempt saved. Chances at both ends of the field here.

Mings does incredibly well to break forward from the back before sliding a pass into Rashford, but Bulgaria have the players back to make the clearance. There does seem to be a slightly better atmosphere inside the stadium, which is really good news here.

Trippier breaks down the right for the away side before delivering low towards Rashford, but the Manchester United attacker sees his effort blocked. The play is then switched to the other side and Chilwell delivers towards Kane, but the striker cannot make contact.

SAVE!  Decent save from the Bulgarian goalkeeper to keep out an effort from Sterling after the Manchester City attacker had met a low cross from Trippier.

SAVE!  Super save from Ivanov once again to deny Sterling from close range.

SAVE!  Pickford gets down really well to keep out a strike from Zanev, who has carried a strong threat down the left for Bulgaria tonight. Still 4-0 with little over 30 minutes left.

There are more discussions taking place on the touchline, and there is a feeling that this match could still be abandoned. Little under 30 minutes of football remaining here.

CHANCE!  Huge chance for Kane as the striker is found inside the Bulgarian box by Rashford, but once again the home side's goalkeeper makes a terrific save.

Nothing from Bulgaria going forward at the moment with England comfortably keeping the ball as they look for a fifth. The home side have been so poor on the ball tonight.

BULGARIA SUB! Bulgaria make their second change as Isa is replaced by Ivanov.


GOAL!  England have their fifth as Kane slots a fine pass into Sterling, who finishes into the back of the net after advancing into a one-on-one. It is no more than the visitors deserve.

England are about to make two changes with Sancho and Mount preparing to enter the field. There are more goals in this for Southgate's side if they wish, that is for sure.

England break clear through Sterling, who has options to his right and left, but the Manchester City attacker cannot break clear of the final defender, who makes the challenge.

ENGLAND SUBS! Mount and Sancho replace Barkley and Sterling here.

Sancho delivers a dangerous cross into Mount as England look for their fifth of the night, but the home side just about manage to deal with the danger once again.

ENGLAND SUB! Rashford is replaced by Wilson in England's third change.

BULGARIA SUB! Wanderson is replaced by Malinov for the home side.

Little over 10 minutes of the second period remaining, and it does appear that this game will be finished, which is excellent news. But that takes nothing away from what happened in the first half of this match - the fall-out will be absolutely huge.

OFF THE POST!  Kane hits the post with a low strike after smart work from Henderson, who had driven through the heart of the midfield before finding his teammate with a clever pass.


GOAL!  England have their sixth of the night as Kane breaks into a shooting position before finding the back of the net with a fine finish. About time for the Three Lions captain!

England have six but it could have been nine or 10 tonight due to their complete and utter dominance. I should not imagine that there will be too much added time here.

England still want more goals tonight as Kane, Sancho and Mount are all standing high up the field. On the field, it has been a very positive night for the Three Lions.

We are into the first of two additional minutes at the end of the 90 here.

SAVE!  Smart save from the Bulgarian goalkeeper to keep out a strike from Sancho, who had been released by Wilson. That should be that in terms of major action here.

OFF THE POST!  Wilson hits the post for England after being found by Kane!


So there we have it - the referee brings the second period to a close with England running out 6-0 winners over Bulgaria in Sofia. Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling both scored twice for the Three Lions, while Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane were also on the scoresheet as Gareth Southgate's side returned to winning ways in style.

That is just about it from me tonight, but I shall leave you with the match report from events in Sofia. Thanks for joining our live coverage once again. Hope to see you soon!

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England players celebrate Harry Kane's goal against Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 qualifier on October 11, 2019
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