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Live Commentary: Montenegro 1-5 England - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Euro 2020 qualifier between Montenegro and England from Podgorica, which finished 1-5.
Live Commentary: Montenegro 1-5 England - as it happened
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England have moved onto six points in Group A courtesy of a 5-1 win over Montenegro in Monday night's Euro 2020 qualifier at the Podgorica City Stadium.

The Three Lions opened their qualification campaign with a 5-0 victory over Czech Republic on Friday, but they had to come from behind to pick up another three points in Podgorica.

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 commentary of the Euro 2020 qualifier between Montenegro and England from Podgorica. Montenegro opened their Group A campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria on Friday night, while England thumped Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley to put an early three points on the board. Stay tuned for live updates of the action!

Tonight will bring the first meeting between the two teams since October 2013, and it was England who ran out 4-1 winners during that 2014 World Cup qualification fixture. What will occur tonight? Let's hope for goals and a good game. Right, time for the team news...


MONTENEGRO: Petkovic; Tomasevic, Simic, Savic, Stojkovic; Vesovic, Vukcevic, Ivanic, Marusic; Mugosa, Beqiraj

ENGLAND: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Keane, Rose; Barkley, Rice, Alli; Sterling, Kane, Hudson-Odoi

England boss Gareth Southgate has made four changes to the team that started against Czech Republic on Friday night. In come Danny Rose, Ross Barkley, Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Eric Dier, Ben Chilwell, Jordan Henderson and Jadon Sancho dropping out. Raheem Sterling also starts and will be looking to produce another match-winning performance.

As for the hosts, star forward Stevan Jovetic is unavailable through injury, but Atletico Madrid centre-back Stefan Savic has overcome a hamstring issue to start. Lazio's Adam Marusic and Levante's Nikola Vukcevic both start, meanwhile, and it will be Fatos Beqiraj and Stefan Mugosa as the front two. Looks to be a 4-4-2 formation for Ljubisa Tumbakovic's side.

KICKOFF:  The home side kick things off tonight...

... the atmosphere outside of the stadium is probably better than the atmosphere in it, but there is still a decent noise inside this small ground. The pitch is also in very good condition.

As expected, it has not taken England too long to get hold of the possession, with the ball being switched from left to right. Hudson-Odoi has had some early touches and the Chelsea winger will be looking to impress tonight, as will Declan Rice on his first England start.

Montenegro just cannot get anything going at the moment in terms of passes. Indeed, England are pressing high up the field and Maguire has just stepped into midfield, which is an indication of the type of match that is developing. England look much too strong already here.

CLOSE!  Half-chance for England as Maguire rises highest inside the home side's penalty box, but the Leicester City centre-back's header was always too high. Early warning sign here.

Montenegro are very much in a 4-4-2 formation, which is brave when considering that England will be able to dominate the midfield. Still the away side push for the opening goal.

Boos ring around the stadium as England continue to move the ball in the final third of the field. Montenegro are defending quite well, though, and in Savic, they have a superstar centre-back.

CHANCE!  Sterling dances through a host of challenges before delivering a cross towards Alli, but Savic is on hand to make a wonderful block. Excellent work from Sterling once again.

Montenegro are defending quite well here, but they just cannot keep hold of the ball.

Montenegro continue to defend their lines, with Savic in excellent form, but their two forwards just cannot get into the match. If the hosts were going to play this way then they might as well have made it a 5-4-1 or a 4-5-1. Mugosa and Beqiraj are just not in the football match.


Oh my word! From absolutely nowhere! Montenegro take the lead in the 17th minute as Vesovic dances into the England box before curling a wonderful effort into the bottom corner of the net. The number seven managed to just deceive Keane and it was some pick-out!

England have had all of the ball since they fell behind, but not much is happening here.

Excellent defending from Savic to head clear a cross from Hudson-Odoi under pressure from Alli. Savic really has been wonderful for the home side in the first 22 minutes here.

Far more confidence about the team in red at the moment as they start to move the ball in the final third. England have just been a bit sloppy, with Hudson-Odoi guilty of losing possession.

England's ball possession is up around the 68% mark, but they have little to show from it thus far. Montenegro have again just broken forward through Vesovic and Rose has to come across to clear a low delivery; Walker is finding it tough to deal with the home side's number seven.

Walker and Keane are finding it tough on the right side of the England defence, with Vesovic very much the danger man. Hudson-Odoi has again just broken down the right, but he is crowded out. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining here.

Hudson-Odoi continues to see plenty of the ball, but another low cross is cleared and the home side can bring it forward. Not too much from Harry Kane thus far it must be said.


England level the scores in the 30th minute as Michael Keane rises highest inside the Montenegro box to head a deep free kick into the bottom corner. Savic was beaten there!

England needed that; they really needed it during a period where the home side were building confidence. Southgate's side will now be looking for a second before the half-time break.

SAVE!  Pickford has to keep out a powerful strike from Mugosa!

End-to-end football in the last couple of minutes as Sterling has a shot blocked inside the Montenegro box before Vesovic has a strike blocked down the other end. All happening here.


England take the lead in the 38th minute as Hudson-Odoi's goal-bound strike is placed into the back of the net by Barkley! Was close to being offside, but the flag stayed down!

Well, even though Montenegro have conceded twice, the home side will be pretty happy with their first period as many expected the Three Lions to simply run away with this contest.

Not too much to report in the last few minutes as Montenegro keep it tight at the back.

Montenegro remain a threat in the final third and Beqiraj has just had a shot deflected wide of the England post. The home side are still having joy down England's right side of the field.

Just the one minute of added time to be played at the end of the first period.


So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with England leading 2-1 on the night. Montenegro actually took the lead through a wonderful strike from Vesovic, but Keane levelled the scores before Barkley sent England ahead. All to play for in the second half!

STATISTICS! England had the majority of the first-half possession (68%), while they managed five attempts, two of which were on target. Montenegro, meanwhile, hit the target with two of their three attempts. No yellow cards to report; it has just not been that type of football match.

BENCH WATCH! England do not actually have that many out-and-out attacking players on their bench tonight, but Sancho and Callum Wilson are both available for Southgate. Montenegro, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Bakic, Jankovic, Kosovic and Scekic.

RESTART! England resume the action here...

... no changes from either side at the break, which is not a surprise, but you suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops. Here we go then.

Beqiraj continues to cause problems in the final third, but the number 11 cannot run past Walker, which is not a surprise; not too many can. The next goal in this match is massive.

SHOT!  Marusic fires high of the England's crossbar from distance.

CHANCE!  Big chance for England as Hudson-Odoi finds Sterling at the far post, but the Manchester City attacker fires over the crossbar. Huge let-off for the home side there.

SAVE!  Really smart save from the home side's goalkeeper to keep out a low strike from Hudson-Odoi, who is on fire tonight. Not too sure why Sarri will not start him in the Premier League!

YELLOW CARD!  Barkley (England) picks up a yellow card for taking a free kick too quickly.

CHANCE!  Huge chance for Beqiraj as the ball falls for the number 11 inside the England box, but the striker somehow turns wide of the post. Huge opportunity for a leveller there!

England are all over the place at the back here, and Montenegro are having lots of joy in the wide positions. Luckily for the visitors, Rose is over to clear a low cross from Mugosa.

Little over 30 minutes of the second period remaining and the result is far from secure. England are still having lots of the ball, but Montenegro continue to carry a threat here.


England have their third of the match as Barkley sweeps into the corner of the net after a cross from Sterling had been deflected into the Chelsea midfielder's path. Big goal!

MONTENEGRO SUB! Jankovic replaces Beqiraj for the home side.

We are entering the stage of the match where Southgate will be thinking about changes. It is difficult to imagine Montenegro coming back from this position with England full of confidence.

ENGLAND SUB! Henderson replaces Alli for England.

Montenegro have a free kick in a dangerous area as Sterling fouls Vesovic...

... Mugosa fires his free kick straight into the England wall.

Little over 20 minutes of the second period remaining and England still have their 3-1 lead, earned courtesy of a header from Keane and double from Barkley. Another change is coming...

... MONTENEGRO SUB! Vesovic is replaced by Boljevic for the hosts.


England have their fourth of the evening as Sterling drives down the right before delivering a low cross into Kane, who simply cannot pass up the chance to convert from close range.

Montenegro have another free kick in a dangerous area as Rose fells Jankovic...

... MONTENEGRO SUB! Simic is replaced by Jovovic.

Nothing comes of the free kick as England clear with 15 minutes left to play here.

Hudson-Odoi continues to use his pace to drive clear in wide positions; it has been a fine full England debut for the Chelsea attacker, who deserves a goal for his exertions tonight.

It is a very open game at the moment, with Montenegro leaving so much space on the break as they chase a second goal. It would not be a surprise to see England grab a fifth here.


Sterling makes it five for England as the Manchester City attacker drives into the Montenegro box before slotting into the back of the net. Another goal for the brilliant Sterling!

ENGLAND SUB! Ward-Prowse replaces Barkley for England.

ENGLAND SUB! Wilson replaces Kane in England's final change.

Little over five minutes of the second period remaining and England want more goals here.

The England fans inside the stadium are in fine voice and why on earth not? It has been a brilliant performance from the away side since they conceded the first goal of the match.

This win is going to leave England top of Group A on six points and it would really not be a surprise to see them win all of their matches in this particular qualification group.

Sterling flashes a cross into the Montenegro box, but there are no takers.

We are into the first of three minutes of additional time here.

YELLOW CARD!  Boljevic (Montenegro) and Henderson (England) are both booked following a little argument.

YELLOW CARD!  Rose (England) is now booked for a wild tackle on Boljevic.

England continue to search for a sixth, but their latest attacking move breaks down and it does appear that the visitors will have to declare at five, which is not too bad at all.


So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with England running out 5-1 winners over Montenegro to move onto six points in Group A. Brilliant second-half performance from the visitors. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again!

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Declan Rice during an England training session on March 19, 2019
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