England bounced back from their surprise defeat in the Czech Republic on Friday night to thrash Bulgaria 6-0 in front of 17,000 at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia.
The game was marred by several incidents of racism from the home fans towards a number of England players, including debutant Tyrone Mings.
Bulgarians were shouting and chanting derogatory language at the English players, whilst booing the black players in possession. Home supporters dressed in all black were seen exiting the stadium shortly before the game when the game was going through its second delay and on the verge of being cancelled under UEFA’s new protocol.
Credit should go to Gareth Southgate and his side how they handled the situation. The England manager told journalists after the game that it was a decision by the group of players and staff to carry on with the game after the PA had asked the offenders inside the stadium to stop their disgusting behaviour.
In terms of the game, England embarrassed the hosts. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring on seven minutes, Ross Barkley scored a brace to make it 3-0 after 32 minutes, and Raheem Sterling scored in the third minute of stoppage time.
The Manchester City forward added his second midway through the second half before Harry Kane completed the scoring five minutes from time.
England will seal their qualification for Euro 2020 by avoiding defeat at home to Montenegro next month, whilst Bulgaria are winless after seven games in the group. The Southeastern European nation finish the group at home to the Czech Republic on 17 November, potentially behind closed doors.