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England show spirit of defiance in wake of Hungary abuse


Sterling continued where he left off at the European Championship and ensured England suffered no hangover from their defeat to Italy, as they continued their 100 per cent start to World Cup qualifying with an impressive 4-0 win at the Puskas Arena.

The booing of the knee was widespread and not restricted to the black-shirted ultras behind the goal, instead emanating from every corner of the 60,000-seat Puskas Arena, which was nearly full.

But the louder they boo, the more determined Sterling seems to silence them.

Just as he did against Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Denmark over the summer, Sterling made the breakthrough when England needed one.

After an uninspiring first half – which did little to support Gareth Southgate’s claim that his side are comparable to Chelsea or Liverpool – Sterling finished a superb team move in the 55th minute, opening his body and side-footing into the corner from Mason Mount’s cutback.

He removed his shirt to display a message in tribute to a friend who passed away and sprinted to the corner flag, where he was pelted by cups and debris from the Hungarian ultras.

Declan Rice pretended to drink from one, capturing England’s spirit of defiance in the face of more discrimination and abuse.

Southgate’s players no longer seem shaken by the abuse, only determined to expose it and do their talking on the pitch.

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Sterling’s every touch was jeered after his goal but he only raised his game further, crossing for Harry Kane to double England’s lead with a flying header.


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