England recorded their first away win against Spain for the first time in over 30 years on Monday night thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford in a 3-2 victory. Two Chelsea players started in the five-goal thriller with Marcos Alonso at left-back for the hosts and Ross Barkley in the box-to-box midfielder role for the visitors.
The latter was singled out for praise from his team-mate after being the heartbeat of the Three Lions great performance, saying that he can fill the creative void in the middle of the park.
Alonso focused on his lack of opportunity at Stamford Bridge: “Yes, last year he had a long time out injured, in the first year with us at Chelsea.
“I have no doubt that with confidence and minutes he is a great player and I hope that he can help us a lot for the rest of the season. Even at the World Cup England, despite playing well, were aware that they didn’t really have that kind of player.
“Someone in the middle who played and made others play, who used the ball. So yes, he could be. He’s a great player. He showed it not just against us but against Croatia too.“He showed that he can be a great player. I hope he keeps improving and that he helps us at Chelsea to stay near the top.”
Barkley came under a bit of pressure after a below-par showing against Croatia on Friday night but responded to the critics in the best possible way with an all-action display. His clipped ball over the Spanish defence towards Harry Kane was sublime and led to Sterling’s second goal of the night.
It certainly seems as though the former Everton man is a bigger part of Gareth Southgate and Maurizio Sarri’s plans following two strong performances for both his club and country over the last couple of weeks.