Raheem Sterling wallops home his first goal for England in 1102 days
What a hit from Raheem Sterling!
Sterling has reminded himself what it feels like to find the net for England after a three-year drought for his country.
Sterling hadn't scored an international goal since October 2015 but he ended his drought emphatically on Monday night.
The Manchester City winger opened the scoring for Gareth Southgate's side in their Uefa Nations League clash with Spain in Seville.
A stunningly direct move which began at the feet of England 'keeper Jordan Pickford involved each member of the visitors' attacking triumvirate as Harry Kane played Marcus Rashford into space before the Manchester United forward arced a perfect ball into Sterling's path.
All that was left to do was beat David De Gea, which is no easy task and given Sterling's struggles in front of goal in an England shirt of late, some might have expected him to waste what was far from a straightforward chance.
What a way to hit your first away international goal! 🚀@England open the scoring in Spain with this emphatic finish from Raheem Sterling! 🦁🦁🦁
Watch Spain v @England live on Sky Sports Football or watch in-game clips and highlights here: https://t.co/u2MyryfVxc pic.twitter.com/Dw0P5L6OuT
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 15, 2018
But there didn't appear to be any lack of confidence in Sterling as he let rip with a thunderous strike which left De Gea rooted.
England supporters will hope that there will be much more where that came from.
"I don’t think his confidence is low but I think there are times when you can think a little bit too much about what you’re doing in certain moments," Southgate said before the game.
"It’s about having the freedom just to hit things. But this is one of the big challenges of international football. You know with your club – well, with his club – you will get another five chances in the next 10 or 15 minutes.
"You get fewer chances with us and sporadic games so you don’t get another go in the next week. This is part of dealing with international football and that is his next challenge. But I have to say that every challenge that has been put in front of him throughout his career – new players coming in, for example, over the last couple of years [at City] – he has risen to. He’s been tough enough to deal with those challenges and I expect him to come through this, too."