Reece James and Mason Mount were in action again on Saturday despite Chelsea’s season ending against Watford two weeks ago.
The duo proved for England as Gareth Southgate kicked off the latest Nations League campaign against Hungary. Mount started the game as James replaced Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold after the hour mark.
But it was a disappointing performance from the Three Lions as the hosts cruised to a 1-0 victory with the game’s only goal coming from the penalty spot. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, it was James who also conceded the kick, deemed to have hampered Zsolt Nagy in the box.
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The ref pointed the spot and Dominik Szoboszlai did the rest with a cool finish past Jordan Pickford. But there were many questions over whether the decision should even have been made in the first place, with Conor Coady setting the tone when speaking to Channel 4 after the game.
“I was the same (puzzled), I think we were all the same,” Coady admitted after the game. “I think we were a bit shocked at first, nobody really appealed for the penalty. He’s one of them, I haven’t seen him again, I don’t know where his arms are but I don’t know where they can go or what they can do.
“It’s disappointing to lose a game, but losing on a penalty that we don’t think is a penalty is hugely disappointing. We have to look at each other, how we’ve played, how we’ve performed, how we’re going to move forward because those are great games and games you want to enjoy to the fullest.”
England manager Gareth Southgate was also left baffled by the decision, adding in his post-match interview: “Once it’s been given it’s not going to undo it. You see challenges like that in the game. surface, he just went and got his body between him and the ball – the striker makes a meal out of it. Look, away from home, sometimes you’re going to make those decisions.”