Bellingham says Saka, Rashford, Sancho abuse 'hurtful but not surprising'

By Sports Desk July 12, 2021

Jude Bellingham has spoken out on the racist abuse directed at England team-mates Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, calling for social media platforms to do more.

Bellingham was among the substitutes for the Three Lions as they lost on penalties to Italy in Sunday's Euro 2020 final.

Saka, Rashford and Sancho each stepped off the bench in the 1-1 draw and missed spot-kicks in the 3-2 shoot-out defeat. Saka's failed effort, saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, was decisive.

The trio were subsequently the subject of racist abuse, which the Football Association condemned, and manager Gareth Southgate described as "unforgivable".

Bellingham, the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder, added his anger on social media alongside an image showing Saka, Rashford and Sancho wearing crowns.

"We win together and we lose together," he said. "So proud to have team-mates with such top character. Takes huge b******s just to volunteer [to take a penalty].

"As for the racism, hurtful but not surprising. Will never get bored of saying that more needs to be done. Educate and control the platforms!"

Bellingham celebrated his 18th birthday while away with the England team, having become their youngest player at a major tournament when he appeared from the bench against Croatia.

That was the first of three substitute appearances, tallying 55 minutes across wins over Croatia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

Following defeat in the Wembley showpiece, Bellingham posted: "A devastating end to a journey we can be very proud of.

"Very grateful to have been given the experience to share a pitch and changing room with such a great group of players and people. Thank you for your incredible support over the past few weeks.

"It wasn't to be but our time will come... Always believe!"

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    Liverpool were in typically ruthless form on Saturday as they brushed aside Southampton 4-0 at Anfield.

    The result meant Jurgen Klopp's men became just the second English top-flight team to score two or more goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions, after Sunderland in 1927.

    Elsewhere, rock-bottom Newcastle United's winless start to the Premier League season continued as they were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

    Steven Gerrard secured his second consecutive win since taking over as Aston Villa boss, with his side sealing a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace.

    Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United played out a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium, as did Norwich City and Wolves at Carrow Road.

    Here, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday's Opta facts…


    Liverpool 4-0 Southampton:Jota at the double for rampant Reds

    Liverpool have now scored 39 goals in their 13 Premier League games this season – their highest total at this stage of a top-flight campaign.

    Diogo Jota got them on the way with their earliest goal in the Premier League (one minute and 37 seconds) since Naby Keita netted against Huddersfield Town in April 2019 (15 seconds).

    Another from Jota and a strike from Thiago Alcantara put Liverpool 3-0 up at the break, before Virgil van Dijk rounded off the scoring early in the second half.

    Netherlands international Van Dijk's goal was created by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who earned his 40th Premier League assist. Only Wayne Rooney (22 years and 200 days) and Cesc Fabregas (21y 188d) have reached such an assists total in the competition at a younger age than the Liverpool right-back (23y 51d).

    Salah reached 150 Premier League goal involvements by setting up Jota's second, reaching that total (108 goals, 42 assists) in just 171 games. Only Alan Shearer (148 games) and Thierry Henry (163) have got there in fewer games.

    Southampton, meanwhile, have lost more away games (14) and conceded more away goals (47) than any other side in the Premier League side this calendar year.


     

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    John McGinn then added a second, the Scotland international already equalling his best goal tally for a full Premier League season (three in both 2020-21 and 2019-20).

    Marc Guehi pulled one back in stoppage time, but it was too late to prevent the Eagles suffering a first defeat in their last eight Premier League games (W2 D5), since a 3-0 away loss to Liverpool in September.

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    On the face of it, that may have seemed an unexpected response to a crushing win with a clean sheet, but Klopp was right to point to Liverpool offering up golden chances to their Anfield visitors.

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    "A good subject to talk about," Klopp said. "Diogo: exceptional player, exceptional boy. It was for us two years ago, one-and-a-half years ago, a perfect signing because he has everything that a Liverpool player in this squad needs.

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