Sterling and Gomez clash: How it all happened

Sterling and Gomez clash: How it all happened

News filtered in early on Tuesday that Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling has been dropped from England squad for their European qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday.

That in itself is not a big deal, but what is, was the reason he was dropped. Sterling was axed because of an altercation with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez at training camp.

Now here's how it all happened...

During the English Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City on Sunday, which ended 3-1 to the Reds, both players had a faceoff towards the end as Gomez was a late substitute for Mohamed Salah.

Sterling had laboured in vain to get a goal on a frustrating night manager Pep Guardiola complained of two penalty calls not given.

Liverpool won the game 3-1 when referee Michael Oliver sounded the final whistle and we all thought it will end there.

After weekend's matches across Europe, players headed to their countries for the international break, with both Sterling and Gomez invited by Gareth Southgate for England's match against Montenegro.

According to a Sky Sports account, Gomez was one of the early arrivals at St George's Park and he was having a gist with some England teammates at the canteen on Monday when Sterling walked in around lunchtime.

The Manchester City forward took offence (apparently for what happened on Sunday) then said to Gomez "you think you're the big man now?" and there was laughter as other players thought it was 'banter'.

Sterling is then thought to have walked up to Gomez and tried to grab his neck, to which Gomez reacted angrily, and the two players were separated by teammates before leaving the canteen.

Liverpool captain and senior England midfielder Jordan Henderson is then believed to have stepped in to play peacemaker and made a 25-minute phone call talking to both players.

Henderson then arranged for both Sterling and Gomez to meet in one of the players' bedrooms as he put the issue to rest.

Sterling is believed to have apologised to Gomez and the two players are back to normal.

Sky Sports report that Sterling also confirmed in a subsequent Instagram post that Gomez and had i "figured things out and moved on".

However, Southgate will not tolerate a divided team and took a disciplinary action by dropping Sterling for the game against Montenegro on Thursday.

"Gareth Southgate has been firm but fair. The last thing he wants is for cliques to appear in his squad like the days when Manchester United and Liverpool players used to eat at separate tables." Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol said.

"By his own admission, Sterling is an emotional character. His will to win is so great that at times on Sunday at Anfield he seemed to be trying to get Manchester City back into the game on his own.

"He knows he overstepped the mark by the way he behaved towards Gomez yesterday. He has apologised to Gomez and there is no bad blood between them now."

England, who need just a point to qualify for Euro 2020, travel to Kosovo on Sunday for their next game.