England pair Mason Mount and Declan Rice explained their joy for each other and the performance, after starting as the central midfield duo in the 4-0 win over Iceland.
The Three Lions ended the Nations League campaign with a comfortable win to finish third in the group, with goals coming from Rice, Mount and a late brace from Phil Foden.
Once more there were injuries and absences which give Gareth Southgate both room to rotate and test new players, but also questions as to how to eventually trim down his squad and who to include for the Euros next summer.
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For Mount and Rice, the chance to shine alongside each other was a big moment as the two have been close friends since a young age, with that partnership on show both in possession and in the penalty box in the first half in particular.
“When we knew we were playing in midfield together that in itself was a special moment and to score in the same game as well was incredible,” Rice told Sky Sports.
Mount added that the two players’ families would have been inside Wembley to witness the occasion in more normal times, as they were on the occasion of his first England cap.
“They would have been here together if fans were allowed, they were here when I made my debut and Dec was already playing.
“[They’re] special memories that we’re making together and we’ve been best mates together from a very young age – now we’re making more memories so it’s great.”
On the match itself, Rice was happy with the performance level and the tactics the Three Lions employed, as the West Ham man looked to make himself an undroppable part of the side heading into the European Championships – preferably alongside his best friend who wears a Chelsea shirt, though the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Ward-Prowse have staked their own claims, too.
“We dominated the ball, the plan was three at the back and me in front as protection, then Mason gets between the lines. We played really well together and it’s what we’ve done since we were kids.”
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