Antoine Griezmann said France feel "sad" after producing one of their best performances in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Turkey.

France were denied qualification for next year's European Championships following a 1-1 draw at home to Turkey in Paris.

Substitute Olivier Giroud looked to have booked France's ticket to Euro 2020 with a 78th-minute header, however, the world champions' celebrations were put on hold by Kaan Ayhan's late equaliser.

Reflecting on the Group H stalemate, star Griezmann told reporters: "We are a little sad, a little weird, because we made a great match, one of our best.

"We open the scoring on a corner, but we still took that goal on a set kick, there is a little bit of anger, but we will be calm again. We have to learn from our mistakes, that we are not perfect.

"We had to come back stronger, the coach told us he was happy with us and we had a great match, we still have two games and we have to win them. to win, but it's a shame."

The result left France second in Group H, adrift of leaders Turkey on their head-to-head record after eight matches.

"They had scored a goal in the same way that they did the first game," head coach Didier Deschamps told M6. "We could have avoided it even if it is very well taken shot.

"It was necessary to win in terms of play, opportunities, they had little but they scored on set-pieces. We had enough opportunities, we only scored that goal from Olivier, it could have been decisive.

"We did not win ... When I say that it is the result that counts. We have the same number of points, it is the two best teams in the group. It's always complicated, it's a long road. This team has been very defensive but deserves to have that place too."

Turkey head coach Senol Gunes, meanwhile, added: "One point is already good for us. I congratulate my players. It is very good to return to Turkey as leaders. 

"We played against a very strong opponent. They were better than us, they had a lot of opportunities but we made a lot of effort."

The Philadelphia Eagles released linebacker Zach Brown, the NFL franchise announced on Monday.

Philadelphia parted ways with 2016 Pro Bowler Brown following Sunday's 38-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Brown called out his former Washington Redskins team-mate Kirk Cousins earlier this week, labelling him Minnesota's "weakest link," before the signal-caller exploded for his best performance of the year.

Cousins threw for 333 yards and four scores en route to the Vikings' victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, torching an Eagles secondary that have struggled all season.

Brown, who signed with Philadelphia ahead of the 2019 season, notched five tackles in the Week 6 contest and has a total of 31 in 2019.

The 29-year-old veteran was a Pro Bowl player in 2016 and is expected to garner interest from multiple teams.

Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said quarterback Baker Mayfield has to make "better decisions" following the team's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Browns dropped to 2-4 for the NFL season after going down 32-28 to the Seahawks on Sunday, and Mayfield has continued to struggle in 2019.

Mayfield gave up three interceptions to Seattle, and first-year Brows boss Kitchens told reporters on Monday that he would like the QB to make smarter choices.

"I think each and every interception kind of has its own story," Kitchens said. "To simply answer your question, I want Baker to continue to work to make better decisions and then we need to work around him to make sure that we are where we are supposed to be, how we are supposed to be there, catching balls and all those things.

"I have said it from the beginning that quarterback play is dictated so much by the people around him, being on the same page, being where you are supposed to be, how you are supposed to get there and things like that. We need to make sure that Baker is continuing to get better with his eyes, his reads and his throws."

Mayfield leads the league in interceptions with a total of 11 through Week 6 and has completed a lowly 56.6 per cent of his passes in 2019.

Kitchens is taking some of the blame for Mayfield's lack of production though, and wants to give the quarterback more quality opportunities. 

"I have to continue to do a better job of continuing to put him in a better situation," Kitchens said. "We have to do a better job around him in protection, in where we are supposed to be and then catching the ball."

Mayfield has an elite receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at his disposal. But the two wideouts have combined for 875 yards and one score in 2019 and have not quite lived up to expectations. 

The Browns – who have not made the postseason since 2002 – have a bye this week and will get a chance to sort out their problems before facing the undefeated New England Patriots (6-0) on October 27. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is optimistic as he progresses through rehab following thumb surgery.

Brees sustained a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery on September 18 after consulting with two doctors and speaking to other professional athletes who had a similar injury, including Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul.

The 40-year-old star said after the Saints' Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams that he originally hurt his thumb on a pass attempt to Jared Cook before later hitting it on Aaron Donald.

Brees provided an update on his recovery following the Saints' 13-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

"Absolutely, absolutely," Brees told Cox Sports Television, when asked whether he noticed any progress in his recovery over the last week. "I think [there's progress] just the way that it feels. The way that it functions. level of strength, level of flexibility, and stability.

"We're just getting to ramp up the throwing, throwing an NFL ball. I feel good doing that but there’s more to it. [I] can't just stand still and throw a ball and say 'I'm ready to go'.

"There's a lot more that goes into it, just taking it one step a time."

Brees was seen without a thumb brace at the team's practice on Friday and he threw some routes.

He stands firm on the idea he can return before the six- to eight-week timeline he was initially given.

"I'm still ahead. My expectations are maybe a bit aggressive," Brees said. "There's certainly been those days when you didn't quite make it as far as you had expected in your mind, in regards to progress. Then I'm reminded by those around me, this is still really, really good for all things considered."

The Saints have gone 4-0 in Brees' absence ahead of Sunday's clash with the Chicago Bears in Week 7.

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky returned to practice on Monday and was throwing the football around without a pitch count, though he is no certainty to play in Week 7.

Trubisky has been sidelined since dislocating his non-throwing left shoulder in the Week 4 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The 25-year-old returned to the training field after the weekend, however, his status for Sunday's NFL matchup against the New Orleans Saints remains uncertain.

"It's seeing exactly where he's at with the pain," Bears head coach Matt Nagy. "Just all of us collaborating to see where he is so we can make a decision as to which way we want to go for this week.

"I thought he looked good. But we'll see as the week goes exactly how he feels and where he's at."

Trubisky still has not been cleared by the team's medical staff to play in a game, but returning to practice was a step in the right direction.

However, the Bears are taking no chances, Nagy said, noting that Trubisky must be able to take hits.

"If he's able to play, then he plays," Nagy said. "You can't tell somebody to play a game and not get hit. You can't do it. If you're OK to play a game, then you're OK to get hit. It's pretty simple. For me it is."

Trubisky had 588 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three games.

Many NFL fans probably expected the New England Patriots to be one of the remaining undefeated teams as this season went on, but it is unlikely many guessed the San Francisco 49ers would join them.

The Carolina Panthers are another surprise success story, while the Dallas Cowboys have taken a turn for the worse over the last few weeks.

Here we look back at the biggest headlines from Week 6 and the impact they will have heading into Week 7.

 

Are quarterback changes coming to NFC South?

Jameis Winston threw five interceptions and fumbled twice in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' loss to the Panthers as they dropped to 2-4, but head coach Bruce Arians made it clear the team are not considering replacing him — yet.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" Arians told reporters, noting the team's battered line was partly to blame for the ugly outing. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

Similarly, the Panthers may not be looking to put Cam Newton back in and bench Kyle Allen after the second-year quarterback helped pull the Panthers out of their 0-2 hole to start the season. In fact, Allen could keep the starting job as long as he keeps winning, though coach Ron Rivera remained tight-lipped on the subject Sunday. 

"I'm not going to worry about it," Rivera said. "I'm not going to speculate on anything until I have to address that. So until then, we're going to stay in the now, stay in the focus of what we're doing right now. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going to deal with the question until it is time. And when the time comes, I will address it."

An ESPN report on Monday said Newton is almost ready to resume practicing. Both Carolina and Tampa Bay will be on their bye in Week 6, so stay tuned.

Mariota era could be winding down in Nashville

Quarterback controversy struck Tennessee as the Titans pulled the second draft pick of 2015 in the team's shut-out loss to the Denver Broncos for veteran backup Ryan Tannehill. Marcus Mariota was sacked three times and completed just seven of 18 passes for 63 yards with two interceptions before getting the hook. Tannehill was better, completing 13 of 16 passes for 144 yards with a pick.

As for who will start Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the team expect to have an answer by Tuesday.

"I think a decision will be made this evening, or tomorrow, and we’ll let everybody know — we’ll let the players involved know, and let the team know and then let you guys know," coach Mike Vrabel told reporters. "I just want to make sure we are going through everything that we need to go through and what we are doing offensively, and not use the emotion of the game to make a decision."

Can 49ers make statement by extending win streak?

With the Patriots on a bye, the Niners have a chance to match their perfect 6-0 record after dismantling defending NFC champions the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The 49ers held Los Angeles to 3.3 yards per play, which is the lowest average in Rams franchise history, and quarterback Jared Goff had his worst performance to date as he completed 13 of 24 for a career-low 78 yards.

San Francisco have shined as arguably the most surprising team this year after the 49ers managed just four wins all last season. Now 5-0 for the first time since 1990, the Niners may only gain momentum with matchups against the Washington Redskins, Panthers and Arizona Cardinals looming.

Falcons giving Quinn until bye week to turn things around

Atlanta will host the Rams and Seattle Seahawks in back-to-back games before getting some rest Week 9, and after a 1-5 start just two and a half years removed from their trip to Super Bowl LI, the team are running short of patience.

NFL Media reported that Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to see progress over the next couple of weeks "or changes could come," with the fifth-year coach as one of them. Dan Quinn already fired all three of his co-ordinators before the season started, so the blame would have to fall on him.

Jay Gruden may have been the first coach to get the axe, but he certainly will not be the last, and it appears Quinn has two weeks to save his job.

Amari Cooper's potential absence could have big implications

Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper's status for Week 6 reportedly "is in serious question" after he was diagnosed with a bruised thigh suffered in Sunday's loss to the Jets. Dallas coach Jason Garrett said the team are taking his injury day by day, but could not guarantee his availability.

The ailment could not come at a worse time considering Dallas have dropped three straight games and face a key game in Week 6 against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles. A fourth consecutive loss could officially put Garrett on the hot seat, though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insisted it has not come to that yet.

"I haven't even glanced there in my mind about long-term future," Jones told reporters. "The big thing I want to say is it's not just him. This is across the board, and that had a lot of input out here tonight to get in that spot."

Garrett, who is entering the final year of his contract, reiterated that getting the team to the top of the NFC East is his main concern.

"I'm focused on doing my job as well as I can do it," Garrett said, per The Athletic.

Two-time champion Svetlana Kuznetsova suffered an early exit at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Monday, losing to Karolina Muchova in straight sets.

Home favourite Kuznetsova – who won the WTA Tour tournament in 2015 before returning to successfully defend her title the following year – managed just 13 winners as Muchova triumphed 6-2 6-3 to set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Donna Vekic.

Anastasija Sevastova had no such problems in her opening encounter, easing past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 7-5, while Anna Kalinskaya overcame Anastasia Potapova 6-0 3-6 6-4 via a tense final set that saw the two players combine to produce seven breaks of serve.

Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are the top seeds for the tournament, though neither are in action during Tuesday's play in Russia.

At the Luxembourg Open, Viktoria Kuzmova rallied from a set down to defeat teenager Katie Volynets 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

The sixth seed let slip a 5-2 lead in the second set before eventually prevailing in a tie-break, while she dropped just 10 points in the decider to triumph after two hours, 33 minutes on court.

Margarita Gasparyan, Tatjana Maria and Denisa Allertova also recorded three-set wins in the main draw, the latter coming through via a tense tie-break against Mandy Minella.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opened his campaign at the European Open in Antwerp with victory over Lorenzo Sonego.

The 2017 champion and sixth seed - aiming to win his third title of the season - recorded a break of serve in each set to go through 6-3 6-4, with either fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon or Belgian Steve Darcis up next for Tsonga.

Life was far tougher for fifth seed Guido Pella on Monday, however, as he fought back from a set down to beat German Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

At the Stockholm Open, Janko Tipsarevic kicked off his final tournament on the ATP Tour in fine style, beating Corentin Moutet 6-2 6-4 in just 73 minutes.

The 35-year-old has announced he will retire after the Davis Cup Finals in November, though his singles career is not finished just yet. Next up for Tipsarevic is the top seed this week in Sweden, Italian Fabio Fognini. 

Dan Evans won 6-4 1-6 6-3 against Bernard Tomic but fellow seed Reilly Opelka was on the wrong end of an upset, losing a three-set battle to Stefano Travaglia 7-5 4-6 6-4.

There was also a surprise in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, with Andreas Seppi eliminating fifth seed Cristian Garin 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4). In contrast, Adrian Mannarino, the seventh seed, breezed by qualifier Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-0.

Jordan Henderson demanded an apology from Krasimir Balakov after the Bulgaria head coach did not offer outright condemnation of the racist abuse directed towards England players during their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win in Sofia.

Play was stopped twice before half-time during a comfortable victory for Gareth Southgate's men on Monday, with an address over the Vasil Levski National Stadium urging an end to racist chanting before a number of Bulgaria fans were removed from the ground.

England players informed the match officials of the discriminatory behaviour and an abandonment looked possible at one stage, although Harry Kane would ultimately round out an emphatic scoreline set in motion by Marcus Rashford's blistering opener and embellished by braces from Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley.

Henderson exchanged words with Balakov during one of the breaks in play and was aghast when he heard the 53-year-old had stated after the game that the allegations of racism must be "proven", choosing instead to criticise the behaviour of England supporters and a pre-match focus upon a potential for racist incidents.

"I had a few words with the manager. It wasn't acceptable – something needs to be done," the Liverpool captain told Sky Sports News.

"He needs to apologise now, really, on behalf of the team and the fans. He knows what was going on. He was asking me what the problem was.

"When I told him he knew what was going on, it was baffling how he didn't, really. Hopefully he looks back and apologises because anyone watching that game would be disgusted really."

England discussed whether they should resume the match at half-time and Henderson, angered by what had transpired, took pride in their unanimous response in the face of adversity.

"I felt angry," he said. "They're my team-mates, my friends who I've known for a long time and I share a dressing room with.

"It was shocking to see. I was so angry at one point but the game goes on, you've got to switch the focus to the football.

"At half-time we spoke about it, we wanted to carry on. If one person said they didn't want to go out then we wouldn't have done and that would have been it.

"But everybody's message was we wanted to make them suffer and not make them win. I felt we did that brilliantly."

Change does not appear to be looming in Tampa Bay.

But we take a look at the adjustments to come with the latest injury updates around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Winston's job appears safe... for now

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not ready to throw in the towel just yet, as head coach Bruce Arians confirmed the team are not looking to make any changes under center at this time.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" Arians told reporters. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

Jameis Winston, who is in the final year of his rookie contract after his fifth-year option was picked up, threw five interceptions and had two fumbles against the Carolina Panthers, though Arians admitted the team's battered line was partly to blame.

"I think when you get hit — I don't care if you're Tom Brady — when you get hit early in games, it's different," Arians said. "And we got him hit early in the game, excluding the first play. We got him hit too much early in the game."

Cooper diagnosed with thigh bruise

Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets, though one report suggested there is "no indication of long-term damage." Cooper could, however, be dealing with the "horribly painful" ailment at a time when Dallas faces a must-win scenario in Week 6 against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cooper, who has 32 catches for 512 yards and five touchdowns this season, also battled foot and ankle injuries earlier this season.

Barkley ramps up workout after tweeting he'll "be back soon"

The New York Giants got a little healthier as the star running back was joined by fellow back Wayne Gallman (concussion), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) and tight end Evan Engram (knee), who all missed Thursday's loss to the New England Patriots. Each player took part in individual drills during the team's light practice.

Saquon Barkley has missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain, but all signs point to him returning ahead of schedule, possibly this week against the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants do not want to rush him, but the hype video he tweeted this weekend indicates he is itching to get back on the field.

Two things that don't matter

Rudolph eyeing Week 8 return

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph entered the concussion protocol last week after being knocked out by Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas in Week 5. However, he practiced just three days after taking the hit, a positive sign that he should be back after the ransacked Steelers get some much-needed rest on their bye.

The team had a morale-boosting win in primetime on Sunday with third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges at the helm, thanks in large part to a stout performance by running back James Conner, though he did suffer a game-ending quad injury in the third quarter. His status will also be closely monitored before the Steelers return to action against the Miami Dolphins.

Brady won't lure Gronkowski out of retirement

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is happy to see his former team-mate thriving in life after football and does not want to disrupt that peace.

"I'm so happy that he's enjoying his time, his life. He seems to really be doing a lot of great things. He knows how I feel about him. I want what's best for him. He's the only person that can make those decisions. I don't lobby for those things," Brady said on Monday morning in his weekly appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports radio station.

Rob Gronkowski retired in March and started work last week as an NFL analyst on Fox, where he said that he will always leave the door open to unretire. But it appears unlikely to happen any time soon.

"He's given a hell of a lot to our team already over a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he's brought to the team and what he's brought to the region," Brady said. "I think he's just a very special guy. He's at a different phase of his life."

One video you have to see

Not only were the Los Angeles Chargers embarrassed on Sunday Night Football, Steelers fans also took over their stadium.

Monday's tweet of the day

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is pumped to be back after serving a six-game suspension for PEDs.

Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman by mere inches in an incredible finish at the 1000Bulbs.com 500.

Everyone expected the "Big One" at Talladega Superspeedway to cause havoc for NASCAR's playoff drivers on Monday after Sunday's race was rescheduled.

Yet no one could have foreseen the carnage or the type of finish as Blaney pipped Newman at the finish line for his first victory of 2019 and third of his career.

The margin of victory – 7/1,000ths of a second – is the sixth-closest finish of all-time in NASCAR's top series.

While the victory clinches Blaney a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs, other playoff drivers were not so fortunate, as all 12 were involved in one or more multicar crashes or other mayhem.

William Byron won the first stage of the race on Sunday before wet weather postponed the finish to Monday. 

Clint Bowyer won Stage 2 after he managed to avoid "the Big One" on lap 106 when Alex Bowman – who was running in second place – got turned around on the backstretch while trying to block a charging Joey Logano.

Playoff drivers Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson were also caught in the crash.

The yellow flag came out with 36 laps remaining after Bowyer went for a solo spin off Turn 4 and needed a wrecker to help get his car unstuck from the steep banking. A few laps later, another big crash erupted when a chain-reaction pileup in the lower drafting line got Byron loose, and he turned into Logano, as the two collected several other cars. While Logano returned to the track, Byron was finished for the day.

With less than 10 laps remaining, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski were involved in another big crash, which saw Brendan Gaughan go briefly airborne.

Blaney led the way on the restart with two laps remaining and held off the rest of the field as yet another multicar crash broke out on the final lap.

Anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out has slammed UEFA for its handling of England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria, and its previous punishments for racial abuse.

England's 6-0 win on Monday was halted twice in the first half, with the match seemingly set to be abandoned amid chants from sections of Bulgaria's support at Vasil Levski National Stadium, which was partially shut due to previous incidents of racist abuse from some home supporters.

Gareth Southgate's England elected to come back out for the second half, with a group of Bulgaria fans ejected from the ground during the second stoppage.

During the first stoppage, a message was read out over the public address system – following UEFA's three-step protocol for tackling incidents of abuse at games.

However, Kick It Out has questioned why the protocol was not followed afterwards, while criticising UEFA's attempts at tackling racism.

"We are sickened by the disgusting racist abuse directed at England men's team tonight by Bulgaria supporters – including TV footage which appeared to show Nazi salutes and monkey noises," Kick It Out stated.

"We applaud Gareth Southgate, his staff and players for the actions taken in reporting the abhorrent abuse, and offer our full support to the entire squad, their families and anyone affected by those appalling scenes.

"We are encouraged that the protocol was initially enforced by the match officials, but UEFA must explain why players weren't sent to the dressing room during Step Two, as is clearly stated in the rules.

"TV footage also clearly shows that racist abuse continued in the second half, so it is unacceptable that Step Three was not enforced. This match should have been abandoned by the officials.

"It's now time for UEFA to step up and show some leadership. For far too long, they have consistently failed to take effective action.

"The fact Bulgaria are already hosting this game with a partial stadium closure for racist abuse shows that UEFA's sanctions are not fit for purpose.

"There can be no more pitiful fines or short stadium bans. If UEFA care at all about tackling discrimination – and if the Equal Game campaign means anything – then points deductions and tournament expulsion must follow."

Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov claimed not to have heard racist chanting during his team's 6-0 loss to England in Sofia and accused the travelling supporters of "unacceptable" behaviour.

Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling each hit braces as Gareth Southgate's men bounced back from defeat to the Czech Republic in style, bringing qualification for Euro 2020 within touching distance.

But the contest was sullied by abuse directed towards some of the travelling players, which was reported to the match officials and resulted in two delays to the action before half-time.

Before the match, Balakov accused England of having a bigger problem with racism in football than his own country, and he once again sought to share the blame after the widely condemned scenes that stained Monday's match.

"I personally did not hear the chanting that you are most probably referring to. I saw that the referee stopped the game," he told ITV.

"But I also have to say that the unacceptable behaviour was not only on behalf of the Bulgaria fans but also the English fans, who were whistling and shouting during the Bulgarian national anthem.

"During the second half they used words against our fans, which I find unacceptable."

Balakov said he felt an increased focus upon the potential of racist incidents before the game made them more likely, while he called for the abuse to be "proven" despite audible monkey chants during the contest and the spectacle of some Bulgaria fans being ejected.

"We've had this problem ever since England were about to come to Bulgaria. All I've heard for three weeks is people talking about anything else but football," said Balakov.

"I don't think this was the proper manner to prepare and to play a football game. For three weeks, everyone was talking about one thing.

"If this turns out to be true, we are truly sorry and we as the Bulgarian national team and the Bulgarian Football Union are working very hard.

"Nobody wants to see this but let me tell you that this really has not happened in our games up until now. This happened now in the England game.

"If something can be proven then we are sorry but we cannot speak on behalf of some fans here."

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for England and tweeted after the match to praise Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov for remonstrating with supporters at half-time.

Popov's move was widely interpreted as a call for discriminatory chants to stop but Balakov told a post-match news conference he felt the Rostov midfielder was responding to complaints over a poor performance.

"I have no idea about this. If our captain spoke to the fans it is probably because they were unhappy about the way in which the team were performing," he added.

"The whole topic in the build-up to the game – the fans are emotional. You want me to say this and I have to say this, if something happened I'm sure it really was a small group of people who really were out of their minds because this is unacceptable… if it happened, of course."

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were among the England players to react on Twitter after racist chanting marred their 6-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia.

Play was temporarily halted twice during the first half of Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier at the Vasil Levski National Stadium after visiting players were subjected to racist abuse.

An announcement over the public address system was made during the first stoppage, while the second saw a section of home fans ejected from the venue.

Gareth Southgate's side opted to return to the field following discussions in their changing room at half-time, while Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov seen talking with some Bulgaria supporters during the break.

"Not an easy situation to play in and not one which should be happening in 2019. Proud we rose above it to take three points but this needs stamping out," Rashford wrote on social media, along with a picture of him celebrating scoring the opening goal.

The Manchester United forward also thanked the travelling support as well as Popov, insisting his actions should not go unnoticed.

"Thankful to the brilliant England support. You got behind us in the most meaningful way possible tonight and we are all very grateful. Have a safe journey home and take care," Rashford tweeted, to which he replied: "Also been told what the Bulgaria captain did at half-time. To stand alone and do the right thing takes courage and acts like that shouldn’t go unnoticed. #NoToRacism"

Club colleague Harry Maguire described the fan behaviour as "disgraceful" - and insisted action must be taken to make sure it does not happen again.

"The best way to bounce back. Proud of the team. There's no place in football for that - disgraceful behaviour. Something must be done," the defender tweeted.

Sterling quote-tweeted a story about Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov declaring prior to the match how England had a bigger racism problem than his own country, replying: "Mmmmh ... Not sure about this one chief".

The Manchester City forward added in another post: "Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium. Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well."

Captain Harry Kane praised the way the England team remained united, as well as congratulating debutant Tyrone Mings.

"Great performance and I’m proud of the togetherness we showed in some disgraceful circumstances," Kane wrote. "Racism has no place in society or football. It needs stamping out for good. Also a massive congrats to @OfficialTM_3 on a great debut."

Former England international Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, called on UEFA to take action. He wrote: "Let's see punishment...", which was followed by the governing body's official Twitter handle.

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