Curtis Jones endured an eventful evening as the England U21s crashed out of the European Championships on Wednesday.
Despite overcoming Croatia 2-1 in their final group game, a match in which the Liverpool midfielder found the net, it was not enough for Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions as they fell at the first hurdle following a severely underwhelming campaign.
Their struggles were probably encapsulated by Jones who not only scored what looked like an all-important winning goal, only for Croatia to find the net late on, before he was also awarded a red card.
It initially looked like it was going to be an extremely productive evening for the young Reds’ midfielder though.
According to SofaScore, he had enjoyed 36 touches of the ball throughout the game, completing 15 out of his 18 passes, whilst two of those were key. The 20-year-old also created a further big chance for his teammates.
Jones continued to be a constant thorn in the side of the Croatians throughout the game, especially from an attacking standpoint. He completed each of his attempted dribbles whilst also being fouled twice.
He also had four shots at goal, one of them hitting the woodwork before he finally did get his name on the scoresheet by stroking low into the bottom corner after Dwight McNeil’s pass.
Despite the final whistle having been blown, Jones’ evening was not done though as he clashed with the celebrating Croatia players, leaving him with a bloody nose and a red card to add to his second-half strike.
After being booked in the first-half, the referee awarded the Liverpool man a second to see his evening not only end in heartbreak but also frustration with it being the first time that he has been sent off in his career.
Jones, rated at £27m, will certainly be looking to bounce back from that disappointment as he returns to Anfield in preparation for Premier League action this weekend.