England’s super summer goes on
England stormed into the FIFA World Cup semi-final, after a first-rate performance and 2-0 victory against Sweden on Saturday. The Three Lions, who have been waiting 28 years since their last appearance at this stage at Italia ’90, exuded confidence throughout the team to see off the Swedes thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli in Samara to set up a last-four clash with Croatia. Gareth Southgate’s men will now extend their summer stay in Russia by another week, with Wednesday's semi-final in Moscow and then next week’s final games which include the World Cup Final on Sunday 16 July or the third-place game the previous day.
- FIFA 2018 World Cup
- Quarter final
- Saturday 7 July 2018
- Samara Arena, Russia
- Live on BBC
We’ve been used to a certain Harry scoring England’s goals in Russia so far, but Saturday’s opener came from a different source of the same name in Harry Maguire. After a tense and nervy opening from both teams, the Three Lions started to find their rhythm after 20 minutes or so and never looked back once Ashley Young’s pin-point corner from the left picked out Maguire in the box. The Leicester City defender did the rest by thumping home a firm header past Robin Olsen to set England on their way. Boom.
It’s been something of a stop-start World Cup for Dele in Russia, missing two of the group matches with an niggling injury. But this was the stage where he really announced himself on the biggest stage with his first goal at the Finals to double England’s advantage just shy of the hour mark. A patient move from the Three Lions saw them work the ball across the Swedish back-line before Jesse Lingard floated a cross to the far post for Dele, whose header gave Olsen no chance to give England their vital cushion.
Raheem Sterling has been a focal point in England’s attack in this World Cup with his pace, movement and incisive play proving a thorn in the side of each opponent he’s faced. And a goal is surely around the corner for the 23-year-old at some stage, as was denied here by a fine save from Olsen in the later stages of the first half. A fine pass from the excellent Kieran Trippier was lifted into Sterling’s path and after superbly controlling, the Swedish keeper was quickly out to make a vital block. Save it for the semi-final, Raheem...
Jordan Pickford had another good day out, by more than playing his part in England’s victory. Twice in the second half he showed his quality, firstly within two minutes of the re-start when Marcus Berg’s header was arrowing into the corner until Pickford got a hand to turn it to safety and keep England’s lead in-tact. Then, in the 62nd minute and with his side now 2-0 up, he produced even better to make a low block on Viktor Claesson’s effort after a sweeping move down the right. And then he completed his own hat-trick by turning over Berg’s shot on the swivel, after sub John Guidetti had set him up. Outstanding stuff from the Everton man.
England: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton); 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester City); 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), 7 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), 18 Ashley Young (Manchester United); 9 Harry Kane (capt; Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Substitutes: 17 Fabian Delph (Manchester City) for Alli 77, 4 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) for Henderson 85, 19 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) for Sterling 90+1
Substitutes not used: 11 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), 3 Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), 13 Jack Butland (Stoke City), 14 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), 15 Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 16 Phil Jones (Manchester United), 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 22 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 23 Nick Pope (Burnley)
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Harry Maguire 30, Dele Alli 59
Cautions: Harry Maguire 87
Sweden: 1 Robin Olsen, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Seb Larsson, 8 Albin Ekdal, 9 Marcus Berg, 10 Emil Forsberg, 16 Emil Krafth, 17 Viktor Claesson, 20 Ola Toivonen
Substitutes: 11 John Guidetti for Toinenen 65, 5 Martin Olsson for Forsberg 65
Substitutes not used: 12 Karl-Johan Johnsson, 13 Gustav Svensson, 14 Filip Helander, 15 Oscar Hiljemark, 18 Pontus Jansson, 19 Marcus Rohden, 21 Jimmy Durmaz, 22 isaac Kiese Thelin, 23 Kristoffer Nordfeldt
Coach: Janne Andersson
Cautions: Seb Larsson 90+3