England 4 Ukraine 0 Rome
This may be the most exciting night England football fan Within 30 years. This is not as exciting as the 4-1 victory in the Netherlands in 1996 or the 1-5 victory in Germany in 2001, but this is the point: In addition to the anxiety of the 10 minutes before the intermission, an unprecedentedly organized England dominates a The quarter-finals of a major tournament, even though the opponent is a defeated opponent there.
Gareth Southgate’s team has acquired continental virtues in possession and positioning, while retaining the virtues of British air power. In this area they may be the world’s leading team: they are today The three goals late in Rome, and four of their last five goals, came from the title.Reached the semifinals at Wembley Against Denmark On Wednesday, the England team was the first popular team in our lives to reach the finals of a major tournament.
The first credit goes to Southgate.All the manager’s choices at Euro 2020 paid off: after switching to five To Germany, England’s only austerity game to date; his guest appearance to his ever-changing lineup of young creators in the first few games, Jaden Sancho tonight; his insistence on Harry Kane, even in the first three games With three quarters of the game, the center was invisible; and when the British Prime Minister was vague, he supported their decision to kneel and support Black Lives Matter, thus maintaining the loyalty of his players.
but South gate It even has a better lineup than the “Golden Generation” in the early 2000s.The only team with deep strength in England in this tournament is France, Who went out early. Almost no other team has 11 international players, but England has about 15, which allows Southgate to rotate at will. The youth academy in England is now very good (in Sancho’s case, in Germany), and managers can train young people who can deal with international football immediately.
Most importantly, he has Raheem Sterling: It’s hard to imagine another modern England player who can dribble the ball with ease like him. It was Sterling who opened Ukraine with a precise pass to Kane in the fourth minute.
This team also benefited from the rehearsal Euro 2020: 2018 Russia World Cup. There, they also made it to the semi-finals, but threw it away in the traditional British way: scored in the first few minutes, then parked themselves in their penalty area and cleared directly to Croatia until their opponents were not allowed. Restricted possession, inevitably scored twice.
In Rome, the England team showed that they learned a lesson from that experience: After Kane opened the scoring, they mostly defended 40 yards or more from their goal, passed the ball patiently, and played in five games of this tournament. The fifth time zero goals were conceded in the game.
So far, everything in the 2020 European Cup has been carried out in the same way as England. They did not feel tired because of the extra time, and this trip to Rome was their only foreign trip, and their opponents were crisscrossed continents. England have not yet encountered a shootout where their kicker must show their preferred penalty kick. They have no suspended or injured players. Even if England stumbled on Wednesday, the main home route to Ukraine and Denmark to the finals is simple.
French coach Didier Deschamps, who won the last World Cup, once said that the two most important players of a team are the goalkeeper and the center. He explained that the game is decided in the “real area” on the court.
This bodes well for England. Jordan Pickford, who scored a goal, is a “tournament player” who surpassed the league’s self. He was almost perfect at the 2020 European Cup tonight, and made two mistakes. In the early stage, Kane’s two goals, coupled with last week’s strike against Germany, may allow him to overcome psychological obstacles. He has spent most of his career at Tottenham Hotspur. He is the hero of the club and has no obligation to win trophies.
For England, Kane Used to stagnate in big games, knowing that he is the main force of the team, and these games will determine his career. In the 2016 European Cup loss to Iceland, England’s last classic shame, he looked so nervous that he couldn’t even lift a free kick into the penalty area. In Russia, his only shot in the knockout round was a penalty against Colombia. He started the 2020 European Cup horribly. If he is now back to the Spurs form-he contributed more than half of the club’s goals and assists last season-then Europe must be careful.
There is no denying that Ukraine is the ideal opponent: a bad team lost three in five games and only defeated North Macedonia in 90 minutes. Their ambition in Rome seems not to avoid failure, but to avoid humiliation.
What weaknesses in England’s performance here might give Denmark and other semi-finalists hope, Italy And Spain? Opponents may want to let England’s weakest passers Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker gain possession of the ball in the backcourt and then press them.
But for the first time since 1966, the best bet to win the tournament now is England.