Gareth Southgate has guided England to their first semi-finals since 1990, following a 2-0 win over Sweden in Samara.
It was a cagey opening with Sweden looking like an organised unit but not showing much attacking impotus. England had to break them down but the final ball wasn’t there.
Raheem Sterling put in the effort and was always an option running in behind, but today wasn’t his day in the final third. Then again, there’s always set pieces right?
On 30 minutes, Ashley Young sent a corner in from which Harry Maguire bulldozed his way to head the ball in, a deserved moment for one of England’s best players in Russia.
There was a sense of belief that this was forming into a historic year for England. Sweden have exceeded expectations but once the Three Lions took the lead, the game plan was perfect, counter attack.
The second half did force the Swedes to commit more forward, but Jordon Pickford was in exceptional form. First denying Marcus Berg’s header then a stinging shot from Ola Toivonen.
A second goal would’ve surely all but booked England’s passage to the last four, and sure enough they got it.
Jesse Lingard was composed and clipped a cross from the right to the back post, in came Dele Ali and celebrations were wild. 2-0 England and the mix of Baddiel and Skinner with Atomic Kitten was on full blast.
Sterling should’ve added the cherry on top but was indecisive when faced with keeper Olsen, whilst Harry Kane was relatively low-key this afternoon.
It was over. England are in the semi-finals of the World Cup, that is right! Whatever the result when they meet either Croatia or Russia, Gareth Southgate has reignited the passion in the national team.
Are you believing now, football is coming home, maybe maybe.