Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

Added: Letitia Estepp - Date: 02.10.2021 09:15 - Views: 41934 - Clicks: 3256

Please refresh the and retry. T here have been so many doubts, debates and disruptions surrounding England going into Euro that it felt wholly appropriate that one of the players at the centre of it all, Raheem Shaquille Sterling MBE, provided the glorious lift-off. Five years ago, Sterling was the scapegoat against Iceland, and he has lost his place at times at Manchester City this season. But he is an exceptional and proven international player and again showed the strength of character that marks him out. It was yet more Sterling service for his country by the forward whose place in the starting XI was in Looking for something to kick Croatia my day, but he has always retained the full faith of manager Gareth Southgate, who punched the cloying, warm air in celebration.

The relief flooded through Wembley, flooded through the country. It was the first time, at the 10th attempt, that England had won their opening game at a European Championship. England have been up against the same opponents before without seeing it out, but this time they did. Southgate even brought on midfielder Jude Bellingham, to replace captain Harry Kane, and, at 17 years and days, he became the youngest player for England in a major finals. That was a huge show of faith and Bellingham repaid it.

Pleasingly, it was a day on which the manager got all the big calls right: starting with Sterling, Kalvin Phillip and with Kieran Trippier at left-back. At centre-back, Tyrone Mings was dominant and had his best game for the Three Lions. It was just as the crowd were chanting for Grealish to come on that England scored, and it was a superbly constructed goal. The tireless and brave Phillips, who had snapped into tackles, broken forward, passed and pressed well, then did all of that in one incisive movement. P hillips burst forward, riding one challenge, moving infield from the right and holding off another before sliding the ball through to Sterling, who had cleverly run in from the other flank.

Sime Vrsaljko came flying in to try to stop him, but the shot was dispatched, just as Sterling was hit, with the ball ricocheting off the hand of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic and into the net. Sterling wheeled away, roaring in delight and pointing to the clear blue sky.

Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

What a start and what a contribution from a player born within a goal-kick of this stadium. England ran more, passed more, had more efforts on goal and more possession, and thoroughly deserved the win that gives them early control of their group, with Scotland and the Czech Republic playing on Monday. It could, and should, have been more comfortable but what was so satisfying is that while there was anxiety in the stands, there was patience on the pitch.

There is still a long way to go in this competition and probably better opponents to face, but it was an encouraging start, and why not enjoy that, especially after such a difficult build-up? I t did not look like that. There was almost a fantasy moment, soon after kick-off, when Sterling surged forward from a throw-in and found Phil Foden, who shifted the ball to his left from 16 yards, used Josko Gvardiol as a shield and stroked a curling shot that beat Livakovic but rebounded back off the inside of a post.

Would Croatia be overwhelmed? It looked like the heat, their age, their lack of a threat up front would count against them, but they have experience and they have Modric, and he started to pick pockets of space, pushing up, dropping off and that danger was apparent. A little air went out of England and the pace slipped, which certainly suited Croatia far more. Kyle Walker misplaced two passes, Southgate discarded his jacket and brought out a notebook. It was too slow. But this is about patience.

This is about picking your moment and Phillips and Sterling did just that, and suddenly England were ahead and the complexion dramatically changed. Kane hurt himself slamming into a post as he tried to turn the ball home, Sterling blazed wastefully over when teed up by Mings and Southgate huddled with his assistant, Steve Holland, as he discussed permutations and changes.

The manager said he would use the bench and he did just that with Bellingham, Marcus Rashford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin introduced but, encouragingly, England did not fall into the old habit of dropping deep and trying to hold on, and, as Modric faded, that was almost as encouraging as the goal, the three points and the celebrations. B ut the tournament waits for no man! North Macedonia and Austria are about to do battle, very much the fixture we'd all got highlighted in the diary. But that's the beauty of a tournament, innit?

Might be an absolute cracker. Charles Richardson has our live blog. Austria vs North Macedonia, Euro live: score, team news and latest updates from Bucharest. Tyrone Mings ends England's defence debate — barking orders, dark arts, no twisting and turning. S pectator in 'serious' condition after falling from Wembley stands during England win.

Intriguingly while the Spanish commentator happily identified most of the England players solely by their surname Pick-ford, Walk-errr, Stair-leeeng he always referred to England's midfield maestro as Mason Mount. Never once did he call him just Mount. Very deferential ". We played well, settled, the majority of the game we were in control and we looked dangerous. Fantastic start to his Looking for something to kick Croatia my day career. I am so pleased for Raheem. He has had a hex in the tournaments so I am so pleased he has got a goal.

There were a couple of guys who didn't play today that we will need. Everybody did their job. A good start takes some of the stress out of the prep for the next game. We were on it from the first whistle. Dominated first Our counter press was something we have worked on. But that will happen with players of their quality. It got a bit of an 'ooo' but you don't get anything for an 'ooo'. Solid by ENG. Phillips outstanding. CRO absolutely Looking for something to kick Croatia my day.

Really warm, and that took its toll at the end of the game. Obviously it is a nice feeling: that is the first time I have found Raheem with a pass since coming with England!

Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

I am a laid back person, regardless of what has been thrown at me I try and take it in my path. I think we really play well together. Didn't expect that of him. It's especially impressive given he plays as the sole sitting midfielder for Leeds in Bielsa's Have seen plenty of players for England unable to adapt their game. I loved every second. It was probably the hottest game I have played in. It seems a lot more straightforward watching than it does playing. They are top team so we had to repel that threat.

And then as a team we wanted a clean sheet. We felt composed. The players that came on gave us a new lease of life. A ny disappointments? Other than Harry everyone looked really sharp. For me today this game was about England and how they pressed.

Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

The performances of Sterling and Phillips vindicated him. They were the difference in the game, combining for that winning goal. I t has to be said that Croatia looked a shadow of the team we saw in Russia three years ago, but England never looked troubled defensively at any stage. This opening game underlined why Sterling has to play in this team and in this formation as he brings different qualities to Foden and Grealish. I haven't been scoring for my club and there are lots of reasons for that but that is irrelevant now - I am with England. With this crowd behind them, they can really do something.

Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

E ngland win their opening fixture! And they did it with some style and some substance. N ice to see a side reduced to launching it at a big not not that big man and getting nowhere, and it not being England. A Croatian shot from miles away, but goes miles over, and that is the lot! H alfway through the four minutes added, it's played into the England area, Petkovic looks to pressure Pickford but the keeper is there. O bviously an exciting occasion, but the actual football is quite low-key the last few minutes.

England not looking terribly stretched. Croatia a bit short of ideas, energy or both. You could never call England up against a proper side in a tournament "comfortable" Looking for something to kick Croatia my day this is as close as you could reasonably hope. D elay of game as Vydra nuts Bellingham in the back of the head as they go up for the ball.

E ngland not under any particular pressure. C roatia launch a freekick into the England box but they make a foul. B ellingham and Phillips gang up to foul Modric. England managing to keep Croatia well clear of the danger area for the time being at least. A nd Bellingham has just picked the pocket of Modric, no less!

J ude Bellingham comes on, and becomes the youngest player at the European Championships. Replaces H Kane. P etkovic, a meaty forward, comes on for Rebic. Croatia looking to play their hand. And it's going to be a direct one by the looks of it. E ngland have a freekick, and Mings does brilliantly to nod that back.

Looking for something to kick Croatia my day

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