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England booked a Wembley date in the last 16 of Euro 2020, as a 1-0 win over Czech Republic secured top spot in Group D.
After a lacklustre draw with Scotland on Friday, Gareth Southgate's side required a response to inspire the fans - and they delivered just that.
The margin of victory may have been only one goal, a Raheem Sterling header, but a side containing Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish thrilled the fans. The attacking pair scored high, but who else caught the eye on a positive night for the Three Lions?
Jordan Pickford - 7
The Everton man has had busier nights in an England shirt, but he did make one excellent save - diving to his right to repel a long-range blast from Tomas Holes.
'He seems to dive a bit late' that's Lee Dixon talking about Pickford making a wonderful save. I give up ♂️#EURO2020 #ENG
- Alby (@Alby_1878) June 22, 2021
Luke Shaw - 8
The left-back has finally found his feet at Manchester United, and he delivered that sort of form on Tuesday night. Was eager to attack at every opportunity, which was not the case against Scotland, and also produced some excellent moments defensively - none more so than when taking a boot in the face when heading clear in his own area.
Very astute tactical change by Southgate tonight, moving to a back three when attacking, with Shaw immediately pushing up to LWB. Subtle, but paying dividends already. #CRO #ENG #EURO2020
- Rich Paul (@richpaul) June 22, 2021
John Stones - 6
Czech Republic did not offer a huge amount going forward, and it was a quiet night for the Manchester City man. England fans would happily take four more quiet matches for Stones and Co.
Harry Maguire - 7
The Manchester United defender was under a bit of pressure replacing Tyrone Mings, who had done nothing wrong in the opening two games. But Maguire is Southgate's key figure at the back and he brings an air of authority - while one glorious pass to create a chance for Harry Kane showed he's not a one-trick pony.
Kane needs dropping ! What excuses are there now ! Harry Maguire has not played for 6 weeks , and he was class ..
- cooksno7 (@cooksno7) June 22, 2021
Kyle Walker - 6
Was not as dynamic going forward as can be the case, but produced a number of polished moments in the defensive third.
Declan Rice - 6
Assured in his role protecting the back four, but did not reappear for the second half. Remains to be seen if he has a niggle, or whether Southgate saw it as a good chance to get some minutes into the legs of Jordan Henderson.
Kalvin Phillips - 7
Andrea Pirlo may have retired some time ago, but it's only a matter of time before he is renamed the Brescian Phillips. Leeds fans know exactly what Phillips brings to the table, and he looks like he's been playing international football for years.
Jack Grealish - 8
England fans have been beating the Grealish drum in recent days. The fear was it would puncture. Not a bit of it, as the Aston Villa man was a breath of fresh air. Always demanding the ball, always looking to turn and run at the opposition. Like the team as a whole, the second half did not match the first but he justified his selection with his assist for the winning goal, and has given the manager plenty to think about for the knockout stage.
:shirt: First start at the Euros
:dart: First assist
Inevitable. :fire: pic.twitter.com/EZwKgEWoDz
- Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 22, 2021
Grealish has to start every England game, completely changes the look of the team #EURO2020 #ENG #CZEENG
- Getasw Hailu (@getaswhailu) June 22, 2021
Raheem Sterling - 7
He's a goalscoring machine for his country. The Manchester City forward was denied by the width of a post inside two minutes, but he made no mistake later in the first half as he headed home Grealish's cross to double his tally at Euro 2020.
25% of Raheem Sterling's goals for England have come against Czech Republic [4/16].
Another Wembley strike. :dart: pic.twitter.com/VrQe7m18Qt
- Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 22, 2021
Bukayo Saka - 8
The Arsenal youngster was a surprise selection, but he did not disappoint. Saka is a player high on confidence who proved a thorn in the side of the Czech defence. Receive the ball, turn and attack the Czech back line was the plan and he did it brilliantly.
SAKA IS UNBELIEVABLE!! Why haven't they been starting him in every match?! :clap::clap::two_hearts: #ENG #ENGCZE
- Siobhan (@slinehan1) June 22, 2021
Saka ripping it up!! A positive England game plan love it :heart_eyes: #Eng
- liam (@LiamWeekes) June 22, 2021
Harry Kane - 6
It was an improvement on his opening two performances, but the skipper is still guilty of dropping too deep in search of the ball. Was denied his first goal of the tournament by a good save from Czech keeper Tomas Vaclik. Hopefully he's storing up the goals for the knockouts.
England are not going to get a freewheeling, high-scoring team under Southgate. The question is whether this approach can deliver the ultimate success. And it probably is the best approach
- Tom Adams (@tomadams83) June 22, 2021
Jordan Henderson - 6
The midfielder is feeling his way back to fitness and 45 minutes of playing time will stand him in good stead for the knockout stage. His dream of a first England goal was dashed by an offside flag.
Marcus Rashford, Jude Bellingham and Tyrone Mings were given cameos, but the lack of a certain Jadon Sancho until the final seven minutes raised a few eyebrows.
Incredibly odd not to give Sancho at least half hour or so in this game. Understand there's a lot of talent in the forward areas but just two goals in three games suggests that it isn't flowing as it should. Strange one. #ENG #EURO2020
- Matthew Law (@MLAW290) June 22, 2021
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