Four things we learned from England’s 2-0 win over Sweden
Three Lions are in the semi-finals
England have sealed their place in the World Cup finals with an impressive 2-0 win over Sweden.
Gareth Southgate’s side produced a very accomplished display to reach the final four without too many scares.
The draw has really opened up for them now. Only Russia or Croatia stand in between them and a place in the World Cup Final.
The Coral News Team have four of the key talking points from the action in Samara…
Even without a goal, Sterling justifies his place
Raheem Sterling’s international goal drought is clearly affecting his confidence in the final third, but he still brings things to this side that no one else can.
His movement and speed forces the opposition back, opening up space for his teammates to play.
The Manchester City man keeps getting into dangerous areas. He just needs a stroke of luck to really start firing.
Jordan Pickford continues to prove his critics wrong
The Everton goalkeeper came under fire for conceding against Belgium, but his heroics in the penalty shoot-out against Colombia were followed by several stunning saves here.
The goalkeeper denied Marcus Berg just after the interval. Another great stop from Viktor Claessen maintained England’s two-goal advantage.
The Everton number one is standing tall on the big stage. You’d back him to produce another commanding display in the semi-finals.
England are showing real maturity
Even as clear favourites for this tie, it would have been understandable if England felt nerves. It’s been 28 years since they last reached the semi-finals of a major tournament.
But they were very assured throughout, playing with impressive maturity for a side with relatively little international experience.
Southgate will be particularly impressed with how they used the ball. The Three Lions had struggled to create chances in open play in their previous World Cup outings, but they used the ball really well here.
Harry Maguire’s growing into England’s defensive lynchpin
Harry Maguire had only made five appearances for England before the World Cup began. His displays during this tournament suggest he’s likely to be a mainstay in the starting XI for a long time to come.
As well as being dominant at the back, he’s proving to be a real handful at the other end of the pitch too.
His mere presence causes havoc amongst the opposition defence at set-pieces and he opened the scoring with a powerful header. Southgate will be particularly pleased with his accomplished use of the ball too.
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