Monday, 24 September, 2018

How have Three Lions reached the semi finals?

Quite a ride Gareth Southgate salutes the England fans after Saturday’s triumphMore Quite a ride Gareth Southgate salutes the England fans after Saturday’s triumphMore
| 10 July, 2018, 14:14

After finishing second in their Group to fellow semi finalists Belgium, Gareth Southgate's side has incredibly found itself on the easier side of the draw, avoiding the likes of France, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, while Spain and Germany faced early elimination.

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive".

They began solidly against England in a slow and sloppy start to the game that resembled a pre-season friendly at times, only to be outdone by a goal Sweden isn't used to conceding.

Harry Kane was not even born when England last reached the World Cup semifinals 28 years ago, but the Tottenham striker - who has met 1966 final hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst - fully appreciates the weight of history he and his teammates are making in Russian Federation.

"We have to talk about the Tottenham v Liverpool game at Wembley when Harry Kane ran Dejan Lovren ragged", he said.

'He had to work away for long periods of time to pay for my boots and for petrol so my mum could get me to training.

"They've been through a lot". If we had to play two big teams in close succession, that's very hard.


Alli was part of the England squad who crashed out of Euro 2016 with defeat by Iceland and he said Southgate had encouraged the players to confront that memory before the tournament.

"They showed from the games I've seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast. More the other night (against Colombia) coming into Saturday", he added.

This is a tough choice and I went for both teams scoring.

"But of course you get an accumulation of fatigue through a tournament, that's why we took the decision we did against Belgium more than anything". Hendo (Jordan Henderson) was another one who was feeling tightness in his hamstring, which was why we made the change.

I find this one really hard to call. "I play every game like every other game". I think we can do it. That's the only word I can describe it because we're all a family.

England continued their prolific use of set-plays to break the deadlock in their 2-0 win over Sweden when Harry Maguire headed home from a corner.

"We are in the semi-final now and, as a team, we think we should be in the final".

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