For the first time ever, England have made back-to-back semi-finals in major international tournaments.
Gareth Southgate’s side finished fourth at the Russia 2018 World-Cup, losing out to Croatia in the semi-final. However, The Three Lion’s are back in the final four, thanks to a stellar display against Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine.
This came just five days after that iconic victory against Germany, but Southgate and his players said after that game that the win against The Germans would mean nothing if they didn’t go out to Rome and progress and they certainly did that.
To a man, England were immense in Rome.
Southgate reverted back to a four-man defence, which he had used in all group games, and Jadon Sancho came into starting XI.
Harry Kane started off slowly this summer, and there were even calls for him to be dropped. He has silenced all of them, three goals in the last two games, the Harry Kane of old is back.
He scored England’s first, Sterling took it inside from the left, as he so often does, and played a beautiful play through to Kane who prodded it past the Ukrainian keeper.
That was only the second goal that England have scored, in the first-half, this campaign so it was great to get off to an excellent start. Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, highlighted the need for a quick start in his post-match interview.
The second was just a minute into the second-half, another quick start. Luke Shaw crossed in a free-kick and his club teammate, Harry Maguire, was there to head the ball into the back of the net.
The final two were also headers, Luke Shaw got himself another assist after he found himself down the left hand-side. He delivered the ball into an unmarked Harry Kane who, like Maguire headed the ball past the opposition keeper.
For the final goal, Mason Mount sent in the corner it ended up onto Jordan Henderson’s head and turned into a fourth goal.
It was a mix of England from Russia and that sides set-piece prowess, three years ago, with the new defensive solidity of this 2021 side. But the main thing is England are into their second consecutive semi-final, both under the doubted Gareth Southgate. Scenes of jubilation were seen all over the country all night long.
Long may this special run continue.