England overcame Croatia’ challenge with ease after Gareth Southgate’s team beat the Blazers by 1-0 in the Euro 2020 opener at Wembley Stadium.
After remaining goalless in the first half, Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock on the 57th-minute mark for the Three Lions and earned a crucial confidence-boosting win in the first game of the Euro 2020 campaign.
Following this victory, England took charge of group D and remained top for the time being. The three Lions have now won their first game in European Championship for the first time in their history.
England 1-0 Croatia team news:
England manager Gareth Southgate went with 4-3-3 formation and Jordan Pickford started on goal. The England boss chose John Stones and Tyrone Mings as his preferred centre back partnership in the absence of Harry Maguire.
Harry Kane led the line for the Three Lions, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden were on the wings. And Mason Mount started as the creative midfielder.
Zlatko Dalic also chose to go with 4-3-3 formation. Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic were given the responsibility to dictate the game from midfield. Ivan Perisic started on the left-wing spot. And Ante Rebic led the line for the Croatians.
England 1-0 Croatia Post-match analysis:
England were dominant for the first 20 minutes. They pressed high, suffocated the Croatian midfielders and won the ball back very quickly. The Three Lions were flying in the early stages of the game. In the meantime, Foden saw his shot come off the post very early into the game.
However, as the game progressed Croatia started to settle down and dictate the speed of the game. But, they failed to create any clear cut opportunities. Dalic’s side were very slow with the possession which helped England to stay compact and keep the clean sheet.
After remaining goalless in the first half, England found the breakthrough early in the second half. Kalvin Phillips’ brilliant run through the Croatian midfield completely opened the Blazers defence and a through pass from the Leeds United man was dispatched by Sterling without taking a touch.
Kane got a brilliant chance to double the margin right after the goal. But, the England captain’s shot went over the crossbar.
Dalic made a few attacking changes after going down, but, Croatia failed to create any significant opportunities to equalise, and in the end, England came away with all three points.
Kalvin Phillips: The Leeds man started the game in place of unfit Jordan Henderson. And straightaway showed his talent on the big stage. Phillips provided a great assist and was the man of the match.
Raheem Sterling: The English winger had a poor season for his standard with Manchester City. However, scoring in the first game of Euro 2020 will give him confidence to carry on in the rest of the tournament.
Kyle Walker: The Manchester City right-back had an awful first half. None of his passes reached the intended targets. Kieran Trippier should start on the right and Luke Shaw on the left from the next game.
England will encounter Scotland in their next game on 18th June and Croatia will travel to Glasgow to encounter the Czech Republic on the same day.