England got off to the ideal start to their Euro 2020 campaign, as they ran out 1-0 winners over Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The only goal of the game came after 57 minutes, when Kalvin Phillips’ inch-perfect through ball found Raheem Sterling, and the Manchester City winger fired home from close-range to give Gareth Southgate’s side a deserved lead on the day.
Phillips’ inclusion in the starting XI caused some debate amongst supporters on social media, with some claiming that Southgate had opted for too defence-minded team for the game.
But Phillips justified his selection in the team, and caught the eye with a strong performance, which is likely to put him in a good position to start future matches in the tournament this summer.
England are now top of their respective group, and will be hoping that they can remain unbeaten for their remaining two matches that are to come in the near future.
Phillips has received high praise from a number of pundits and players from across the country for his performance on the day.
One of Phillips’ former Leeds United team-mates Bradley Johnson was one of those to react to his strong showing, and labelled it as ‘sensational’, which is a statement that the Elland Road faithful are certain to agree with.
— Bradley Johnson (@BradJohnson15) June 13, 2021
Does Elland Road have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
I have to agree with his words here.
I’ll admit that I had my doubts as to whether Phillips would have been good enough to start for England in this one, as I thought they’d be better off starting with a more attack-minded player in midfield.
But he showed the qualities that we’ve all seen whilst at Leeds United this summer, and his pressing also impressed me in the win over Croatia on Sunday.
His through ball for Raheem Sterling’s goal was well-weighted as well, and he deserves all the plaudits that come his way after such a strong performance in their first game of the tournament.