Grealish was brilliant for England.
Grealish set up England’s only goal of the game in London, crossing for Raheem Sterling to score in the first half, and was excellent on his first start in the tournament.
Elsewhere in the group, Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 at Hampden Park to finish in second place. The Czechs finished third and advance as one of the four best third-place sides. Scotland, meanwhile, are out.
England 1-0 Czech Republic.
England started brightly in the game. They pressed higher and played with more intensity than in their previous group games, against Croatia and Scotland respectively.
Luke Shaw was an attacking outlet on the left and Harry Maguire’s presence in defence improved Southgate’s team, as the Man United defender played some probing passes out from the back and through the lines.
It was Grealish and Bukayo Saka, however, who impressed most for England. Saka was a surprise inclusion, but he fully justified his start on his sixth appearance for the English national team.
Saka beat his opponent, got crosses into the box and linked up well with his teammates. The Arsenal midfielder, 19, helped infuse England with a renewed energy after two stodgy performances against Croatia and Scotland.
England 1-0 Czech Republic: Jack Grealish.
Grealish, however, was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, particularly in the first half.
The Aston Villa captain, earning just his ninth cap for England, set up Sterling’s goal with a wonderful cross with his left foot to the back post. And he made something happen almost anytime he came into possession.
Grealish arguably made a mockery of Southgate’s reluctance to start him in the tournament until this game.
If it wasn’t for Mason Mount requiring to self-isolate, the midfielder may not have even been in the starting XI.
Second time's a charm for Raheem Sterling at Wembley, who gives hosts England the lead having already hit the post. #CZE 0-1 #ENG#CROSCO #CZEENG #EURO2020 #RTEsoccer
📱 Live updates – https://t.co/XA6eVc99EH
📺 Watch live – https://t.co/wQsvKI41BU pic.twitter.com/esqV0jUyuU
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 22, 2021
Grealish faded slightly after the break, but Southgate’s decision to substitute him off 20 minutes into the second half was dumbfounding. England supporters at Wembly booed when Grealish’s number came up on the board and he trudged off.
The former Ireland underage international would be forgiven for being confused as to why, with the game in the balance, he was taken off, particularly after such an impressive display.
However, Grealish still caught the eye of most fans watching at home and earned widespread praise for his performance.
England will play the team that finishes third in Group F – France, Portugal, Germany or Hungary – at Wembley next Tuesday.
Jack Grealish’s first start at Euro 2020 earns widespread praise.
jack grealish is just sensational! 😍😍😍😍
— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) June 22, 2021
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 22, 2021
This what happen when you play your best player Gareth, What a ball @JackGrealish
— Ahmed Elmohamady (@Elmo_27) June 22, 2021
📊 Phil Foden in 62 minutes against #SCO
– 3 Progressive carries
– 0 Carries into final 3rd
– 1 Carry into Pen area
📊 Jack Grealish in 27 mins against #SCO
— PGR (@pgr_analytics) June 19, 2021
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 22, 2021
Jack Grealish’s game by numbers vs. Czech Republic [66 minutes]:
82% pass accuracy
37 total touches, 2 in the box
3 passes into the final third
3 fouls won
A handful. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/4UXkWdfNL8
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 22, 2021