England enjoyed a relatively comfortable World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden on Saturday afternoon.
Gareth Southgate’s side were expecting a stern test against a Sweden side who had been structurally sound all the way through the tournament so far – however, much like Uruguay against France on Friday, the Scandinavians picked a really bad time to have an off-day.
A relatively straightforward 2-0 win, courtesy of headers either side of half time from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli, sealed England’s place in the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1990 and has already ensured Gareth Southgate and this squad’s place in the annals of English legend, regardless of the outcome of next week’s last-four clash.
Sweden, for their part, will be left to ponder what have might have been had they shown a bit more invention. With their defence penetrated by Maguire’s opener in the first half, Janne Andersson’s side looked bereft of ideas. When confronted with the need to chase a game, they were found wanting. They have chances in the second half, but they were few and far between – indeed, even when they did fashion something together, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was on hand to thwart them at every turn.
If England didn’t believe that football was coming home, they certainly do now. Russia or Croatia, and the chance to fight for a place in the World Cup final, await the Three Lions.
— England (@England) July 7, 2018
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 7, 2018
The maturity of this young side is unbelievable respect to G Southgate wow .. keeper ?? Henderson ?? #itsComingHomeRussia2018
— Rob Jones (@RobjonesLFC2) July 7, 2018
Love how calm the whole squad were after the final whistle. Controlled and composed celebrations, ??????. This is really gonna happed
— Joleon Lescott (@JoleonLescott) July 7, 2018
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) July 7, 2018
— Everton (@Everton) July 7, 2018
Proud as punch.
These guys are a credit to the country.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) July 7, 2018
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) July 7, 2018
England are #WorldCup semi-finalists.
HOW GOOD DOES THAT SOUND?
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 7, 2018
I’m going to have a chat with my children to explain to them that this just isn’t normal. After the easiest of strolls… England are in the last 4 of the #WorldCup … the actual World Cup! ???⚽️
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) July 7, 2018