Premier League

Player ratings as Three Lions pull off stunning comeback

Player ratings as Three Lions pull off stunning comeback

A sloppy England pulled off a miraculous comeback to keep their Euro 2024 hopes alive, beating Slovakia 2-1 after extra time on Sunday.

Ivan Schranz’s first-half strike looked to have fired Slovakia to a deserved victory before Jude Bellingham’s overhead kick deep in second half stoppage time sent the game to extra time, where Harry Kane headed the Three Lions to the ugliest of victories.

A win is a win, however, and England can now regroup ahead of their quarter-final clash with Switzerland.

How the game unfolded

Unlike the Slovenia game, there was some life to England in the opening stages. Bukayo Saka had a half-sight of goal early on, before Kieran Trippier ballooned an effort over the bar ten minutes in.

Slovakia looked to cause problems on the counter and Lukas Haraslin managed to get in behind Kyle Walker down the right, only for Marc Guehi to pull out a lunging block to repel the winger’s shot on goal.

That chance seemed to unnerve England, who began to look lethargic in attack and even looked uncharacteristically shaky in defence.

With England failing to find their footing, Slovakia took the lead 25 minutes in. Guehi found himself caught out at the back and Schranz made the most of some space in behind to fire past Jordan Pickford and put the underdogs ahead.

Slovakia sat deep to defend their lead and, as the clock ticked on, England looked as though they had no idea how to turn the tide before the half-time whistle put fans out of their misery.

Phil Foden thought he had tapped home an equaliser five minutes after the restart, but a quick VAR check showed the Manchester City midfielder had wandered offside and the goal was chalked off.

Slovakia nearly scored from the half-way line after a lapse in concentration from John Stones but, while England did regain their composure after that fright, they fell straight back into their predictable, lethargic ways.

78 minutes in and England were still waiting for their first shot on target. Not only should Kane have tested Martin Dubravka with a header, but he should have been wheeling away in celebration, but the captain inexplicably sent his effort well wide of the post.

Declan Rice struck the frame of the goal from the edge of the box as the game entered its final ten minutes, and in the final minute of six added on, England’s first shot on target arrived in spectacular fashion.

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