Premier League

Player ratings as Three Lions fly through to semi-final on penalties

Player ratings as Three Lions fly through to semi-final on penalties

England booked their place in the semi-final of Euro 2024 by seeing off Switzerland on penalties after an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Breel Embolo put Switzerland ahead with 15 minutes remaining, but Bukayo Saka’s excellent equaliser sent the game to extra time and ultimately penalties, where the Three Lions went five-for-five to advance to the next round.

How the game unfolded

Lining up in their new three-back formation, England dominated possession in the opening stages as right wing-back Saka enjoyed space out wide. A whipped cross for Kieran Trippier was slightly too strong, before a late offside flag against the Arsenal star ended a dangerous moment from the Three Lions.

Declan Rice and Kobbie Mainoo both saw long-range strikes blocked, while a number of cut-backs failed to reach their targets as England continued to push for the opener their bright start perhaps deserved.

Switzerland had their own bright moments and were happy to fire crosses into the box, but some resolute England defending prevented any real threats on Jordan Pickford’s goal.

On the stroke of half-time, Mainoo’s strike from close range drew an excellent block from Granit Xhaka. For all of the intrigue of the first half, neither side actually managed a shot on target, although England fans were undoubtedly happy with what they had seen in the first 45.

Embolo had the game’s first shot on target five minutes after the restart with a tame strike, before Switzerland started to enjoy their strongest period of the game. Some smart moves earned space down the right wing, forcing Ezri Konsa into a number of top interceptions.

The Swiss pressure ultimately proved too strong for England as Embolo bundled home a deflected cross from Dan Ndoye, setting up a dramatic final 15 minutes.

Five minutes later, however, England were back on level terms.

Saka cut inside from the right and curled a fierce, low effort into Yann Sommer’s goal to settle the tensions in the England camp.

Ebere Eze fizzed wide as the game approached the end of regular time, but there would be no separating the two teams inside 90 minutes.

Sommer had to be active to deny an excellent long-range strike from Rice shortly after the restart, before the Swiss stopper managed to claim an effort from Jude Bellingham.

Switzerland ended extra time on top. Xherdan Shaqiri hit the post directly from a corner, before Zeki Amdouni stung the gloves of Pickford with the final act before the penalty shoot-out.

Cole Palmer slotted home the first spot kick…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at 90min EN…