Premier League

Gareth Southgate praises ‘immense’ Bukayo Saka performance

Bukayo Saka

England manager Gareth Southgate has praised Arsenal star Bukayo Saka after the winger helped his nation gain a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Three Lions fans looked to be in for another long evening as Southgate and his squad travelled to Dusseldorf to face Switzerland in the quarter-finals of the European Championships. The Swiss opened up the scoreline thanks to a strike from Breel Embolo, before Saka nullified his efforts with a stunning equaliser to give England a lifeline.

England secured their spot among the final four teams of the tournament after winning 5-3 on penalties, with the Arsenal star one of the players to step up for his country.

“I gave him a massive cuddle on the pitch,” Southgate said after watching Saka score his first England penalty since his miss in the Euro 2020 final. “Of course I’m pleased for everybody, but for him especially when his went in.

Bukayo Saka

Saka was standout / Image Photo Agency/GettyImages

“That takes courage but we have belief in him. We had belief in him previously. He’s now got a lot more experience of those pressure moments and his all-round performance was exceptional.

“The detail of how he had to defend, track and be in the right positions was very complex down that side of the pitch. Then to give us the outlet in those one against one situations, we felt could be a real advantage for us.

“He did, he kept that positive note, so, yeah, his performance was immense.”

England will return to action on 10 July when they face the Netherlands in their Euro 2024 semi-final in Dortmund.

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