England well and truly defied expectations when they beat Germany 2-0 at the Euros in the knockout stages. The Three Lions have not traditionally enjoyed much success beyond the group stages in this particular competition and as such the result brought about by Gareth Southgate’s men was almost unprecedented.
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane provided the crucial goals which powered their side through to the quarter finals where they will face Ukraine.
England were certainly the underdogs going into the fixture. A relatively toothless frontline had marred their campaign thus far and Germany’s resurgent form had pegged them to be favourites for the encounter.
As such, Southgate and company prevailed over their critics.
The opinion of one such figure after the full-time whistle was certainly intriguing.
Jose Mourinho was all-praise for the Three Lions. In fact, the AS Roma gaffer also found positive words for Luke Shaw, whose recent criticism by the Special One had reopened old wounds.
Speaking about the performance of the Manchester United fullback to talkSPORT, Mourinho remarked: “They worked really hard and the team was very, very solid. We have Trippier closing down the space on the inside, the wing-backs won their duels, Shaw controlled Kimmich and Tripper did the same, the two midfielders were giants, everybody worked really hard for the team.”
In particular, Mourinho was impressed with the manner in which the formation put up by Southgate, reliant on individuals performing well, worked wonders against the German side that had battered Portugal early on.
He adds: “The geometry made the players feel very comfortable, made Shaw and Trippier perform in a very solid way.”
Not a bad set of momentum to carry forward in a tournament where the big sides are slowly being vanquished and often not even at the hands of other giants.