Gareth Southgate unlocked England’s attacking potential to beat Ukraine 4-0, handing Jadon Sancho his first start of the Euros in the process.
Sancho, having secured his transfer to Manchester United, was given the nod by Southgate for the quarter-finals of the European Championship.
Even though the 21-year-old wasn’t directly involved in any of the four goals, some fans argued Sancho’s inclusion was key behind Ukraine’s thumping on Saturday night.
The Englishman certainly was lively, especially in the opening stages of the game, and caused problems for Andriy Shevchenko’s defence with his dazzling dribbling. In fact, no player on the pitch completed more take-ons than the former Borussia Dortmund star.
Jadon Sancho putting on a show in Rome 📸 pic.twitter.com/ThWIPWPvah
— utdreport (@utdreport) July 3, 2021
Jadon Sancho starts and England score more than 2 goals in a match for the first time in the whole tournament. Noted. ✍️
— Ryan. 🔰 (@Vintage_Utd) July 3, 2021
No player completed more take-ons in the first half than Jadon Sancho (3).
Dancing past the opposition. 🕺 pic.twitter.com/qw7vnJqDOo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 3, 2021
Ferdinand about Sancho:
“At the end of that [run] normally is a pass, a weight of pass and decision-making that probably goes beyond his years.”
100% correct. It’s not just Sancho’s carrying but it’s the fact he’s a pass-first player and has world class decision-making.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) July 3, 2021
Think @ManUtd fans going to enjoy watching Jadon Sancho.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) July 3, 2021
sancho was on fire tonight by the way, don’t sleep !
— aj (@ajtracey) July 3, 2021
Sancho waited a while for his proper involvement with the Three Lions, and didn’t let the hype accompanying the announcement of his transfer to United affect his performance. Before the kick-off, Southgate also praised the youngster’s efforts in training.
The Englishman didn’t forget to thank the coaching staff for the opportunity in the quarter-final. “It’s one of my happiest moments – my family will be proud of me and I’m just happy that the coaching staff gave me an opportunity to play tonight,” he told ITV Football in his post-match interview.
Starting ahead of Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden in Rome, the right-winger made a good enough case for retaining his place in the lineup. As such, the England boss will have a selection headache to deal with for the semi-final meeting against Denmark.