Frank Lampard singles out England trio for praise after win over Czech Republic

Frank Lampard reserved special mention for three England players following the 1-0 win over Czech Republic on Tuesday.

The Three Lions ensured they finished top of Group D with the narrow victory courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s headed goal.

Just as important was the performance, as Gareth Southgate’s side shook off their disappointing goalless draw with Scotland to produce a display filled with greater energy and attacking impetus not yet seen from England at the tournament thus far.

Much of that was down to the inclusion of key duo Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka in the starting XI in place of the absent Mason Mount and rested Phil Foden.

Bukayo Saka produced a superb display against Czech Republic

Discussing England’s performance against the Czechs, Lampard told the BBC on Wednesday: “Scotland was the main one where we all sat up and said, ‘We don’t like that’, and I’m sure Gareth would have addressed a lot of things going into yesterday.

“I felt that we picked up the speed of the game, in that first half, much more than we have done at this tournament so far with Saka turning for the first goal and going past them and breaking the line.

“Grealish will always do that and we just had more speed. We were penetrating with Luke Shaw arriving as well so it was more exciting.

“To try and have sustained periods in the opposition half and maybe be a bit better on the ball is something we need to look at.”

England did fade in the second half and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was kept busy between the sticks, but there was plenty for Southgate to feel positive about as his men head into the last 16, where they will face old rivals Germany.

Getting Harry Kane on the scoresheet will no doubt be a concern for the England boss, with his captain yet to find the net at Euro 2020.

However, Sterling has now racked up 14 goals in his last 19 appearances for his country and is so far carrying the torch for his team.

Attentions will now turn to who Southgate will pick for the crunch knockout clash at Wembley next Tuesday, with Mount set to be unavailable due to him being in a period of isolation with Ben Chilwell as a Covid-19 measure.

Who will win between England and Germany? Make your predictions in the comments below.

The focus in particular will be whether Foden is brought back into the side after Southgate left him out to eliminate the risk of him picking up another booking.

And if so, if that is in place of Grealish or Saka, both of whom were impressive.

Gary Neville believes Arsenal youngster Saka may well have given his teammates the much-needed boost required ahead of the knockout rounds.

“I’m hoping Phil Foden is watching that, who’s been out because of the yellow card, I hope he’s watching Saka,” Neville said on ITV after the game.

“He’s taking the ball on the back foot all of the time, he’s driving at people. That’s what we expected from Foden in the first two games.

“We didn’t quite get it, we know how exceptional he is. I think he could have inspired his team-mates tonight, Saka.”

Ian Wright concurred with Neville’s view, adding: “What we saw tonight was him [Saka] come in and give England that thrust.

“He got forward, played the ball and enjoyed himself. He was brilliant. England have got competition now.

“Phil Foden will see that and know there’s someone who can rival him.

“Saka has shown he’s not bothered who he’s playing against, he just goes out there and does his job.”

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