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Southgate details message to England stars Saka and Bellingham after Denmark win

Gareth Southgate revealed he had to remind young lions Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham that England aren’t used to winning big matches in the aftermath of their European Championship semi-final win over Denmark.

England progressed to their first-ever European Championship final with a 2-1 win over the Danes at Wembley.

Mikkel Damsgaard threatened to ruin the party when he fired a free-kick past Jordan Pickford after half an hour.

But Raheem Sterling forced Simon Kjaer into putting the ball into his own net just ten minutes later to get England back in the game, with Southgate’s side dominating the game from thereon out.

Sterling then won a penalty during the first period of added time, which led to England going in front after Harry Kane’s spot-kick was saved, only for the captain to fire in the rebound.

The win banished the bad memories from the 2018 World Cup, but Southgate was quick to remind some of the younger players that things aren’t always this rosy with the national side.

Gareth Southgate has guided England to the final of the European Championship for the first time in the tournament’s history

Speaking to ITV after the game, Southgate said: “I said the other day the young ones think it’s always like this.

“I just had to tell Saka and Bellingham it doesn’t normally work like this.”

Saka had a brilliant game and drilled the ball across goal for England’s equaliser.

The Arsenal winger started on the right flank and was constantly cutting inside and making off-ball runs to terrorise the Danish back line.

Speaking before the game, Arsenal icon Ian Wright heaped praise on the Gunners starlet, and explained that his inclusion in the England set-up hasn’t come out of nowhere.

“The fact is, we’re talking about someone who joined Arsenal’s academy when he was like seven,” he said.

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Bukayo Saka has shone during Euro 2020 after being given minutes by Gareth Southgate
Bukayo Saka has shone during Euro 2020 after being given minutes by Gareth Southgate

“He’s progressed through, at 17 he went into the under 23s, he’s always played at a high level.

“He’s played for England since under 16s, he’s played at every level, he’s someone who hasn’t just arrived here.

“He was destined to do what he’s doing, playing big games like this.

“That’s why everyone at Arsenal knows what he’s capable of, and we’re seeing that now.”

Gary Neville echoed Wright’s sentiments, claiming Saka’s rise to the first-team is proof that Southgate is doing the right thing with his team selection.

“It’s a massive achievement, it’s been typical of Gareth’s reign.

Bukayo Saka was a constant threat for England before being subbed off for Jack Grealish
Bukayo Saka was a constant threat for England before being subbed off for Jack Grealish

“He’s ripped up the rulebook, you don’t have to be at a fashionable club, a Champions League club, you don’t even have to be the most popular with the media or fans.

“If you’re in form in training and doing it for him, he’ll pick you for a game, and that’s working out for him because the lads who are out on the pitch are in the best form.

“Saka’s been electric in every game he’s played. I was happy he rested him on Saturday, it would have been too much for him, but tonight he should be absolutely flying.”




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