Highly-rated England win just enough and fail to convince on their European Cup debut.

Highly-rated England win just enough and fail to convince on their European Cup debut.

The most valuable team of Euro 2024, a big contender for the crown, beat Serbia 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jude Bellingham. The Real Madrid player was his most consistent value in the match. The British team went from plus to minus. Given the expectations it raises, this borders on disappointing.

England is apparently a serious candidate for Euro 2024 . He arrived in Germany with a heavy backpack on his back: to consecrate one of its most brilliant generations of players with a trophy. Of all the powers of the Old Continent, the British team is the only one to have never won the European Cup, even if it is difficult to believe since it is the country where football emerged and won a world title (in 1966). In this sense, the attention garnered by the casting of Gareth Southgate is much greater.

In Gelsenkirchen, home of Schalke 04, the debut took place with a 1-0 victory against Serbia, in Group C. The highlight was the result, because what was displayed on the pitch was far from convincing. He was bordering on disappointment.

Seeing that other heavyweights started winning (Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands, pending France and Portugal), the cast of the Three Lions could not fail. Its top selection status lies, among other things, in the fact that It is the most valuable team in Euro 2024, with a squad valued at 1,520 million euros. This must have translated on the pitch, against a Serbia which made its debut in the competition as an independent nation and which sent a nominal double 9 from the start: Vlahovic and Mitrovic.

England went from more to less during the match, until finally leaving doubt. He began to dominate the ball, with the initiative on his shoulders. The outlook seemed reassuring when he opened the account early. In the 13th minute, Jude Bellingham attacked with a central header after a delivery from Bukayo Saka, who had a deviation in his trajectory, to make the score 1-0. The Real Madrid player moved into the center forward position to score the first goal.

Southgate had his star cast. From midfield they had Saka, Bellingham, Phil Foden and Harry Kane. Additionally, with Alexander-Arnold (the Liverpool full-back is a central midfielder for the national manager) and Declan Rice in the center of the pitch. Good footing all around. Although the dominance was sustained and the attacks explosive, with space to attack, the performances were not consistent. Bellingham was the clearest, plus a sharp Saka on the right, being the opener. On the other hand, Foden was not in phase with the play, charging from the left, and Kane was not assisted either.

Towards the end, the English suffered too much. Whether it was Serbia’s reaction or the team’s attitude, the British faltered. They gave up the initiative. It was similar to what happened to Italy against Albania, Saturday with two very different periods. The Balkans realized that they could worry England and, little by little, they were more encouraged. Coach Dragan Stojkovic brought in Tadic and Jovic to freshen up the offense. For his part, Southgate was unable to make changes to take over the management of the shares. The changes were delayed.

The clearest chance for the English came in the 77th minute, with Kane’s header hitting the crossbar after goalkeeper Rajkovic intervened. It all came from an outburst from Jarrod Bowen, who came on in place of Saka, with a good first half and little contribution in the second half. The most consistent was Bellingham, with a huge showing, who ended up being exhausted.

One of the great contenders for the crown found himself in debt, despite the result. England’s second appearance is on Thursday 20th, against Denmark, who drew 1-1 with Slovenia. Faced with a complex rival, he has the opportunity to confirm the great expectations that exist in the industry.

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Source: Latercera

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