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Top of the group…just about! But there are much tougher tests to come

Written by on 23 June 2021

So now the tournament really begins for England. They got the job done against the Czech Republic, just about.

It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t emphatic, it was functional. They knew what they needed to do to top this group and they went and did it. Just about.

All the pre-match talk had been about the missing duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, absent after chatting to Chelsea club mate Billy Gilmour in the tunnel after the Scotland game.

Ben Chilwell (L) and Mason Mount are having to self-isolate Image: Ben Chilwell (L) and Mason Mount are having to self-isolate

But all eyes quickly turned to Jack Grealish, starting a major game for England for the first time. And it was he who put in the cross for Raheem Sterling to score.

Next up, it’s another home game on Tuesday, in the last 16.

On the way out of the stadium, England fans sang about “football coming home”. But they simply couldn’t decide on who they would rather face.

World Champions France? European Champions Portugal? Or Germany? It’s quite the choice.

England fans celebrate victory Image: England fans celebrate victory

England will know their opponent by 10pm Wednesday and they will know what they have to do.

Beat a top nation and book a place in the quarterfinals, a game that will be played in Rome.

For now, they can rest, recover and re-group. Mason and Chilwell will return and there are no significant injury concerns.

Tuesday night promises to be a blockbuster. Knockout football, big names, huge pressure.

If football really is to ever come home, the big teams have to be beaten somewhere. And where better than at Wembley?

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