Euro 2020: England finish top of Group D with narrow victory over Czech Republic

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England have finished top of group D at Euro 2020 after victory over the Czech Republic.

The evening started well when Gareth Southgate finally granted the wishes of England fans by naming Jack Grealish in his starting XI.

Bukayo Saka was also drafted into the starting line-up with Southgate desperate for a response from his side following an apologetic performance against Scotland.

Those changes paid immediate dividends for the Three Lions as Grealish set up Raheem Sterling to nod the home side ahead in the opening exchanges.

There was an entirely different energy to the side as they flooded forward in a bid to double their lead with under fire captain Harry Kane coming agonisingly close to doing just that.

Having sent the hapless defender for a hot-dog, Kane was only denied by a stoic hand from the goalkeeper.

You can hardly blame Kane for shooting, but replays did show that, had he squared it to Sterling, it would have been a simple tap in.

The Czechs had chances of their own before the break but the English defence held firm.

the second half was a far more tactical affair with England choosing to sit and protect the lead they had.

The desperate Czech's threw everything at them but, despite a number of close calls, just couldn't find a way through the Harry Maguire-led rearguard.

Second-half substitutes Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham looked to have set up Jordan Henderson for his first ever England goal late on but it was ruled out for offside.

That was the full extent of the drama in the end as England held out to book their spot in the business end of the tournament.

Southgate and his team will know they have sterner tests ahead but the fact that they are yet to concede a goal is immensely encouraging.

It might not earn you a lot of admirers but tournament football is all bayou the business of winning and that becomes a lot easier if you aren't conceding any goals.

With Maguire back to marshal the defence and Henderson getting some valuable minutes under his belt, the Three Lions could be about to peak at exactly the right moment.

After the Scotland debacle, the picture is looking far more rosey for the English.

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