England-Slovenia (0-0): at the end of boredom, the Three Lions validate their first place

England-Slovenia (0-0): at the end of boredom, the Three Lions validate their first place

Across the Channel, interesting 0-0s sometimes exist, particularly during matches at the top of the Premier League. But what applies to English clubs corresponds much less to the selection. From Clément Turpin’s kick-off, England seemed to be waiting for the final whistle. On arrival, the calculation is not full of panache, but well paid off.

With this draw conceded to Slovenia (0-0), the English retain the lead of their group C of the Euro, two points ahead of Denmark and their evening opponents, who miss second place thanks to the eighth criterion allowing to decide between the tied teams (the Euro qualification ranking), but are invited to the 8th for the first time. Above all, Harry Kane and his teammates thus avoid the uneven route to the upper part of the table, where Germany, Spain, Portugal and France were already waiting in the round of 16. They will face a better third on Sunday (6 p.m.).

England’s start to the Euro resembled that of Didier Deschamps’ gang: a short victory to start (1-0), a slightly more prolific draw against Denmark (1-1) than the blank score for the Blues against the Netherlands (0-0) and a selection criticized for the sterility of the developed game. The comparison also applies to the coach’s choice to continue with his – almost – typical eleven despite having already acquired qualification, but it stops at the volume of media pressure. Faced with the disapproval of newspapers and former players, the ears of the Three Lions whistled much louder than those of the French.

Sans inspiration

In the media field, Kane even came out to tar Gary Lineker. On the Cologne meadow, the Bayern Munich striker chattered less with his feet. It wasn’t until the 31st minute that he scored England’s first shot on target. On target, but without danger for Jan Oblak. The Atlético goalkeeper, however, scored twice from a well-aimed free kick from Phil Foden a few moments later.

For the third time in as many games, Gareth Southgate exiled the Citizen to the left side in order to reserve space for Jude Bellingham in the center. But number 10 did not take the opportunity to show himself, nor to liven up the English game, like an already lackluster performance against the Danes.

Only Foden’s set pieces created relative danger within the Slovenian area, with the exception of an action in added time stopped by Oblak. If Matjaz Kek’s men had offered a more fluid use of the ball during the first act, they definitively abandoned it to their opponents in the second half. They never knew what to do with it. But they will have the opportunity to play football again, for real, in the 8th, early next week.


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