Dry spells in football are pretty common for teams both on a domestic scale and internationally, but they’re never fun. England fans have experienced that in the last few months with three consecutive defeats after a World Cup campaign that had the nation getting behind them again, but now, they’re back to winning ways after a narrow triumph over Switzerland this evening.
Gareth Southgate’s men have the backing of the country right now after a thoroughly successful tournament in Russia earlier this summer, after managing to reach the semi-finals before being knocked out by Croatia. The Swiss, on the other hand, were eliminated by Sweden at the Round of 16 stage in a fairly disappointing outing for them.
In terms of this game, though, they were much the better side in the first 45 minutes with Xherdan Shaqiri coming close to giving them the lead – only for the home side to be let off the hook at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
Alas, in typical England fashion, they really started to come into their own after the interval and they started to make things happen every few minutes or so. Eventually, with less than 10 minutes on the clock in the second half, Marcus Rashford turned home Kyle Walker’s cross in order to put them into the lead.
They managed to hold onto their slim advantage, in a friendly that quickly calmed down as the minutes ticked by. It almost seemed as if the visitors resigned themselves to the idea of the loss, which will hardly mean that much to them in comparison to their domination of Iceland earlier on in the international break.
Both nations will harbour fairly realistic expectations of doing well both in the UEFA Nations League and the 2020 European Championships, with the latter, of course, being the biggest tournament of the next few years. England will do well to carry their momentum forward from the World Cup, whereas Switzerland will continue to try and prove that they’re more than just a team who can run the bigger sides close before eventually falling away.
England: Butland (6), Walker (6.5), Tarkowski (6), Maguire (6.5), Dier (6), Alexander-Arnold (6.5), Loftus-Cheek (6), Delph (6.5), Rose (6.5), Rashford (7), Welbeck (6)
Switzerland: Sommer (6), Schar (6), Djourou (6), Akanji (6), Lichtsteiner (5.5), Zakaria (6), Xhaka (6.5), Freuler (6), Rodriguez (6), Shaqiri (6.5), Gavranovic (6)
Referee: Clément Turpin
Yellow Cards: Henderson, Lichtsteiner
Red Cards: N/A
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