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Published 07 July 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Sterling on 'top performance'

Written by:

Dom Smith

Raheem Sterling speaks about thrilling semi-final victory over Denmark

After a wonderful individual display to help England to their first senior men's European Championships final, Raheem Sterling says the Three Lions produced a “top performance” to see off Denmark.

“We had to dig in deep, it’s the first time we’ve conceded in the tournament and I thought we regrouped well," said the Manchester City man.

"We showed a good team spirit to come back and win the game. It was a top performance.

“We knew it was difficult going behind, but we got the equaliser and we knew we had to stay patient, with the legs we have in the team, the aggressiveness, the power, we knew it was just a matter of time before we would break them down and we got the penalty."

While the referee's decision to award a spot-kick was questioned by the Danes, it was duly upheld by a VAR check and Sterling believes it was the right decision.

“I went into the box, he stuck his right leg out and it touched my leg, it was a clear penalty,” he added.

Raheem celebrates with Bukayo Saka after England's first-half equaliser
Raheem celebrates with Bukayo Saka after England's first-half equaliser

On Harry Kane’s winning goal, he wasn’t concerned that the captain needed a second bite at the cherry before converting: “As long as it goes in the back of the net, that’s all the matters. If the keeper saves it and you get the rebound, you take that all day.”

Sterling said that reaching a first major final in 55 years shows England are making big strides as a national team.

“It’s another step in the right direction," he added.

"When we walk into the dressing room, it’s over and we focus on the weekend now, step-by-step, that’s what we need to do.

“What football means to this country, you can see by the numbers that came tonight, the energy, the atmosphere, cheering, shirts off, it’s top.

“Now for Italy. We’ll go back in, celebrate a little bit, and from tomorrow onwards, it’s focusing on Italy.”