Raheem Sterling hailed a “top performance” after England made the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1966 with a 2-1 extra time win over Denmark.
England will now face Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final after fighting back from behind to claim victory in the semi-final with Sterling drawing the decisive penalty from which Harry Kane scored the winner on the rebound.
“It was a top performance today,” Sterling, who also played a key role in the equaliser, told ITV. “We had to dig deep. It was the first time that we have conceded in the tournament and we regrouped well and showed good team spirit to come back and win the game.
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“We just had to stay patient. We knew with the legs we have in the team, with our aggression and power, it would only be a matter of time until we broke them down.”
Sterling batted away questions over the debatable nature of the penalty he won after 102 minutes, highlighting the contact made by Joakim Maelhe inside the area by calling it “a clear penalty.”
The Manchester City forward didn’t allow himself to get carried away with the result, though, and instead highlighted the importance of shifting focus to Sunday’s final.
“It’s another step in the right direction,” he said. “Once we’re back in the dressing room, that’s it over. We have to focus on the weekend now. It’s step by step and that’s all we can do.”
Supported by a crowd of over 60,000 at Wembley, Sterling hailed the noise and atmosphere created by the home fans at the national stadium.
“You can see by the numbers that came out tonight, the energy and the atmosphere, what football means to this country,” the 26-year-old added. “People cheering, people with their shirts off. It’s top.”
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