What Raheem Sterling said to Arsenal star Bukayo Saka after England's 1-0 win vs Czech Republic
Raheem Sterling scored the winner in England's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at Euro 2020 on Tuesday evening, but it was the performance of Bukayo Saka that lit up Wembley
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling admitted that he was "buzzing" for Bukayo Saka after the Arsenal man's impressive performance during England's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley last night.
After producing a flat and uninspiring performance during the goalless draw with Scotland on Friday evening, England boss Gareth Southgate opted to shuffle his pack in a bid to reignite the Three Lions' Euro 2020 dream.
England got the job done thanks to a first half header from Sterling, who nodded home from close range after being picked out by Jack Grealish, but it was the performance from Saka that was most impressive, as the Arsenal ace was a breath of fresh air on his first start at a major tournament.
He was a constant threat down the right flank, particularly in the first half, with his pace and trickery causing endless problems for the Czech Republic defenders.
And for match-winner Sterling, who will be hoping to add to his tally of goals when the Three Lions embark on the knockout stages of the competition next week, Saka was "brilliant," insisting he did exactly what he needed to do.
"I thought Bukayo Saka was brilliant," said Sterling, as quoted by BBC Sport. "I told him after the game that he got in the pockets of space, drove at people, he was direct and that’s what you need. It’s a credit to him.
"He’s tough, he’s funny, he gets on with everyone in the dressing room – I’m buzzing for him."
Saka's performance last night most certainly justified his inclusion, with many England supporters surprised by Southgate's decision to name him in the starting line-up over Jadon Sancho.
But just as Kalvin Phillips did in England's opening game against Croatia, Saka proved exactly why Southgate had included him in the team.
The Arsenal starlet will now be hoping he has done enough to keep his place in the side for next Tuesday's round-of-16 match at Wembley against one of France, Germany, Hungary or Portugal. All four nations are in action this evening, meaning England will soon discover who they will battle it out with for a place in the quarter-finals.