THE fantasy ride continues as England have their feet on the ground but heads in the clouds.
They are still dreaming. And this country is now just one match from a World Cup final.
Two particular bonces are the toast of England – the first being Harry Maguire, after his 30th minute opener.
Dubbed slab-head by Leicester and England team-mate Jamie Vardy, he eased the nerves and then Dele Alli also used his head to make it 2-0 in the 58th minute.
Whatever happens now, England have enjoyed an absolutely terrific tournament and you can take nothing away from these players and keeper Jordan Pickford who played his part with two world-class saves.
Importantly, they are improving and the best is yet to come – hopefully in Moscow on Wednesday.
Gareth Southgate, England’s new hero, has worked wonderS on this group and they were deserved winners over a really poor Sweden side.
Despite the game being a World Cup quarter-final and the country going football crazy, the atmosphere inside the ground was strangely subdued as there were only a couple of thousands supporters from England and Sweden even though nearly 40,000 supporters were at the game.
Southgate’s side first threatened when Alli took the ball of Emil Krath, but his pass to Harry Kane was poor and rolled straight to keeper Robin Olsen.
Alli was guilty of another misplaced pass in an untidy started and Sweden’s first effort came through Viktor Claesson and even though it was high, keeper Pickford was furious at his defenders not closing down the winger quicker enough.
England’s best chance came through Harry Kane who shot wide after a dazzling run from Raheem Sterling and England started to wake up.
The Three Lions started to look more threatening and from that first corner, the team scored and the fans behind the other goal wenty mad
Ashley Young’s corner was perfect but Maguire still did exceptionally well to rise above Emil Forsberg – from distance – and power a a header past Olsen.
Sterling was miles offside when clean through but he failed to score and the flag went up very late.
Soon after, Sterling sprang the offside trap and tried to round the keeper when he should have squared to Kane. It was really poor.
At the started of the second half, Pickford delivered a brilliant one-handed save to keep out a header from Marcus Berg who outjumped Ashley Young.
Sweden had started the second half much better but then England finally caused some panic in the opposing defence could not scramble the ball over the line.
But soon after and it was 2-0. Trippier played the ball back to Lingard, his cross was outstanding and Alli made the most of an invisible defence to plant a firm header into the net.
Pickford then delivered another brilliant save to keep out Claesson and somehow got a hand to a shot from Berg.
The Everton keeper was having the game of his life and he was one of the stars of this team who is clearly coming off age.
Maybe football actually is coming home. . At least England are not going home yet.
Credit: The Sun