Euro 2020 final: Carragher says 'outstanding' Sterling has been player of the tournament

By Sports Desk July 11, 2021

Raheem Sterling should be named player of the tournament if England beat Italy to win Euro 2020, according to Jamie Carragher.

With the 26-year-old having rounded off last season with just one goal from his last 16 appearances for Manchester City, it was suggested that his England starting place might be under threat.

However, he has come alive at the tournament, scoring the Three Lions' first three goals of the tournament (two of which were winners), grabbing an assist, and winning the penalty that booked a place in the final.

And former England international Carragher believes those contributions have marked him out as the star man of Euro 2020.

"Nobody has been able to cope with Sterling in this tournament," he told Sky Sports. "If England go on to win he will win player of the tournament – he has been outstanding.

"His position was questioned before the tournament after not having his best season at Man City but from what we have seen Sterling always has to be in this England team.

"The pace he provides, the goals he provides. He has become a major goal threat under Gareth Southgate. 

"We can talk about how Italy can stop him, but if he makes runs in behind the centre-backs and the right full-back then he can be a threat.

"An obvious change at some stage would be Jack Grealish coming on and playing down the left and Sterling going down the right to have a go at Emerson from Chelsea, who has not played a lot of football this season.

"He is the one who can cause Italy some real problems."

 

England have yet to concede an open-play goal at this summer's tournament - thanks in no small part to the work of a midfield shield comprised of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.

And Carragher thinks their role will be key again in the final if Gareth Southgate's side are to get over the line.

He continued: "Midfield is key for England, if England don’t get the centre of midfield right, that is where they could have a huge problem.

"Italy are really strong through the centre of the pitch – certainly at centre-back and central midfield, there is a lot of onus on England's midfield three in this game. 

"If they perform and can get after the Italians midfield then England have certainly got enough in the attacking areas of the pitch to win the game.

"But midfield is a real strength of Italy so that is where England have really got to get on top and make it difficult, so it will be up to Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Mason Mount in there.

"A lot has been made about the centre-back partnership – outstanding,  legendary players for their country and for Juventus [but] you shouldn’t forget how old they are though.

"I think England can out run them basically in this game, the energy from the bench will be vital as it was in the Denmark game. 

"It will be really tight game – I think we are looking at the best two teams in this tournament, certainly on form, so I think it’s the right final."

 

Related items

  • MLS Cup play-offs: New York City FC reach championship game after beating Philadelphia Union MLS Cup play-offs: New York City FC reach championship game after beating Philadelphia Union

    New York City FC will play Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup after coming from behind to beat Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

    An Alexander Callens own goal was cancelled out by Maxi Moralez, and a late Talles Magno winner sent NYCFC to their first ever appearance in the championship game, which will take place in Portland on Saturday.

    Ronny Deila's New York side were missing star player Valentin Castellanos through suspension and struggled to impose themselves on the game until they were forced to do so when falling behind.

    A nervy contest burst into life just after the hour mark as Philadelphia took a 63rd-minute lead. Daniel Gazdag whipped a searching ball into the box and New York City defender Callens diverted it into his own net as he tried to stop striker Kacper Przybylko from getting on the end of it.

    NYCFC replied swiftly as Moralez fired in an equaliser just two minutes later. Maxime Chanot hit a shot from range that was saved by Matt Freese, but the ball eventually fell to Moralez, who made no mistake.

    Nathan Harriel should have put Philadelphia back in front with four minutes remaining but sent his free header just over the bar, and the Union were made to regret it as NYCFC won it in the 89th minute.

    Gudmundur Thorarinsson stole the ball from Olivier Mbaizo before putting it on a plate for substitute Magno to score the winner.

  • Juventus 2-0 Genoa: Cuadrado and Dybala deliver win for Allegri's men Juventus 2-0 Genoa: Cuadrado and Dybala deliver win for Allegri's men

    Juventus moved up to fifth in Serie A as goals from Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala sealed a 2-0 win over Genoa at the Allianz Stadium.

    Cuadrado got Juve on their way in the ninth minute of Sunday's game, the wing-back whipping in straight from a corner for his third league goal of the campaign.

    Salvatore Sirigu made a string of saves to deny Juve after that, but Dybala ensured there was to be no tense finale with a fine finish eight minutes from full-time.

    Despite now winning four of their last five Serie A matches, Juve are still seven points adrift of fourth-placed Atalanta, while Genoa remain 18th and two points from safety.

    Juve went ahead when Cuadrado's corner from the left looped over Sirigu and in off the underside of the crossbar, the Colombia international becoming only the eighth player to score directly from a corner in Serie A since 2010.

    Sirigu blocked a Federico Bernardeschi effort at his near post soon after, and the Genoa goalkeeper did superbly to keep out Matthijs de Ligt's initial header and close-range follow-up in the 37th minute.

    Sirigu was called into action again on the stroke of half-time, this time repelling Alvaro Morata's strike on the stretch after an incisive break.

    Dybala whipped over at the start of the second period, before an inspired Sirigu denied Morata, Dybala and Cuadrado in quick succession.

    Argentina international Dybala did eventually get the better of Sirigu, firing across him from the left-hand side of the penalty area after being played in by Bernardeschi.

  • Australia out to prove Gabba remains a fortress as Cummins era starts with Ashes battle Australia out to prove Gabba remains a fortress as Cummins era starts with Ashes battle

    Australia will be expected to ensure normal service is resumed in the heat of an Ashes battle at the Gabba when they start a new era on Wednesday.

    The Tim Paine sexting scandal presented Pat Cummins with the opportunity to become the first fast bowler to captain the Australia Test side.

    Cummins was appointed less than a fortnight before his side start their defence of the urn against fierce rivals England, with Steve Smith his assistant as Paine takes an indefinite mental health break from cricket. 

    The paceman has long since been talked of as a potential successor to Paine and gets his chance earlier than expected.

    Cummins was already on a high from playing his part in Australia's maiden T20 World Cup triumph in Dubai last month and should thrive on the extra responsibility of being skipper.

    Australia have not played a Test since they were consigned to a 2-1 home defeat to India in January and although England have had plenty of action in the longest format this year, poor weather in Brisbane has badly hampered their preparations.

    Stats Perform picks out some of the storylines, sprinkled with some Opta data, from an Australia perspective before one of the great sporting rivalries gets under way again.

     

    Cummins to get Australia going?

    Cummins has led Australia's pace attack on many occasions and was the pick of the bowlers in a 2-2 Ashes series draw in England two years ago, taking 29 wickets at average of 19.62.

    Since the start of 2018, no bowler has claimed more scalps in the longest format than the 28-year-old's 128 - which have come at 19.9 apiece.

    Cummins, the number one Test bowler in the world, will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of ripping into what has been a fragile England batting line-up.

    Josh Hazlewood will also pose a huge threat and Mitchell Starc will be out to silence critics such as Shane Warne, while Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser show Australia's strength in depth in the pace ranks.

     

    Gabba no longer a fortress?

    Australia had not lost a Test at the Gabba for 33 years until India's famous victory in January.

    Joe Root fanned the flames last month by stating the hostile Brisbane venue is no longer such a "stronghold" for Australia.

    It has most certainly not been a happy hunting ground for England, who have only won four of 21 Tests at the stage for the curtain-raiser for the series. The tourists' last Test win at the Gabba came in November 1986.

    England have not won a Test in Australia since January 2011, losing nine and drawing one of their previous 10 contests, and they will be braced for a barrage of pace when they start their quest to regain the urn this week.

     

    England must find an answer to Smith and Labuschagne 

    The England bowlers had seen more than enough of Smith by the end of the 2019 series.

    He racked up 774 runs at an average of 110.57 from seven innings, reaching three figures on three occasions and scoring a sublime 211 at Old Trafford.

    The former skipper broke his own record for number of runs in a Test series in the 21st century. Only the great Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) have more Ashes centuries than Smith's 11.

    Marnus Labuschagne was also outstanding in England two years ago, averaging 50.42. He has been a revelation at number three and will have a big role to play.

     

    Australia in safe hands with Carey?

    Alex Carey will take the gloves and make his Test debut at the Gabba in the absence of Paine.

    Carey has plenty of experience at the age of 30 and has 83 international white-ball experiences under his belt.

    He comes into his Test bow on the back of making a timely century for South Australia against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield and has a chance to cement his spot in the side.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.