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England Secures Group C Lead

England secured top spot in Group C with a goalless draw against Slovenia on Tuesday. However, another underwhelming performance has raised more questions about the Three Lions’ status as one of the Euro 2024 favorites.

Denmark and Serbia Also Draw

In the other Group C match, Denmark and Serbia also drew 0-0. Denmark finished second in the group, while Slovenia celebrated its historic qualification for the European Championship knockouts as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Dominant Possession but Few Chances

England enjoyed 71% possession but failed to respond to the criticism following their lethargic performance against Denmark. The team created few real chances and was met with boos at full-time from traveling England fans.

Improvements in the Second Half

Gareth Southgate’s side showed some improvements in the second half after the introductions of Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer. However, the Three Lions never truly threatened Atlético Madrid keeper Jan Oblak.

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Concerns for England

Slovenia knew a draw could be enough to advance to the knockout stages for the first time, depending on other results. England, on the other hand, faced heavy criticism for their previous performances: a narrow 1-0 win over Serbia and a 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Missed Opportunities

England thought it had taken the lead after 20 minutes when Bukayo Saka tapped in from Phil Foden’s pass, but Foden was offside in the build-up. Overall, it was another disappointing half for England, with the team enjoying possession without creating significant chances.

Slovenia’s Composure

Slovenia looked comfortable on the ball during their brief spells of possession, getting into dangerous areas but lacking quality in the final third. England’s half-hearted pressing and cautious approach frustrated fans, but the team had a chance to be more adventurous against Slovenia with their place in the last 16 already secured.

Midfield Struggles

Southgate has struggled to find an effective midfield pairing at Euro 2024. This time, he started Conor Gallagher alongside Declan Rice instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Gallagher was substituted at halftime for Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo, who brought a slight improvement in England’s intensity.

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Substitutions and Missed Chances

Chelsea forward Cole Palmer made his debut at the tournament, coming on for Saka after 70 minutes. Despite this, there was little change in England’s approach. Rice and Foden exchanged a neat one-two, resulting in a shot from Rice that missed the goal. Palmer had perhaps England’s best chance towards the end, but his effort was easily saved by Oblak.

Looking Ahead

England’s slight improvement in the second half will likely have Southgate rethinking his starting lineup ahead of the last 16. The team needs to address its attacking inefficiencies and find a more dynamic approach to make a significant impact in the knockout stages.

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