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Southgate praises ruthless Saka after a goal and assist

After the win over Ukraine, England manager Gareth Southgate praised the performances of Bukayo Saka and James Maddison

Gareth Southgate commended Bukayo Saka for his performance in England’s 2-0 victory over Ukraine in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The win marked England’s second consecutive win in the tournament. Saka, a prominent player in Arsenal’s campaign for the Premier League title, contributed to Harry Kane‘s opening goal in the 37th minute with an assist.

Southgate hails ‘top-level finish’ from Saka

He then scored the second goal three minutes later with an impressive long-range shot into the top-right corner, bringing his tally to eight goals for England.

“It is a top-level finish [from Saka],” Southgate told Channel 4. 

“That is the ruthless part he has added to his game in the last 18 months or so. There were times you weren’t sure he was going to finish, but now he has that confidence in front of goal.”

Throughout the match, England maintained control and Ukraine did not appear to pose a comeback threat as they did not manage to produce a shot on target.

Southgate was delighted with the dominance displayed by his team and had praise for James Maddison, the Leicester City playmaker who created five chances in an impressive performance.

“The risk is that when you have control of the game you have the odd sloppy pass, but the application throughout was excellent,” added Southgate.

“We have broken down a lot of barriers over a period of time. England still had that question mark over some of the bigger teams. 

“We are starting to win those games now but there is still lots of room for improvement. 

“To back up the Italy result was important, but there is still room to grow.”

England still had that question mark over some of the bigger teams

“We are always trying to think about now and what is next. It was done with James Maddison today. We thought it was a good game to see him.

“He was defensively very solid. It was nice to get Ivan Toney on the pitch as well. We will always look at people, but we have to qualify and we can’t take that for granted.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.


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