The quarter finals are gone, we have the four teams that remain within two matches of winning the World Cup! After Belgium and France won their matches on Friday against Brazil and Uruguay, now the same did England and Croatia. Their rivals, Sweden and Russia, were unable to stop the favourites of winning this big clash. Sweden remain waiting for their first semifinal since 1994, while the Russians have not done so since England were world champions in 1966, though as USSR back then.
Here, we will look at Man United players taking part in these matches, so Croatia’s win on penalties will not be mentioned. All four United players starred in the day’s opening match.
Jesse Lingard vs Sweden
This was a very good match from Jesse Lingard. The midfielder was not entirely playing unbelievably well, but it was a really good, vibrant performance with a lot of movement. And “movement” might just be the ideal word to describe him, as Lingard was everywhere in Sweden’s half. He was pressing and harrying, running and opening space for his team-mates, while never running without purpose. That just shows how intelligent of a player he is. He made a lovely assist for Dele Alli, while also creating another chance for his team-mates.
— Nebojša Marković (@MarkovicNeb) July 7, 2018
Ashley Young vs Sweden
Ashley Young also enjoyed a very good game. He was everything he was expected to be – reliable, consistent and an occasional threat. Sweden are a team that is tough to break, but the 32-year old knew how to surge forwards on the left flank. He was often criticized for not providing width to the team as he is right-footed, but in this match he did so several times, even setting up some good crosses with his left foot. He also made an assist – his corner from the left found Harry Maguire in the centre of the box, who netted it with a strong header. Young was also making the most out of Sweden using Emil Krafth as the right-back, as their first choice fullback was unavailable due to suspension. Young’s positioning throughout the match was high up the pitch, which helped England while in possession.
Marcus Rashford vs Sweden
Marcus Rashford entered the match in the last minutes of the match. Gareth Southgate used him once again as a substitute, which was not a surprise. He came on for Raheem Sterling. Phil Jones was also available for England, but he did not come off the bench in this match.
Victor Lindelöf vs England
Victor Lindelöf, on the other hand, is the only Man United player not to be satisfied in this match. He is, with Fred, the only United player to lose in the quarterfinals in Russia, but his performance was not so bad. When you are a centre-back and you lose 2-0, it is never a good match for you, but this was not particularly eye-catching performance. The first goal could have been dealt with better through Andreas Granqvist, while the second was a complete miscommunication from the whole team. He made five clearances in this match, but Sweden never really looked like a team able of beating England in this match.