England beat Poland 2-1 in an exciting World Cup 2022 qualifier at Wembley tonight.
The result places England in an excellent position to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, while Poland drops to fourth place in Group I and faces elimination.
England dominated the first half and took the lead with a penalty kick by Harry Kane after Raheem Sterling was brought down.
Gareth Southgate’s side seemed to be on their way to a comfortable victory at that stage.
Their intensity, on the other hand, dwindled in the second half. With Poland applying more pressure, John Stones’ blunder allowed Jakub Moder to score an equalizer past Nick Pope.
From there, it seemed as if the game would end in a tie. However, Stones nodded the ball down to Harry Maguire, who scored with a beautiful finish to give England the win.
The critical question heading into tonight’s game was whether England manager Gareth Southgate would stick with the 3-4-3 formation he used in the UEFA Nations League matches last autumn.
The consensus was that the formation stifled England’s imagination but that Southgate’s tactical approach would lead him to use it against a dangerous opponent like Poland.
On the other hand, the England manager stuck to his 4-3-3 formation, which paid off spectacularly in the first half.
For the first 45 minutes, England was fantastic, constantly pressing and harrying Poland and never allowing them to breathe.
Mason Mount and Phil Foden were constantly looking for open spaces to play fastballs into, while Raheem Sterling’s dribbling tormented the Polish defence. Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips both seemed to be great breakers.
England deserved nothing less than a punishment from Harry Kane for their efforts. Although the strength dropped in the second half, England’s overall success should ensure that the 4-3-3 formation is retained for the European Championships this summer.