England’s Euro 2020 campaign got off to a winning start as Raheem Sterling’s goal secured victory over Croatia at Wembley.
Sterling repaid England manager Gareth Southgate’s faith in him, sliding in the winner after 57 minutes following a perfect pass from man-of-the-match Kalvin Phillips.
Southgate resisted the temptation to play Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and was rewarded with a lively performance from Sterling as England secured the win their superiority deserved.
The Three Lions almost took an early lead when Phil Foden struck a post but there were the first signs of frustration from fans and players just as Sterling made the decisive contribution with his first goal in a major tournament.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was barely tested by a disappointing Croatia side, who never looked like repeating their victory over England in the 2018 World Cup semi-final in Moscow – leaving England with three points to take into Friday’s second Group D game against Scotland at Wembley.