Declan Rice reveals what he said to Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips ahead of England's victory over Germany

West Ham's Declan Rice and Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips were out to prove their doubters wrong in England's vital victory over Germany.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 12:18 pm
Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips (right) with Declan Rice (middle) and Jack Grealish (left). Pic: Getty

The Three Lions earned an impressive 2-0 win over the old enemy at Wembley stadium in the round of 16 at the European Championships as they sent Joachim Low's side crashing out of the tournament.

Gareth Southgate opted to partner up Rice and Phillips once more in the heart of his midfield for the highly-anticipated clash.

Second half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were enough to seal victory and passage through into the quarter-finals of the delayed international competition.

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England are yet to concede a goal in the tournament with Whites midfielder and Thorp Arch academy product Phillips having played every minute so far.

Rice, though, says that the two were acutely aware of what was being written ahead of kick-off, revealing they both went out with a point to prove together.

"Being honest, you read stuff where people write you off and obviously say stuff that you're not good enough," Rice said of questions over his partnership with the Leeds man.

"You're coming up against people like [Toni] Kroos, [Leon] Goretzka and [Ilkay] Gundogan - they're saying that me and Kalv won't be able to compete against them.

"You kind of just put that to the back of your mind but always remember it, so that when you go out there you know if you win a game, you can just kind of shut people up with your noise.

"That's what we've done. We went out there, I said to Kalv before the game, we both said to each other, let's just go out there and have it.

"That's what we've done and to be honest, we wanted to fight for every ball. It was crucial in there because it was a two versus two in midfield, so we had to fight for every ball, every tackle and every header.

"We had to fight for every ball like it was our last and I said in the interview after the game that we weren't coming off that pitch until we won. That was the mentality of everyone."

England will now face Ukraine in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night for a spot in the semi-finals of the competition.