Leeds United man Kalvin Phillips plays two roles as England beat Czech Republic to top Euro 2020 Group D

Kalvin Phillips helped England to a 1-0 win over Czech Republic that secured top spot in Group D and a last 16 clash with the runners-up of Group F.

By Graham Smyth
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:04 pm
SOLID SHOW - Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips had another solid performance for England as they beat Czech Republic to top Group D at the Euros. Pic: Getty

Their win, which came courtesy of an early Raheem Sterling goal, has booked a Tuesday June 29 game at Wembley against any one of France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate made four changes for the final outing of the group stages, bringing in Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka for Reece James, Tyrone Mings, the isolating Mason Mount and Phil Foden, but Phillips retained a midfield berth along with Declan Rice.

With Rice sitting deep Phillips was able to pop up on the right wing during the first half and linked up with Bukayo Saka in the build up to the decisive goal.

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Southgate made a change at half-time, bringing Jordan Henderson into the midfield, but it was Rice who made way.

The swap enabled Phillips to drop back into the defensive midfield role he plays for Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds, with Henderson taking the more advanced role.

Although the tempo wasn't quite there for England at times in the second half and chances were few and far between, Phillips continued to play his part, winning the ball high up the pitch, covering lots of ground and attempting to release Saka with a long ball through the middle that just skipped away from the Arsenal man.

When England's centre-backs went on forward runs Phillips would drop back in to cover and kept it simple for the main part as England made it three clean sheets in three games, ending the group stage unbeaten with seven points.

Phillips has now started seven of England's last seven games, firmly establishing himself as a regular in Southgate's set-up at the end of his first season in the Premier League with the Whites.

Meanwhile, his Elland Road team-mate Liam Cooper and Scotland bowed out of the competition tonight at Hampden Park witha 3-1 defeat to Croatia.