Never easier, never more convincing. And never closer to what generations and generations of Englishmen aspire to. The national team, which we have been calling great for more than half a century, is on the verge of awakening the spirits of antiquity who, in symbiosis with the most talented guys that Albion had in this century - although they probably didn't have something like this for much longer - could take it so far.
The first European and the first in general since the famous 1966. At the Roman Olympics, in the game of cat and mouse: England - Ukraine 4: 0! For the first time in who knows how many years and decades, the English will rightly be able to refer to history, to tradition, to all the great things they have given to football.
Even to say that they are worthy of all those colossal ancestors who celebrated football all over the planet. Finally and to sing these days so popular about their great and final return home. The English played, the Ukrainians stood.
So it was for almost a full 80 minutes. Rahim Sterling has once again confirmed that he is England’s most important player in this tournament; Harry Kane obviously got into the goal-scoring rhythm when it mattered most; Luke Shaw prepared another sleepless night for Jose Mourinho; Jordan Henderson wrote the script for the stories to his grandchildren about how, after a full 11 years, he finally scored a goal in the Three Lions jersey.
It was a bow to Gareth Southgate after Germany. Here's another one. Someone will say that the English still haven't done anything special. And who has done more for Albion than Alf Ramsey? World Cup semifinals, Euro semifinals.
A step to the finals, but they couldn't win it
And then he wouldn't miss the title of Ser. Don't doubt it. What a roller coaster. Southgate once again adjusted to the rival. He changed the formation again, played with four behind, gave a chance to Mason Mount from the first minute and to Jadon Sancho for the first time.
He remained faithful to Shaw, Phillips, and Rice. Andrei Shevchenko's idea was clear (was it right - the question is, there will be time for discussion) - a shallow block, maximum caution and that the scoreboard stays 0: 0 for as long as possible.
Fearing the speed of the English trident Sancho - Mount - Sterling, the talented expert started with three central defenders, two more offensive defenders - technically quite limited - and a tandem of classic runners in the heart of the midfield.
The opponent's early goal is the worst thing that could have happened to the Ukrainians in such a setting. And it happened And so from plan A he planted one big one - nothing! The English easily took the ball "under their wing", lightly weaving a net around the penalty area of Bushchan, while Sheva's guys from that shallow block did not manage to develop the desired counter.