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Football Reporting

EURO 2020

Jordan Pickford sets two records with yet another clean sheet in Ukraine rout

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and his team-mates set two records on Saturday evening as the Three Lions smashed Ukraine 4-0 in Rome.

The quarter-final victory at the Stadio Olimpico sent Gareth Southgate’s side into the final four of the European Championships – with two bits of history to boot.

Harry Kane got England off the mark after just four minutes, as the captain coolly slotted home Raheem Sterling’s through ball.

After half-time, Harry Maguire headed home before Kane nodded in another to put the contest out of sight, only for substitute Jordan Henderson to score his first Three Lions goals after 62 international appearances, also with a header.

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England, although clinical, were watertight at the back, the foundation of their Euro 2020 campaign and the reason why the class of 2021 have entered their own and the competition’s record books.

Pickford is now no. 1 in the record books and for England
Pickford is now no. 1 in the record books and for England

The Three Lions have set a new Euros record for the most consecutive games (five) since the start of the tournament without being breached.

The run of shutouts stretches their team record to seven games without conceding, having also come away with clean sheets in their two warm-up friendlies against Austria and Romania prior to the tournament.

Poland’s Jakub Moder, who plays for Brighton and Hove Albion, was the last man to score against Southgate’s side when Burnley stopper Nick Pope played between the posts.

The strike came during a World Cup Qualifier in March, in which Maguire scored a late winner.

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Pickford has been employed between the posts in all but one of the matches, proving himself a worthy stopper on the international stage.

The Everton goalkeeper was not alone in his efforts, though, as a back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Maguire and the magnificent Luke Shaw put in defensive shifts against a tricky Ukrainian outfit.

The Three Lions are now the only side at the Championships yet to concede a goal, having also prevented Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic from scoring in Group D, while also not allowing Germany to net in their victorious round-of-16 encounter.

Has Pickford proved himself as a world-class goalkeeper this summer? Comment below.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Ukraine match, Pickford admitted he was ‘still learning’ at the age of 27 and revealed his desire for glory with the national team.

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“There’d be nothing better for me than to win a medal with England,” Pickford said.

“Personal stuff, that takes care of itself. Keep performing for England and keeping those clean sheets is a bonus.

“To win a medal with England would be the pinnacle.”

The stopper also mentioned the sentimental value of representing his country in relation to his young son.

“It’s about creating memories,” revealed Pickford.

“He’s been to one of the games and he won’t remember it.

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“But just to have those photographs for when he’s grown up, just to see he’s been to watch his dad at Wembley, is just amazing for him, me and Megan [his wife].

“It’s a great feeling for us three and great memories to have for the future.”

One memory could be a semi-final win over Denmark on Wednesday, as the Three Lions return to Wembley.

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