Pickford ‘saves’ England’s again


Jordan  Pickford was England’s spot-kick hero once again as they beat Switzerland on penalties to finish third in the inaugural Uefa Nations League.

The Everton keeper saved from Josip Drmic to seal the win after the first 11 penalties in the shootout were scored – having stepped forward to hammer home England’s fifth in confident fashion.

Pickford’s heroics followed his penalty shootout feat last summer when he saved Colombia’s Carlos Bacca’s effort in the last 16 to give England their first ever spot-kick success at a World Cup finals.

The Three Lions’ victory over Switzerland, following a goalless draw, gave them a small measure of consolation after they lost their semi-final to the Netherlands and it was deserved after they created all the best opportunities in a predictably low-key affair.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling hit the woodwork, Swiss keeper Yann Sommer saved superbly from Dele Alli and Callum Wilson had a goal ruled out by VAR after he was adjudged to have fouled Manuel Akanji.

And so it went to penalties, with Harry Maguire, Ross Barkley, Jadon Sancho, Sterling, Pickford and Eric Dier successful before Drmic’s miss.

“The gaffer [Gareth Southgate] in extra time went ‘number five’, and I went ‘oh wow’,” said Pickford on his shootout selection.

“I’m not a normal penalty taker but I just relaxed and trusted my ability.”