Alan Shearer details the two players Gareth Southgate and England can’t live without after Ukraine win

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Alan Shearer has praised the influence of Kalvin Phillips and Declan RIce following England’s quarter-final win over Ukraine on Saturday night.

A brace from Harry Kane and a goal each from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson saw England cruise through in Rome, setting up a semi-final clash with Denmark at Wembley Stadium.

The performance was a thorough one from the Three Lions, who are still yet to concede a goal in this competitions, and that is thanks, largely to two defensive midfielders, according to Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer.

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Shearer believes that holding midfielders Phillips and Rice are among the most important in Gareth Southgate’s line-up, singing them out for special praise after the game.

“Those two sitting midfielders have been magnificent in most games,” Shearer said on the BBC, as cited by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“That allows players ahead of them to go and express themselves. Whether it’s [Jack] Grealish who comes on, [Jadon] Sancho, Harry Kane, [Raheem] Sterling, I don’t think that matters because he’s got so many options and they’re all in form.

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United and England

“We started the tournament slowly, we are improving in every game. My head is telling me to calm down, but my heart is getting carried away and long may that continue.

“What a performance, what a night. There were so many special performances. It is really positive. Well done Gareth, well done England.”

England will now face Denmark on Wednesday in the semi-finals, and the winner will progress to the Wembley final, where they will meet one of Italy and Spain, who go head-to-head in London on Tuesday.

The final will also take place at Wembley, and that will take place on Sunday, July 11.

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