Netherlands 1-2 England: Euro 2024 semi-final – live reaction

Key events

My neighbours are Dutch. They seem to have been out all evening.

Gareth Southgate: “I think it has to be the best achievement. The way we played – it was a complicated game, we had to keep changing defensively. The end is so special for the squad.

“Sometimes subs can work that way, the most important thing is every member of the squad is ready to come into the game. I’ve spent a lot of time with the players and their attitude has been exemplary.

“We felt energy wise, we gelt we were losing a bit of pressure. Ollie can press well and make those runs in behind.

“We also had Phil’s shot cleared off the line, a disallowed goal. We deserved it tonight.

“We were fluid in formation, Bukayo did a brilliant job. I think that is as well as Phil’s played in an England shirt, he had a huge influence on the game.

“You look at the numbers, it was like we were playing away but not with the noise.”

“Luck trumps talent eh?” says Krishna. “The travesty will be complete if England wins on Sunday. Why not? Kane may get another penalty because a Spain player came within 20 yards.”

“Who writes Southgate’s scripts?” asks Gary Naylor. “James Graham, who is updating his West End play ‘Dear England’ for an Autumn run. He’s not going to be short of material.”

Jude Bellingham: “It’s got to be up there. To be back here at the club that has helped me turn into the man and player I am is special. The most important thing is we have come out with the win. I am really grateful to Ollie because I am not sure I had another half an hour in me.

“The character is build from the first few games where we didn’t play well but we have come together and done the business.

“These moments are great, it brings us closer together as a family and team. These moments make us all together and take us into the final. I am so happy for Ollile, he came on and took his opportunity. We are buzzing for him; you come here, miss your holidays and don’t play all the time like you do at your club, so you need the right mentality and he has it.

“It will be interesting to go toe-to-toe with Spain.”

Karen Carney: “The fans have been absolutely brilliant. England were brilliant. First half, dominated, the midfield dominated. I never wanted an Aston Villa player to score more in my life. Every player has had their moment, so it’s been a brilliant evening.”

Harry Kane: “History made. Amazing achievement, I am so proud of every payer and staff, it’s been a really difficult tournament. There is one more left and we need to turn up on Sunday. Ollie has been waiting and patient, and what a finish. I think we were the better team, especially in the first half. We deserved to win overall. My foot is hanging off, so he definitely caught me. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. I was pleased to step up and score.

“We have one more game to make history, 90 minutes, penalties, whatever it takes.”

Harry Kane celebrates. Photograph: Richard Pelham/Getty Images

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Will Southgate have a decision to make over who starts upfront in the final? I suspect he will keep it the same because I think Watkins is a better sub to have off the bench than Kane if the situation is similar to tonight.

Like Ollie Watkins, Jacob Steinberg kept his cool in Dortmund to file his report.

Ollie Watkins: “Unbelievable, I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get where I am today. I swear on my kids’ lives that I told Cole ‘we are going to come on today, and you are going to set me up’.

“We are in the final and that is all that matters. We are ready for Spain.”

“Southgate is ten years younger, maybe,” writes Simon McMahon, “but does he have a flare up his arse yet?”

Mainoo is decent. Maybe he’s even better in that position than Gallagher.

Kobbie Mainoo vs. the Netherlands:

51 touches
36 passes completed
2 chances created
100% long balls completed
100% duels won
2 interceptions
2 tackles


— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) July 10, 2024

I’m going to hand over to Will Unwin for the reaction and have a peedie screen break. Thanks for your company tonight; sorry I didn’t have time to read half the emails, never mind use them!


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England have come from behind in all three knockout ties, the first time they’ve ever done that at a major tournament.

They still aren’t playing fantasy football, although they were very good in the first half. But nothing – not even the performance of Pep Guardiola’s dreams, with 99 per cent possession – compares to the euphoria of comebacks and late winners.

Gareth Southgate celebrates. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

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Gareth Southgate is 10 years younger. He’s walking round with the kind of smile you couldn’t fake if you tried, playfully shadow-boxing one of the backroom staff.

Ollie Watkins looks slightly stunned. Whatever happens on Sunday, his life will never quite be the same after that. That’s his David Platt moment, except Watkins did it in a semi-final. And like Platt against Belgium, it was the finish of an expert, a cold-blooded killer.

HAS OLLIE WATKINS WON IT FOR ENGLAND?! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 10, 2024


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“That Watkins goal was pure Jimmy Greaves,” says Kim Thonger. “The best ever.”

That’s a brilliant comparison, and quite the compliment.

England’s Harry Kane celebrates with Ollie Watkins after winning the match. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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Full time: Netherlands 1-2 England

For the first time ever – ever England will play a major tournament final outside their own country. And they did it the hard way, with maximum drama, just as they have all tournament.

90+5 min There were only two added minutes but that was before the goals and the substitutions.

90+4 min Who writes Gareth Southgate’s scripts? All the criticism of his passivity, and the two substitutes combine for the winning goal.

90+3 min: Substitutions galore

England Ezri Konsa and Conor Gallagher for Saka and Mainoo.

Netherlands Joshua Zirkzee and Brian Brobbey for Simons and Dumfries.

I don’t care about the revised line-ups.

90+2 min Simons is booked. Both teams are about to make subs.

England are on the brink of the Euro 2024 final after a wonderful finish from Ollie Watkins! Palmer, on the right, guided a good but simple pass into Watkins in the area. He had his back to goal, with De Vrij right behind him, and the angle was getting tighter with every stride. Watkins took a quick touch to his left, turned and rifled a stunning low shot into the far corner.

The angle was really tight – too tight really, what are you doing man – but Watkins nailed it. It went through the legs of De Vrij, which made it even harder for Verbruggen, but it was hit with such pace and precision that I’m not sure he’d have saved it anyway.


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GOAL! Netherlands 1-2 England (Watkins 90+1)


England’s Ollie Watkins scores their side’s second goal. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA
England go berserk. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

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88 min Shaw kills a crossfield pass beautifully and arrows a low cross that evades Watkins in the middle. The ball reaches Palmer, who wafts high and wide from the edge of the area.

87 min Hard to know what to make of this game. England were so good for half an hour, everything their fans want them to be, but the second half has been a bit of a non-event. They are a few minutes away from a third successive period of extra-time.


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86 min The free-kick is further out than I realised – too far for a shot, maybe even for Ronald Koeman.

Veerman clips an excellent ball that is headed behind by Stones for… a goalkick. Van Dijk is booked for dissent.


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85 min Simons leads another dangerous break and sweeps the ball across the field to Gakpo, who is tripped 25 yards from goal by Saka. The free-kick is a fair way to the left of centre, but it’s still a chance. Ronald Koeman would have scored from here…

Saka was booked by the way.

84 min Brillant move from the Dutch, staraight through the England press. Reijnders breaks into space on the left and crosses towards Weghorst, whose shot is superbly blocked by the off balance Guehi!

82 min Tense, nervous headache? Aye.

81 min These are the revised line-ups.

Netherlands (4-3-3) Verbruggen; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Ake; Schouten, Veerman, Reijnders; Simons, Weghorst, Gakpo.

England (3-4-2-1) Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi; Saka, Mainoo, Rice, Shaw; Palmer, Bellingham; Watkins.

80 min: Double substitution for England Ollie Watkins and Cole Palmer replace a weary Harry Kane and Phil Foden.

Foden was terrific – a lot better than Bellingham, who is being kept on for his aura.

NO GOAL! The semi-automated offside confirms that Walker was a toenail ahead of the defence. It would have been a lovely team goal.

Semi-automated offside check! Foden played in the overlapping Walker, whose precise cutback was finished emphatically – nay, majestically by Saka. The flag went up, presumably against Walker, but it’s very tight.


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79 min: Saka has a goal disallowed!

Bukayo Saka of England scores … Photograph: Alex Grimm/Getty Images
HE celebrates scoring but it’s disallowed following an offside decision. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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