KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: England fans have rarely come in for praise down the years but that was the case after the 2-0 victory over Ukraine at Wembley in the 202 European Championship qualifiers.

The players of both teams paraded behind a ‘Peace’ banner before kickoff and Ukraine coach Ruslan Rotan praised the supporters of both sides.

He said: “I’d like to thank all the Ukraine supporters for their incredible signals to the team, an incredible wave of support every minute of the game.

“I’m also grateful to the England fans for supporting Ukraine. It was like no other international game I have ever experienced. Clearly this atmosphere will give an incredible boost to the Ukraine players who experienced it first-hand.”

England won with two quick-fire goals shortly before halftime from captain Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka.

Rotan added: “When you concede goals just before halftime it makes your task incredibly hard. We knew the quality and strength of the England team but the Ukraine boys deserved better. This is a good team who will do better further down the road. We have future stars in our ranks and in the future we will get a good result against anyone. We just need time.”

Latest Euro qualifiers – UEFA EURO 2024: Gp C: England 2, Ukraine 0; Malta 0, Italy 2. Gp H: Kazakhstan 3, Denmark 2; Slovenia 2, San Marino 0; N Ireland 0, Finland 1. Gp J: Liechtenstein 0, Iceland 7; Luxembourg 0, Portugal 6; Slovakia 2, Bosnia-H 0.

England manager Gareth Southgate was content with the full 90-minute performance of his team.

He said: “I was really pleased with the performance. In Italy we played very well with the ball in the first half but in the second half we conceded possession cheaply and had to show resilience.

“This time we made a difficult game look straightforward. We stuck to the task really well.”

In particular Southgate praised the displays of Arsenal winger Saka and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

He said: “It is the mentality that is the outstanding part. Everyone can see technical quality but these two boys have the humility and want to learn. They work unbelievably hard and they are a joy to work with.

“Saka produced a top-level finish. That is the ruthless part he has added to his game in the last 18 months or so. There were times you weren’t sure he was going to finish but now he has confidence in front of goal.”