Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko has criticized England's style of play after his country knocked the Three Lions out of the World Cup at the semifinal stage.

By 90Min
July 12, 2018

Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko has criticized England's style of play after his country knocked the Three Lions out of the World Cup at the semifinal stage.

An extra-time winner from Mario Mandzukic saw the Croatians progress to Sunday's final, where they will face France for the chance to be crowned world champions.

Meanwhile, England will be back in action on Saturday, when they take on Belgium in the third-place playoff match.

During the second semifinal, England were found out during the second half, as well as in extra time, when Croatia pressed harder and exploited England's tired and narrow midfield with much of their attacking play coming down the right-hand side.

Despite the recent hype about this new generation of England players, Vrsaljko was quick to dismiss this, insisting that they reverted to becoming the same old England when they were put under pressure.

"The all-round perception was that this is a new-look England who have changed their ways of punting long balls upfield,” he said, according to quotes published by the Mirror. "But, when we pressed them, it turned out that they haven't."

Meanwhile, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic was also quick to criticise England in his post-match press conference, hammering 'experts' who predicted that England could beat Croatia to reach their first final since 1966.

"Those experts who thought that England would progress to the final are not experts. If they were, they would have known Croatia are the better team," he said.

Meanwhile, 'remarkably proud' England manager Gareth Southgate hailed his players for 'coming of age' during this World Cup.

"To become a winning team there are hurdles you have to overcome - and we've surpassed many of them," he said, adding: "Many of our players have come of age on the international stage."

He added: "I'm remarkably proud of the group of players - the reaction of the supporters compared to two years ago shows the country are proud of the way we played," he said.

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