Czech Republic 2-1 England: Fans don’t go easy on Three Lions despite first defeat in 44 games

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Updated: 07/12/2022


England missed the chance to secure their place at Euro 2020 with Friday's defeat

Ten years, 43 games, 34 wins, nine draws and no defeats.

England were finally beaten in a European Championship qualifier for the first time since 2009 when they lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic on Friday night.

But, after such an incredible run, surely they'd get a free pass from fans for one solitary defeat?

No chance.

‘How good are England, really?'

After Gareth Southgate's side let slip the chance to qualify for Euro 2020 – until Monday at least – reaction to the performance did not make for pleasant reading.

And fans views on the BBC player rater were also pretty damning, with only Raheem Sterling getting a mark over five.

For a voice of reason, you had to look to Scotland, where one fan was quick to remind others that one defeat in 43 games isn't exactly a travesty…

Was it really that bad?

It wasn't a great performance, but England had won all four of their previous qualifiers, scoring no fewer than four goals in each. This was a bad day at the office.

“England have been outstanding in the group. This is their first poor performance in a long time,” said BBC Radio 5 live summariser and former England international Chris Waddle.

“Not one player played to his ability. Nobody has come off that pitch who you can say has had a good game.”

The start of the unbeaten run

So, who can remember that last European Championship qualifying defeat?

It was back on October 10 2009, when Fabio Capello's England went down 1-0 to Ukraine. Goalkeeper Robert Green was sent off after just 13 minutes and Sergiy Nazarenko scored the only goal of the game.

The end of one run can, however, mean the start of another and England have the chance to cement their place at Euro 2020 when they play Bulgaria on Monday.

We just may need to make sure Gary Lineker is watching this time…

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