Match Report: England 1-0 Serbia, Euro 2024

Read the detailed match report of the Euro 2024 Group C game where England secured a 1-0 victory over Serbia. Discover key moments, standout performances, and tactical analysis from the June 16, 2024 match.

Match Report: England 1-0 Serbia, Euro 2024

England kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Serbia in their Group C opener at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen on June 16, 2024. Jude Bellingham's first-half header proved decisive in a match that saw England dominate early but face significant pressure from Serbia in the latter stages.

Pre-Match Build-Up

Team Line-Ups and Formations:

  • England (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Harry Kane.
  • Serbia (3-5-1-1): Predrag Rajkovic; Nikola Milenkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic, Milos Veljkovic; Andrija Zivkovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nemanja Gudelj, Sasa Lukic, Filip Kostic; Dusan Vlahovic; Aleksandar Mitrovic.

First Half

Early Dominance:
England started the match strongly, dominating possession and creating early chances. Bukayo Saka was particularly effective on the right flank, combining well with Kyle Walker.

Opening Goal:
In the 13th minute, Jude Bellingham scored the match's only goal. Kyle Walker advanced into midfield and played the ball to Saka, whose cross was met by Bellingham with a powerful header into the net.

Serbia's Response:
Serbia struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half but showed glimpses of their potential through counter-attacks and set-pieces. Aleksandar Mitrovic came close to equalizing, but his shot went wide.

Second Half

Serbia's Improvement:
Serbia became stronger in the second half, putting more pressure on the English defence. Dusan Vlahovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic were instrumental in Serbia's attacking efforts.

Key Moments:

  • Mitrovic's Penalty Shout: In the 59th minute, Mitrovic went down in the box under pressure from Kieran Trippier, but the referee did not award a penalty after a VAR check.
  • Kane's Header: Harry Kane almost doubled England's lead in the 77th minute with a header from Jarrod Bowen's cross, but Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic made a superb save to tip the ball onto the bar.
  • Pickford's Save: Jordan Pickford made a crucial save in the 82nd minute to deny Vlahovic, ensuring England maintained their lead.

Key Players and Performances

  • Jude Bellingham (England): Bellingham was the standout performer, scoring the decisive goal and contributing significantly to attack and defence. He was named Man of the Match.
  • Declan Rice (England): Rice provided stability in midfield, making several important interceptions and maintaining possession under pressure.
  • Predrag Rajkovic (Serbia): The Serbian goalkeeper made several key saves, including a spectacular one to deny Kane, keeping his team in the game.

Post-Match Analysis

Tactical Overview:
England's early dominance was evident, but they struggled to maintain control in the second half as Serbia grew into the game. Gareth Southgate's decision to start Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield was a talking point with mixed results.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

  • England: Strong defensive performance, particularly from Marc Guehi and John Stones. However, the team lacked fluidity in attack and failed to capitalize on their early lead.
  • Serbia: They showed resilience and tactical discipline, especially in the second half. However, their inability to convert chances into goals was a significant drawback.

Quotes and Reactions

  • Gareth Southgate (England Manager): "It was a tough game, but we showed resilience. Jude [Bellingham] was outstanding, and our defence held firm when it mattered most."
  • Jude Bellingham (England Midfielder): "I'm happy to have scored the goal, but it was a team effort. We need to build on this performance for the next game."

Statistical Overview

Match Statistics:

  • Possession: England 55%, Serbia 45%
  • Shots: England 5, Serbia 6
  • Shots on Target: England 3, Serbia 2
  • Corners: England 4, Serbia 3
  • Fouls: England 10, Serbia 12


England's 1-0 victory over Serbia was a hard-fought win highlighting strengths and improvement areas. Jude Bellingham's goal and a solid defensive performance were key to securing the three points. England will build on this result in their next match against Denmark, while Serbia will aim to bounce back against Slovenia.

Future Outlook

Next Matches:

  • England vs. Denmark on June 20, 2024, in Frankfurt.
  • Serbia vs. Slovenia on June 20, 2024, in Munich.