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Sterling reacts to Rice and Phillips' displays in England win

Raheem Sterling has told BBC Sport (broadcast on 29/6; 19:03) that West Ham star Declan Rice and Leeds talisman Kalvin Phillips were class as England beat Germany in their Euro 2020 last 16 tie.

Gareth Southgate’s men booked their place in the last eight of the competition. It came after a superb 2-0 win at Wembley on Tuesday.

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The two goals came late on. But England more than deserved the victory that sets up a quarter-final with either Ukraine or Sweden.

Sterling and Harry Kane were the goalscorers. But several of the players produced outstanding performances for the Three Lions.

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And in his post-match interview, the £49 million Manchester City star picked out the pair in the middle of the park for additional praise.

“The two boys in midfield, Declan and Phillips, they were class,” he told BBC One. “They ate up ground and they were just animals in there.”

Remarkable to recall pre-Euro 2020 doubts over Rice and Phillips playing together

Rice and Phillips have formed an incredible partnership. Neither seems to have really put a foot wrong in the opening four games.

It is therefore, remarkable to recall how many expressed doubts about the pair playing together this summer.

Admittedly, it seemed to take a little time for Southgate to work out how to get the best out of them when deploying both of them.

But in this tournament, they have virtually been flawless. Phillips, in particular, seems to have enjoyed a breakout tournament.

And they have now taken one more significant step towards the trophy with a massive win over Germany.

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