The heroics of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for the Three Lions against Switzerland secured manager Gareth Southgate’s side a third-place finish in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
The third-place clash between both sides was forced into penalty kicks following 120 minutes of no goal, and to the surprise of fans, the Toffees’ star took England’s fifth, subsequently converting it with ease.
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was in his usual element against the Swiss, delivering superb crosses into the box and putting in an impressive shift.
Jordan Pickford: "I practised a lot the past three weeks. I didn't miss one in training. The gaffer (Southgate) in extra time went 'No 5', I went 'wow'. But I relaxed, went through my routine." And buried his pen. Was on the list for pens with #eng U-17s, U-21s, now seniors.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 9, 2019
However, Southgate’s decision to let Pickford play one of the first five spot kicks ahead of the Reds’ full-back caught everybody unaware.
The England boss has revealed that the Everton goalie was very impressive when they practised penalties in training, and the fact that Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool teammate and Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri could be aware of the youngster’s style of kick also played a role in his preference for Pickford.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) June 9, 2019
The 25-year-old shot-stopper justified Southgate’s decision with a well-taken spot-kick, and will definitely be in contention to take subsequent ones going forward.