Declan Rice's unseen role in England penalty shootout win over Switzerland emerges, he was 'needed'

The midfielder played a crucial role in the shootout, despite not taking a spot-kick.

Declan Rice played a crucial role in England’s penalty shootout victory over Switzerland, according to teammate Luke Shaw, who has explained why the midfielder was “needed” in that moment.

The Three Lions secured their spot in the semi-final of Euro 2024 after they beat Switzerland in a tense penalty shootout in Düsseldorf.

Jordan Pickford gave England an early advantage when he dived to his left to save Manuel Akanji’s weak effort, before the ever-reliable Cole Palmer slotted his penalty away with ease.

 

Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold would also convert from 12 yards, sparking jubilant scenes at the full-time whistle.

England looked lacklustre at times during Saturday’s game – something that has become somewhat of a trend this summer. But the understated performance of Declan Rice was praised by many.

Rice completed 93 of his 94 passes against Switzerland, and no player on the pitch won more tackles.

 

Speaking on The Rest is Football, Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker were full of praise for the Arsenal midfielder.

“Quietly I thought under the radar without being spectacular but did a really good job is Declan Rice,” Shearer said.

Gary Lineker agreed, saying: “I think he is under appreciated. There are a lot of people going get Rice off, I don’t think they see the work that he does with his interceptions and all that.

“Could he improve his passing breaking the lines? Yes. But when you have Mainoo liking to go forward and Bellingham and Foden you need that anchor.”

Image credit: Getty


Image credit: Getty

Rice has also received praise from England teammate Luke Shaw, who gave an insight into the midfielder’s role in the shootout, despite not stepping up to take a spot-kick.

 

“Dec was our speaker who was keeping everyone calm, calming everyone down, telling everyone to do their breathing techniques and manifest it,” said Shaw. “It was needed.”

Shaw also made a comment about Manuel Akanji’s miss from 12 yards. “I think Walks helped him [Pickford] a little bit,” he added. “I could see Walks was pointing to his left. Walks was pointing to that side and it gave him extra help.

“I think he was already going that way, but it gave him some extra help to know where to go.”

England will face the Netherlands on Wednesday night in what will likely be another tense affair. Can they do it? Let us know.