England still relied on long balls, says Croatia's Vrsaljko

England vs Croatia Ashley Young

A peak audience of 1.05 million in Wales tuned in for England's World Cup semi-final defeat against Croatia. "It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have", he added.

"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball". Tonight we weren't quite there. "We left everything out there".

This being said, the second-half proved to be a different affair and the Croats got their just reward when Ivan Perisic expertly guided home a superb cross to level the match. "We knew what they were doing and where", he said.

He said: 'I don't think people fully understood the players (previously).

"Players had run out of steam but that´s partly their age - they´re still physically maturing".

The victory sparked wild celebrations in Croatia, where tens of thousands of fans poured onto the streets and squares, singing, letting off flares and waving red-white-and-blue flags.

According to Reuters journalist Simon Evans, Vrsaljko claimed that, contrary to popular opinion, this was not a new-look England team.

"But, blimey, we've come through so many important ones and, as I say, I'm really, really very proud of what they've done". "Going to extra-time might be a problem along with the fact France have had an extra day to recover but there will be no excuses".

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 11: Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli of England following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

"He´s captained the team brilliantly over the tournament and I can´t ask for more from him".

"Have another glass. Take another look, if you can, at those moments from Kaliningrad to Moscow when this capable England team played above itself and turned a drowsy, toxic summer back home into something else".

As the England team continues to evolve post-World Cup, hopefully Southgate and Sterling's teammates can devise a strategy whereby he can do more of his work inside the penalty area rather than outside it. Did we expect to be in this position? Do join us for our coverage of the third place play-off and the final. It's enjoyable, we all love to play the game and fans love to support it. "I can't put into words how much credit he deserves for this".

"It is not a game we wanted to be in". But Gareth Southgate deserves vast credit for restoring pride as he rehabilitated one of football's greatest underachievers.

"Of course it´s going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to get everyone mentally back to where we want them for a game like that".