From the impromptu street parties from supporters to the scoreless heroics of Steve Clarke’s side, London’s correspondents were calling last night – and much focus placed on Gareth Southgate’s side’s failure to add another win to their Group D standings. It was a divisive stalemate – a good point for England or a bad result? Defensive from Scotland or heroic? The media was split, but scathing of the entertainment too.
“There were sharp slides, uncompromising crashes in air battles and harsh fouls, which fans greeted with gusto,” reported Blesk, the newspaper from Group D rivals Czech Republic.
Quality football may have been in short supply, and Le Monde’s Eric Albert said: “The verdict can be summed up in one word: Terrible. For the England fan out of Wembley Stadium in London, his side's 0-0 draw against Scotland was a defeat. For ninety rather boring minutes in this Euro 2021 group game, football hardly came out of the gate. Gary Lineker, the BBC's star commentator, could not help irony: “The game of the tournament so far. A real thriller."
Was he really being sarcastic?
Gazzetta Dello Sport in Italy acknowledged the lack of finesse but also that Scotland’s hopes are still on. "The enthusiasm does more than the technique. It had to be a blazing fire, it was like lighting a match. The British derby at Wembley leaves Group D open after two days,” it wrote. “Still having the chance to qualify is a half-dream for Clarke's national team.”
And the supporters too.
Dani Gil, in Mundo Deportivo said: “Scotland benefited from the fact that the match was much more than a match, accentuated by a rivalry beyond football. Where his legs did not reach him, his soul reached him, surrounded by thousands of noisy compatriots, proud of invading their enemy's house. They coloured the stands of Wembley.”
Indeed fellow Spanish newspaper La Marca added: “Scottish fans in attendance in London made it seem as though the game were being played in Glasgow.”
“From the allowed third of the full Wembley, there was a humming of satisfaction, a sudden storm and the legendary stadium was full of battle chants. Almost like the good old days…" said Blesk.
Criticial of England, ZDF expert Christoph Kramer was quoted in De Bild: “They make it too cheap. Always only balls behind the chain. It's not football.” After the whistle, he added:“ That was a very, very conservative performance.”
Le Monde, as mentioned, believed Gary Lineker was sarcastic in his summary – but we are not so sure after an exhausting and exhilarating evening for those Scotland fans watching on, never mind the players taking part.
It’s all to do again against Croatia on Tuesday and Mundo Deportivo added: “Scotland is going to play all its options on a card against Croatia. Risky bet although the point at Wembley has to give confidence. Knowing themselves inferior, they drew their claws to compete” and added the team was “deserving of competing from start to finish to hold on to the Euro”.