The Age of Gareth lives on: England’s peaks and troughs lead to Swiss test

Despite teetering so close to predictable failure, England are still in Euro 2024. Now they just need to play better

OK. So you’re saying there’s a chance. With 94 minutes of football already played at a clammy and frazzled AufSchalke Arena, with England 1-0 down against Slovakia and about to exit the European Championship in miserable fashion, with the entire Age of Gareth poised to sink into a toxic farewell, the range of possibilities for the next few seconds seemed fairly stark.

Forty minutes later England would leave the pitch victorious, 2-1 winners of their last-16 tie after extra time, drenched in the sweet, sweet sounds of Sweet Caroline, and ready now for a quarter-final against Switzerland on Saturday.

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