Jack Grealish felt he was paying back the England fans for chanting his name as he came off the bench to help the Three Lions beat Germany in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash.
With the game goalless and the tension beginning to build, Gareth Southgate turned to Grealish with a little under a quarter of the game remaining.
The Wembley crowd had already begun to sing the name of the Aston Villa skipper and, having replaced Bukayo Saka, he played a part in Raheem Sterling’s opener before crossing for Harry Kane to nod home and wrap up a 2-0 win.
It is the first time England, who will play Ukraine in the quarter-finals in Rome on Saturday, have won a knockout game at a European Championship in 25 years, with Grealish pleased to have played his part.
“I love it, it’s part of the game and if you’re getting talked about you’re obviously doing something well aren’t you,” he told BBC Sport.
“I just take it in my stride and it was an unbelievable feeling to come here today and have the fans singing my name.
“It’s weird because I usually have these fans booing me but when they are cheering my name like this and singing my song there’s nothing more I want to do that pay them back with goals and assist so hopefully my goal will come soon.
“It’s always nice knowing the fans are calling your name but it’s not about me it’s about the team and I just come on and try to create and I come on and played a part in the first goal and got the assist for the second.”
Grealish also praised Kane, who had not scored in the previous three games at Euro 2020, for breaking his duck.
“This Euros has been different I think to many before, I think there’s so much tactical stuff going on its hard for H (Kane) because he’s probably our most talked about, probably our best player,” he added.
“It’s difficult because teams are going to try and double up on him and try and get him out of the game so I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault in particular.
“But when the game opened up at the end as soon as Luke gave me the ball I was going to shoot, bring it onto my left foot and shoot but I saw H in the box so I crossed it for him.”
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