Watch Sky Sports pundit’s incredible reaction to Watkins’ England winner just moments after predicting ‘a bit of magic’

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GARETH AINSWORTH produced a brilliant reaction to Ollie Watkins’ winning goal against Holland.

The Aston Villa striker scored in the 90th minute to send England through to their second consecutive Euros final.

Sky SportsGareth Ainsworth was covering England’s match on Sky Sports[/caption]

GettyHe was thrilled with Ollie Watkins’ winning goal[/caption]

Xavi Simons had given Holland the lead in the 7th minute before Harry Kane equalised from a controversial penalty.

The Euro 2024 semi-final clash proved to be a tense affair with Watkins netting the decisive goal in the final moments.

Ainsworth, 51, was covering the match for Sky Sports live in the studio.

The former QPR manager’s reaction to the goal has been posted on social media.

In the clip, he can be heard saying that there needs to be “a bit of magic” from someone.

Only seconds later, Cole Palmer was able to play in Watkins to score the winning goal.

Ainsworth, in response, let out a massive celebratory roar as he rose to his feet.

Fans loved the clip as they reacted to it.

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One posted: “Sensational celebration.”

A second wrote: “I love all the Gareth’s. National Gareth day please.”

England’s controversial penalty

By Mark Halsey

HARRY KANE was gifted a penalty by controversial referee Felix Zwayer.

If England had been on the receiving end of that decision, we would have been absolutely fuming.

The German official, previously banned for six months for his part in a match-fixing scandal, should not have been sent to the pitchside monitor by VAR Bastian Dankert.

Both Denzel Dumfries and Kane had their feet in the air as England’s captain got his shot away.

It was just a clash of legs and certainly NOT a ‘clear and obvious error’.
Once Zwayer went over to the monitor, we knew what was going to happen.

He is an excellent referee but we have seen that none of the officials seem mentally tough enough to stick with their original call.

I know some people will argue Dumfries was late to the tackle and it would have been a free-kick elsewhere on the pitch.

But it is a contact sport and it’s natural that there will be a coming together in instances like that.

Aside from the penalty award, Zwayer had a good game.

There were fears decisions would go against England because of Jude Bellingham’s previous comments about Zwayer.

Bellingham was fined £34,000 in 2021 for blaming Zwayer and his match-fixing past for Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.

But Zwayer was right to caution Bellingham for his reckless challenge on Stefan de Vrij in the second half.

A third commented: “Fair play to Gareth there. At that exact moment I couldn’t string two words together, let alone coherent sentences.”

A fourth said: “What great insight and sheer passion!”

Another added: “Lovely content.”

The winning goal sent fans, players and coaching staff into wild celebrations.

Even England’s Dutch coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink got swept up in the moment before realising it came against his native country.

Pundits Gary Neville and Ian Wright went wild in the ITV studio while Roy Keane remained his usual composed self.

After the game, Watkins admitted that he had predicted that he would score the winner in a conversation with Cole Palmer.

England face Spain in the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Sunday.

Spain made it to the final after beating France 2-1 in the first semi-final.

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England vs Spain record

England have played Spain 27 times in total – here is a look at every result…

May 1929, Spain 4-3 England – International Friendly (L)
December 1931, England 7-1 Spain – International Friendly (W)
July 1950, Spain 1-0 England – World Cup (L)
May 1955, Spain 1-1 England – International Friendly (D)
November 1955, England 4-1 Spain – International Friendly (W)
May 1960, Spain 3-0 England – International Friendly (L)
October 1960, England 4-2 Spain – International Friendly (W)
December 1965, Spain 0-2 England – International Friendly (W)
May 1967, England 2-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
April 1968, England 1-0 Spain – European Championship (W)
May 1968, Spain 1-2 England – European Championship (W)
March 1980, Spain 0-2 England – International Friendly (W)
June 1980, England 2-1 Spain – European Championship (W)
March 1981, England 1-2 Spain – International Friendly (L)
July 1982, Spain 0-0 England – World Cup (D)
February 1987, Spain 2-4 England – International Friendly (W)
September 1992, Spain 1-0 England – International Friendly (L)
June 1996, England 0(4)-(2)0 Spain – European Championship (W)
February 2001, England 3-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
November 2004, Spain 1-0 England – International Friendly (L)
February 2007, England 0-1 Spain – International Friendly (L)
February 2009, Spain 2-0 England – International Friendly (L)
November 2011, England 1-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
November 2015, Spain 2-0 England – International Friendly (L)
November 2016, England 2-2 Spain – International Friendly (D)
September 2018, England 1-2 Spain – Nations League (L)
October 2018, Spain 2-3 England – Nations League (W)

Overall, England have won 14, drawn three and lost 10 matches against Spain.

England ratings vs Holland

ENGLAND stormed into the final against Spain thanks to Ollie Watkins’ last-minute strike in the 2-1 win over Holland.

It was a brilliant team performance, but how did each player rate?

SunSport’s Tom Barclay ran the rule over Southgate’s boys, and here’s how he rated them.

Jordan Pickford: 7

Bigger goalkeepers may have got a stronger hand to Xavi Simons’ early stunner – though that was being hypercritical. Solid stop to deny Virgil van Dijk after the hour.

Kyle Walker: 7

Looked re-energised after some lumbering displays and bombed on at times in the first half, despite his role on the right of a back three. Last-ditch tackle on Cody Gakpo was spot on.

John Stones: 7

Strong in possession. He looks to have benefited from regular game-time after rarely featuring for Manchester City in the last few months.

Marc Guehi: 6

Came back into the side after suspension ruled him out of the Switzerland game. Had an unenviable task of making the big man Wout Weghorst after the break.

Bukayo Saka: 7

Razor-sharp in the first half, winning tackles, making runs and dribbling the ball proficiently. Less of an impact after the break, had a goal ruled out for offside and was booked.

Declan Rice: 6

Lost possession for Simons’ thunderous opener but grew into the game, mopping up where necessary. Poor pass when Kane was open midway through the second half.

Kobbie Mainoo: 8

Was England’s youngest-ever player to play in a major-tournament semi-final, aged 19years 82 days, and had a stormer in the first half. Great bursts forward, vital tackles, and his interplay with Foden was a joy.

Kieran Trippier: 6

We all know by now that he is playing out of position, so again he was limited going forward and reliable defensively. Subbed at half-time for the more natural Shaw.

Phil Foden: 7

The first 45 minutes was by far and away his best half of the tournament. Thought he’d scored when his shot was cleared off the line by Denzel Dumfries, and cracked the post with a cracker. But was then surprisingly subbed.

Jude Bellingham: 5

Back at the ground where he made his name but struggled to make much of an impact on his old stomping ground. Fortunate it was not he that was subbed.

Harry Kane: 6

Won and dispatched the penalty to go joint top-scorer in the tournament with three goals. Had looked more mobile initially but still tired badly after the break and was taken off.

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Luke Shaw (for Kieran Trippier, half-time): 6

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Looked assured for a man who has been out for so long.

Ollie Watkins (for Harry Kane, 81): 9 and STAR MAN 

Surprisingly given the nod over Ivan Toney as striker sub as Southgate looked for more pace in behind. Brilliant finish into the corner to win the game – you could not ask more from him.

Cole Palmer (for Phil Foden, 81): 7

Had his big chance in the final minutes but shanked it horribly wide – but then fed Watkins for his wonderful winner.

Gareth Southgate: 8

His switch to a back three against Switzerland helped dig out the win there, and here it had his team finally playing some great football in the first half. The team went into their shells again as the game wore on and you feared the worst – but you have to say his decision to bring on Ollie Watkins was a masterstroke. 

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