England stormed into the the final four of the Euro 2020 on Sunday with a resounding victory (4-0) over Ukraine in Rome. It was a dominant performance from start to finish from the in-form England as goals from Harry Kane (2), Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson sealed their place in the semi-final stage where they will now face Denmark.
However, while Kane made headlines for his brace, it was another teammate who also drew praise from all around. Defender Luke Shaw was simply sublime as he bombed down the flanks and delivered ball after ball into the box.
The Manchester United star provided two assists, first an inch-perfect free-kick to teammate Maguire, who headed in to make it 2-0. Minutes later, Shaw assisted skipper Kane with a scooped cross from the left to make it three.
Both his assists came over the course of three minutes and 51 seconds.
It is a remarkable stat and became all the more interesting after it emerged that the left-back has notched more European Championship assists (two) in under four minutes against Ukraine than football legend Zinedine Zidane managed in his 14 appearances for France at the European Championship.
Shaw, himself, could barely believe the stats.
Luke Shaw provided more assists in 3m 51s vs Ukraine than Zinedine Zidane did in 14 appearances at the Euros— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) July 3, 2021
Many users pointed out that the tweet was taken in isolation and it means little when Shaw’s wider career is compared with that of Zidane’s. However, others simply found joy in the fact that a heavily criticised left-back outdid one of the finest players to have ever lived.
Nevertheless, the Red Devils’ left-back played down the Zidane stat and the suggestion that he could be in the running for the player of the tournament award, in his post-match interview.
Shaw called it a “strange” one, and he laughed off while saying “A nice one, Obviously, Zidane was one of the best midfielders ever and I can’t compare to him, like I’ve said before about different people."
Shaw will be hoping to replicate a similar performance when England return home to clash with Denmark on Wednesday. He also said that the most important thing for him was “reaching the semi-final,” and the priority would be getting another game at Wembley in front of the home crowd and “hopefully making them happy again.”