Perhaps football is coming home after all. After discarding some early jitters England found their feet in Samara against Sweden, with headers from the other Harry - Maguire, not Kane - and Dele Alli securing a 2-0 win and booking England's place in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

Here's how the world reacted:
Hate for Raheem?
From Barry Glendenning of the Guardian

"We need to talk about Raheem. The England winger seems to be coming in for quite a lot of criticism on social media because he missed two decent chances against Sweden. Depressingly, he is currently the lowest-scoring player out of England's starters in both our's and the BBC's player ratings systems.

"This seems remarkable, not least because Sterling wreaked havoc with his direct running at Sweden's defence, causing them all sorts of problems throughout. Without his speed, gumption and creativity, England would have struggled badly to stretch and break down Sweden. Anyone with half a brain would realise he contributed significantly more than quite a few of his team-mates and certainly didn't contribute significantly less.


But hey, the dunderheaded majority seem to think that as he didn't score a goal when he should have, it's open season again. It's difficult not to conclude that the Daily Mail and Sun have a lot to answer for on the back of their relentless hounding of the player in recent years. It seems he's still paying the price for buying his mum a nice house, shopping at Greggs, driving a dirty car, flying with a budget airline and getting a tattoo."

Party already underway:

By Daniel Taylor of the Guardian

"At the final whistle, the players in red converged on one another. Gareth Southgate was locked in a bear hug with his staff and a party was already under way behind the goal to their right. England had booked their place in a World Cup semi-final and it has been so long coming – over a quarter of a century since the last occasion – it was probably just inevitable that they would soon be dancing on the pitch as well as in the stands.

"If we were to be picky, a legitimate argument could be made that, yes, England will need to play with more finesse if they really are to harbour the most serious of ambitions in this tournament. They will have to pass the ball with greater efficiency and maybe, in possession, show a touch more arrogance, in the manner of a side that really believes they can do it. France, for example. Or Belgium.

"For now, however, Southgate and his players are entitled to cherish these moments bearing in mind the last time it happened Bobby Robson was manager and Spitting Image's puppet of the England manager was a senile worrier called Rubbisho. Turin, 1990, with the penalties, Gazza's tears and all that, is written into England's history. This time maybe there will be a happier ending. England could be forgiven for wondering what glories might lie ahead and, on this evidence, they should not hold any fears about meeting Russia or Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday."

More surprises from England:

By Jack Pitt-Brooke of the Independent


"This England team keeps surprising us, and now they have surprised their way through to a World Cup semi-final. After keeping their cool in the chaos of Tuesday night, today they produced a performance that utterly disguised the nature of the occasion and the stakes. This was a World Cup quarter-final, against a difficult Sweden side, who finished top of a tight, competitive Group F. Stronger England sides have choked in gentler situations than this.

"But here in Samara, England won with a nerveless confidence and ease. The 2-0 scoreline should have been more but if fans at home were anxious that the margin was not bigger, the players never looked that way. They had an assured ease in the second half that felt barely believable.

"There was none of the sickening tension, the freak errors, the fear, the controversy, the calamity, the crisis, the stretched-out three-hour drama that always characterises England in these huge games. It was just so unrecognisable with English football history, so at odds with English football expectations. But then that has always been Gareth Southgate's point."