FURIOUS Danish and Italian fans have branded England cheats and Three Lions hero Raheem Sterling a diver.
The comments came after Gareth Southgate’s national treasures stormed into England’s first major tournament final in 55 years with a 2-1 semi-final win over Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
They will meet Italy in Sunday’s final at Wembley – with touts flogging tickets for up to £50,000.
But fans from both countries wasted no time in throwing barbs England’s way after their historic win.
With the scores level at 1-1 at the end of normal time, Three Lions fans were sent to dreamland with just one minute of the first extra period to go.
Sterling was caught in the penalty area with ref Danny Makkelie pointing to the spot.
Although it was arguably soft, VAR did not see a clear and obvious error as there was contact and Harry Kane stepped up.
The usually clinical hitman took a deep breath and hit a weak effort low to Kasper Schmeichel’s left and the Leicester goalie kept it out.
But the ball deflected back into Kane’s path and he slammed it in from close range to trigger glorious scenes inside the national stadium.
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Taking to Twitter after the win, Jesper Jacobsen wrote: “As a Dane, I have to say, you were far and away the better side for long periods. That doesn’t make Sterling’s dive less of a dive though.”
Mathis Hoj Kristensen added: “Proud of our boys, what a fantastic performance and tournament! But also furious about the dive from Sterling! #NoPenalty.”
Draken posted a picture of the ref and captioned it: “England’s man of the match tonight. #Sterling #dive #f***VAR.”
And in Italy – where fans saw their team reach the final with a penalty shootout win over Spain on Tuesday – they were equally critical of the Three Lions’ win.
Gazetta dello Sport wrote: “England had a growing Kane who was flattered by the football gods on penalties. It was harsh.”
And Shemsi called it ‘an absolute scandal’.
Despite the anger from fans of other teams, streetwise Sterling – who is in line for the man-of-the-tournament – was adamant it was a pen.
He said: “I went into the box and he stuck his right leg out, and it touched my leg so it was a clear penalty.”
As well as the penalty decision, fans were also furious about the fact there were two balls on the pitch in the build up to the award.
And one mindless supporter also shone a laser pen at Schmeichel as Kane prepared to take the spot-kick and the Leicester man still saved it.
Understandably those incidents also triggered anger among the European masses.
Shemsi said: “Kasper Schmeichel was blinded by a laser pointer????!!!!!
WHERE WAS VAR???
“Two balls on the pitch, Sterling dive, laser pointer attack. Absolute scandal!!!!”
Frej Elbæk Schjeldal was also clearly a little rattled and tweeted: “Hey #eng.
“Booing during our national anthem, using laser pens on @kschmeichel1 and @hojbjerg23 eyes.
“Sterling’s dive, not allowing our supporters to come even you have like a million more corona cases then we do.”
But after listing the things he was furious about, the Scandinavian posted a picture of Boris Johnson in an England shirt and quipped: “That is one thing, well a few things. But this [followed by the face palm and eyes emoji].”
Even the bitter Germans – who England swept aside in the last 16 – got involved as a Bild headline read: “With Kane and luck, England are in the final.”
And ex-Liverpool and Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann called the decision ‘scandalous’.
Mikkel Damsgaard’s free-kick put the Danes one up after half an hour.
But Bukayo Saka’s fantastic cross just nine minutes later saw Simon Kjaer put through his own net under pressure from Sterling.
England huffed and puffed for the remainder of normal time but neither side could find the break through until Kane’s historic goal.
At 2-1, England held on against a shattered Denmark to set up a final Wembley showdown on Sunday.
As well as earning the adoration of the nation, Kane earned himself another bit of personal glory.
The strike was the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner’s 10th goal at a major tournament – the joint highest of any England player with Gary Lineker.
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