Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was in inspirational form for England as they beat Ukraine 1-0 to reach the quarter finals of Euro 2012 on Tuesday night.
Gerrard expertly assisted the only goal of the game, scored by Wayne Rooney from close range, making it three assists in three games for the England skipper.
“We came into a difficult group and the idea was to try and win it,” Gerrard told TheFA.com after the game.
“We have been criticised in the past for not turning up and performing but we can take that and the important thing is you respond and that is what this team is doing.”
England will now face Italy in the quarter final in Kiev on Sunday night and Gerrard expects another tough game.
“We play Italy and if we do well in the next we might play Spain they are both fantastic so we take each game at a time,” he said.
“Italy have match winners and we will give them respect.”
Glen Johnson again played the full 90 minutes for Roy Hodgson’s side, while Andy Carroll was a sub for the last ten minutes.