England's night of rapture

Shearer and Sheringham spell double trouble as inspired hosts advance to meet Spain in last eight; ENGLAND 4 NETHERLANDS 1 Alan Shearer (pen 23 min, 57min), Patrick Kluiver t (78min) Teddy Sheringham (51min, 62min) Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 76, 798

Dreaming of Ajax? Let the Dutch dream, of White Hart Lane and Ewood Park, Old Trafford and Highbury. For two years the Dutch game has been held up as possessing all the vir- tues the British version lacks - yet last night at Wembley they were destroyed. If it were not for a late goal by Patrick Kluivert, they would now be going home while England and Scotland progressed.

In the event, Scotland suffered another heroic failure while England look forward to a Wembley quarter-final on Saturday. They will relish it more than Spain, their opponents. The Dutch go to Anfield to meet France.

England's performance was certainly the finest since the halcyon days of Italia '90. It may even be the best since the days of Sir Alf Ramsey, though Bobby Robson could point to the 1986 World Cup win over Po- land and a 4-1 win in Yugoslavia that earned European Champ- ionship qualification a year later. England outplayed the Dutch in every area of the game and were four goals up in barely an hour. The only blot on the night was a second booking for Paul Ince which will keep him out of the quarter-final.

So surprising was the result Ladbrokes had not even put it on the coupon. Even so, they were not so impressed as to install England as favourites; Germany remain the bookies' tip. That is a fair judgement. England have improved spectacularly since their stumbling draw with Switzerland but, as coach and players said last night, they must not get carried away. Last night's match was in the balance until Teddy Sheringham scored the second goal five minutes after the break. It was only then it became a rout - the Netherlands heaviest defeat for more than 20 years.

Both Sheringham and Alan Shearer scored twice. Shearer is now the top scorer in Euro 96 with four goals and the way he took last night's double showed his confidence is high. Shering- ham's pair were his first of the competition, and they were a welcome return to form. Some pundits (including this one) had suggested replacing Sheringham with Nick Barmby. Terry Venables preferred to keep a settled side. After retaining a team just once in 18 warm-up games, he has now selected the same XI three times.

The key player, as on Saturday against Scotland, was Steve McManaman. Starting on the right, where he had finished against Scotland, he set the mood, running at the Dutch defence from the start. As early as the first minute he had dispossessed Jordi Cruyff and freed Shearer on the right. The cross was swallowed by Edwin van der Sar, who immediately launched a counter-attack which was only halted when Ince fouled Dennis Bergkamp. The free-kick, from Richard Witschge, was wasted but the tone of the evening had been established. Five minutes later England almost went ahead as Shearer met an Anderton corner with a low drive. It arrowed towards the near post but his erstwhile - if brief - Blackburn team-mate Witschge kicked it off the line.

There was bite as well as enterprise in the vibrant start, Aron Winter being cautioned for a tackle on Anderton after 18 minutes. His captain joined him in the book three minutes later but the context was far more significant. McManaman broke on to Sheringham's pass down the right only to find, as is often the case when David Platt is not playing, that no one was up with him. Once the Liverpool winger would have tried to beat one man too many, or attempted a wasteful shot. No longer. This time he waited and, when Ince arrived, slipped a neat pass to him. The midfielder took it in his stride, flicking it past Danny Bli- nd into the box. But as he made to follow, the Ajax man stuck out a leg and brought him down.

Up stepped Shearer, brimming with confidence. Unlike Gary McAllister's on Saturday, the penalty was never in doubt, even though the 6ft 5in goalkeeper dived the right way. The Dutch responded with both Winter, with a header, and Berg- kamp, with a volley, going close from corners. Bergkamp will long be reminded at Highbury of an incident five minutes from the break. Capitalising on a missed header by Gareth Southgate, he advanced on Seaman only to be denied by a superb one-handed save.

England survived to prosper. Five minutes after the break, Paul Gascoigne floated a deep corner from the left and Sheringham, losing his marker ,Winter, headed it inside the far post. In reply, Clarence Seedorf swer- ved a shot through a crowd of players which Seaman did well to read. No matter. Eight minutes later England scored again. Measured passes took England to the Dutch box, whereupon Gascoigne burst into it. He drew two defenders then slipped a pass to Sheringham, who shaped to shoot then found Shearer. The dummy was so effective even Shearer, momentarily, bought it. He recovered to drill in the ball.

Wembley exploded anew three minutes later as England scored a fourth. McManaman's shot was deflected, Van der Sar spilled it, and Sheringham followed up. The Dutch were in disarray - Bergkamp, finding himself at right-back, was book- ed for fouling McManaman. He then shot over from six yards. Finally, they rescued themselves as Kluivert ran on to Bergkamp's pass and slipped the ball through Seaman's legs. It was enough for the Dutch to survive, but when they dream of Wembley, it will be with a shudder.

Ken Jones, page 12

ENGLAND (4-4-1-1): Seaman (Arsenal); G Neville (Manchester United), Adams (Arsenal), Southgate (Aston Villa), Pearce (Nottingham Forest); McManaman (Liverpool), Gascoigne (Rangers), Ince (Internazionale), Anderton (Tottenham); Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur); Shearer (Blackburn Rovers). Substitutes: Platt (Arsenal) for Ince, 68; Barmby (Middlesbrough) for Shearer, 76, Fowler (Liverpool) for Sheringham, 76.

England statistics: Bookings: Sheringham, Ince, Southgate. Free-kicks conceded: 16. Goal attempts: 10. On target: 8. Corners: 3. Caught offside: 1.

NETHERLANDS (3-3-1-3): Van der Sar (Ajax); Reiziger (Ajax), Blind (Ajax), Bogarde (Ajax); Winter (Internazionale), Seedorf (Sampdoria), Witschge (Ajax); R de Boer (Ajax); Cruyff (Barcelona), Bergkamp (Arsenal), Hoekstra (Ajax). Substitutes: De Kock (Roda JC Kerkrade) for Witschge, h-t; Kluivert (Ajax) for R de Boer, 73; Cocu (PSV Eindhoven) for Hoekstra, 77.

Netherlands statistics: Bookings: Winter, Blind, Bergkamp. Free-kicks conceded: 11. Goal attempts: 15. On target: 4. Corners: 11. Caught offside: 1.

Referee: G Grabher (Austria). Man of the match: Shearer.

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

** Secondary History Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Secondary Geography Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments