First came the beer, then the delirium and, as sure as Harry Kane facing the goal, the collective hangover.
Thousands of England fans cheered all night as the Three Lions sailed into the Euro 2020 semi-final with a 4-0 thrashing over Ukraine.
At Piccadilly Circus in London, crowds scaled the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain as thousands gathered at the official fan park in nearby Trafalgar Square. Fights with the police broke out in Leicester Square as the night wore on.
Coronavirus travel restrictions meant that only 2,500 England fans made it to Rome for the quarter-final match, most of whom were expatriates living in Italy or neighboring countries.
UEFA, the administrative body for European football, had canceled all tickets sold since Monday to England supporters living in the United Kingdom for fear that people would try to violate the five-day coronavirus quarantine rule in force for fans. travelers arriving from Great Britain.
The warm July weather meant that the beer gardens and many city centers were packed before the 8 p.m. start on Sunday.
In Manchester, hundreds of fans sang “It’s Coming Home” in the city’s Northern Quarter as the raucous celebrations continued into the wee hours of the morning in Newcastle.
Jeff Pedley, 35, a teacher originally from Beverley, East Yorkshire, was one of the lucky fans inside the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the match. He described it as “the best game I’ve ever been to” and told PA Media news agency: “I started singing on one stage: ‘Is this Wembley in disguise?’, Because as the game progressed, it started. to feel more and more at home.
“So many passionate and proud England fans. I had to pinch myself and get soaked. I think we all realized that winning 4-0 in the quarterfinals doesn’t come often, whoever you are. “
England’s 4-0 demolition of Ukraine sparked a clash with Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night, and more than 60,000 fans are expected to attend as capacity restrictions must be eased.
This could generate some of the largest crowds in the UK since the start of the pandemic. All ticket holders will be required to test negative for coronavirus or provide proof of two doses of a vaccine 14 days prior to a game. The final, next Sunday, is also at Wembley.