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Alan Shearer singles out Liverpool star for praise after Netherlands reach Euro 2024 quarter-finals

Netherlands beat Romania to reach the Euro 2024 quarter-finals
The Netherlands beat Romania to reach the Euro 2024 quarter-finals (Picture: Getty)

Alan Shearer singled out Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo for praise after the Netherlands beat Romania to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2024.

Gakpo scored and made an assist as the Dutch clinched a 3-0 win in Munich to set up a quarter-final meeting with Austria or Turkey.

Netherlands underwhelmed in the group stage, finishing third in Group D behind France and Austria, but proved too strong for Romania, who surprisingly topped Group E ahead of Belgium, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Gakpo’s 20th-minute opener put the Netherlands ahead and Donyell Malen scored two goals in the final ten minutes to finally break Romania’s resistance.

‘Brilliant performance from Gakpo, I thought he was the standout player,’ BBC presenter Gary Lineker said.

Shearer responded: ‘Without doubt, he was a threat the whole game. He was outstanding tonight, a constant threat. 

‘That was the Netherlands’ best performance of the tournament so far. Even when they had to defend in the first 15 minutes they did so with great assurance.

Liverpool's Cody Gakpo was named Player of the Match
Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo was named Player of the Match (Picture: Getty)

‘The midfield they dominated and if they had their shooting boots on they should have had six or seven.’

Gakpo has largely struggled at Liverpool, scoring just 15 Premier League goals in a one-and-a-half seasons at Anfield, but is the joint-top goalscorer at the Euros.

The Netherlands will be favourites ahead of their quarter-final tie against Austria or Turkey and could meet pre-tournament favourites England in the semis.

Assessing the Netherlands Euros chances under Ronald Koeman, Shearer said: ‘I think we were all expecting more from them in the group stage.

‘They finished third in the group. You’re looking for that little something to give them confidence that they can actually go on and win it. This could be the performance that gives them that edge.’

Ex-Premier League defender Ashley Williams added: ‘The Netherlands looked very accomplished. But what I will say is Romania weren’t quite as good as I expect them to be.

‘The Netherlands defended well and they had willing runners. They had the complete performance today.

‘You can’t call anything in this tournament but I think they will be really confident now. I think they will get to at least the semi-finals now.’

Gakpo, meanwhile, said he was ‘very pleased’ to contribute to his side’s last-16 victory.

‘I think we played a good game and showed a great reaction from the last game and I am very pleased,’ he said. ‘Especially after the last game we needed a reaction and today was a good step in the right direction.

‘We talked a lot about the aggression, the intensity and defending like a team. It was a good step and I am very happy we won.’

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