Chelsea's Cole Palmer shows true colours with Virgil van Dijk moment after England win

Virgil van Dijk greets Cole Palmer of England
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Inaki Esnaola)

Cole Palmer showed his class after England's Euro 2024 semi-final win over the Netherlands on Wednesday evening as many of his team-mates began their post-match celebrations.

The Chelsea star made a big impact from the bench once again for Gareth Southgate's side, setting up Ollie Watkins' last-gasp winner with a well-timed through ball for the Aston Villa striker.

Palmer was introduced in the 81st minute of the match and has been brought on with limited time remaining in the three fixtures prior to the semi-final, leaving many calling for him to be played from the start.

There was every reason for the 22-year-old to be on cloud nine after assisting the goal that booked the Three Lions' place in Sunday's Euro 2024 final, though the former Manchester City star made sure to show his respect to the opposition before soaking in the atmosphere.

Indeed, the Premier League PFA Young Player of the Year was seen consoling Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk on the pitch, among others, who was naturally disappointed after seeing his country exit the competition in cruel circumstances.

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Praising the impact of Palmer after Wednesday's semi-final success, ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright said: “You want Cole Palmer to come on and hit a pass that is perfect. In the moment, get back to the basics, it was absolutely perfect. Nobody did that to those defenders all night, they had an easy ride until he came on.”

Offering his thoughts on England setting up a clash with Spain this weekend, Chelsea's No.20 said: “Everyone’s buzzing. Last night on the bus tunes were on, changing room, everyone was just enjoying it. But obviously it’s a short turnaround and it’s a massive, massive game to change our lives, our family’s lives, and to make everyone proud. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“I think if you’ve got this final then you have to hopefully finish the job. It’s all good getting to the final, and you’ve got to enjoy it because you don’t get many moments to enjoy. But, no, everyone just wants to win so bad.

“In the first few games we didn’t play the best that we could and everyone knew that. But now I think as the tournament’s gone on, especially yesterday, I think we had our best game in the tournament, and that’s what you want going into the later stages."