Gareth Southgate’s science rockets England towards the moon | Barney Ronay

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As England reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, take a breath to drink it all in and savour the moment

The red and white train just keeps rolling along. In the city where Russia’s space programme shot for the moon, England’s footballers have now entered their own near-earth orbit. There they go now, a little giddy but still upright, out there floating in their tin can, high above the world.

It has been a month and a day in Russia, all the way from the fly pits of Volgograd, to Kaliningrad on the Baltic, and now on to Samara, a city lodged in the humid armpit of the south-east. But after Wembley in ’66 and Turin more than a quarter of a century ago, a 2-0 defeat of Sweden means England will now decamp to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to play Croatia for a place in a World Cup final.

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Written by Barney Ronay at the Samara Arena
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