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England fans revel in ‘good vibes’ as tense 1-0 win against Serbia sees Three Lions top Euro 2024 group | World News

England fans sang and cheered the night away after the Three Lions beat Serbia 1-0, despite an “altercation” between rival supporters ahead of the match.

A header by Jude Bellingham put England ahead in the 13th minute and proved to be the only goal of a tense game for Gareth Southgate’s side.

But that didn’t matter for the near-20,000 fans in Gelsenkirchen and millions back in the UK, with pints thrown in the air and flares set off for England’s first win of Euro 2024.

Chants of “it’s coming home” rang out at Wembley Boxpark, but in Germany, concerns about potential violence were raised ahead of the game.

A clash between fans outside the arena in Gelsenkirchen saw seven Serbian fans arrested ahead of the game, but local police insisted most of the day passed “without incident”.

England fans cheer in Benidorm, Spain. Pic: Reuters
Image:
England fans cheer in Benidorm, Spain. Pic: Reuters

‘It’s all about Jude isn’t it?’

Sky’s sports correspondent Rob Harris caught up with fans outside the Veltins Arena after the game, who heaped praise on England’s man-of-the-match Bellingham.

More on England Football Team

While one said the game “could have been better” and that England “sat back” after their one goal, he added: “It’s all about Jude isn’t it. Jude FC.”

England fans celebrate as their team wins their first match in Euro 2024. Pic: AP
Image:
England fans celebrate as their team wins their first match in Euro 2024. Pic: AP

He then said the tournament has been a good example of “festival football” so far – with fans in good spirits – and that “everybody’s been making it out to be worse than it is… It’s been really fun so far – good vibes”.

As it happened: Fans’ delight after Bellingham goal

Another fan leaving the stands with two other friends said “it’s hard, the first game of the tournament, so I’ll take that”, with his pal adding: “At the end of the day all we have to do is get the three points, bring home the wins, and get through to the knockouts.”

Scenes of England fans celebrating in Hebburn, South Tyneside. Pic: AP
Image:
Scenes of England fans celebrating in Hebburn, South Tyneside. Pic: AP

Seven arrested after ‘bottles thrown’

Sky’s Harris saw police swarm a bar near the Gelsenkirchen stadium where Serbia fans were drinking ahead of the game.

He reported “chairs being flung, tables being thrown, and various fans running around the corner”, adding it “led to a lot of bottles being thrown”.

Later, German police said they arrested seven Serbian fans over the incident, adding in a statement: “At around 3.45pm, the police were informed of a confrontation between Serbian and English football fans in the area of ​​Arminstrasse.”

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Seven Serbian fans arrested after brawl

They added: “Riot police were deployed and separated the two fan camps. They took seven Serbian supporters into custody and filed a criminal complaint for grievous bodily harm.

“There were no further incidents on the way to the arena. There is a lively atmosphere around the stadium.”

Gelsenkirchen police later said “during the game and after the game ended, everything in and around the stadium remained quiet”.

Both sets of fans left “without incident”, and the force added: “At the public viewing events in the fan zones, things remained quiet during the game.”

Police officers search an England fan before the Serbia game. Pic: AP
Image:
Police officers search an England fan before the Serbia game. Pic: AP

Starmer, Sunak & Davey cheer

The travelling supporters were joined back home by Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey, who all took to social media to celebrate.

The prime minister agreed that Bellingham was “something special”, while Angela Rayner posted a photograph with the Labour Party leader and comedians Matt Forde and Jon Richardson.

Sir Ed also shared a snap from the Liberal Democrats election bus.

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While Southgate admitted “we didn’t keep it quite as well as we need to” in the second half, the win takes England to the top of Group C after Denmark and Slovenia drew.

Next up for the Three Lions is Denmark at 5pm this Thursday in Frankfurt, before the group stage comes to a close for England against Slovenia at 8pm on 25 June.

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