Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka hadn't been given much of a chance to impress for England at Euro 2020 before Tuesday.
But Gareth Southgate handed both players starts against the Czech Republic in their Group D finale, and the duo made their impact felt.
Grealish directed much of the play in the middle and grabbed the assist for Raheem Sterling's first-half opener, while UEFA named Saka the Star of the Match as England defeated the Czechs 1-0 at Wembley.
Making the most of their chances
Grealish had made one appearance off the bench in England's first two Euro 2020 matches, while Saka had not played at all.
But both players played a major part in England's opener, with Saka carrying the ball forward and beating his defender to find Grealish, who also beat his man and stood up an inviting ball to the back post for Sterling to head home.
What was said?
"The manager told me to go out and express myself, to play how I have played for my club all season," Saka told ITV. "Sometimes that means driving at the opponents and I did that and got us up the pitch.
"It was a good cross from Jack for the goal and Raheem was in the right place at the right time again."
Sterling added: "Jack and Bukayo got in the pockets really well, turned and were positive. It is brilliant to have these players around you who can create goals.
"Different players are needed for different games and those two that came in were massive and did what they needed to do."
Southgate added on Saka's performance: "Bukayo, I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s earned that opportunity. His performances in training since he’s joined this camp have been outstanding.
"He played well in the game at the Riverside. We’ve talked about playing him in some of the previous matches and, yeah, he earned that chance tonight and he’s grabbed it. He was fabulous."
The word on social media
Some Arsenal fans on Twitter picked up on the duo's chemistry, urging the Gunners to buy Grealish from Aston Villa in a move that has been rumoured for some time.
Plenty of other observers simply pointed out the sheer class of the pair, who could be set to play a major role as England advanced to the round of 16.
Two absolute ballers. Saka x Grealish. 🔥🏴 pic.twitter.com/W3ssA6K00T— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) June 22, 2021
Jack Grealish is the absolute boy.— HLTCO (@HLTCO) June 22, 2021
If you don’t rate him, there’s no hope.
Grealish & Saka have been class. Great link up play from 2 Arsenal players tonight 🙌🏾— Mo Gilligan (@MoTheComedian) June 22, 2021
#ENG so much more threatening when they move the ball quickly. Good movement, team-work and ambition in their goal. Saka, Phillips, Saka, Grealish, Kane, Grealish, Sterling ⚽️. No hesitation, few touches, just swift circulating of the ball. Much better. #ENGCZE #EURO2020— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 22, 2021
#ENG Grealish and Saka have brought this England side to life. Everything attack more urgent and menacing with them— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) June 22, 2021
Grealish and Saka 🔥🔥🔥— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) June 22, 2021
Grealish off for Bellingham. pic.twitter.com/UPhVaFVkvY— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) June 22, 2021
Sterling has been really good tonight - quite apart from his goal.— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) June 22, 2021
Boos as Grealish goes off. They want him to stay on. He has become the people's champion of this England squad
England fans annoyed Grealish subbed off, but given shin problems it's probably sensible and suggests he will probably start the last-16 game...— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) June 22, 2021
Grealish and Saka have been immense. Both Arsenal players making a significant difference tonight.— FK ☕️ (@fkhanage) June 22, 2021
Get in! Brilliant from Saka, great cross from Grealish.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) June 22, 2021
Saka plays with such looseness. He’s not trying too hard, which is a massive problem with England players. He’s not playing like he’s desperate to impress Southgate or the media or fans or anyone. He’s not trying to stand out, which weirdly makes him stand out— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) June 22, 2021
Can’t drop Saka can you ? 😬— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) June 22, 2021
5 - Bukayo Saka's five completed take-ons are the joint-most by an English teenager at a major tournament since we have full data for the EUROs (1980) and World Cup (1966), equalling Raheem Sterling in 2014 vs Uruguay and Michael Owen in 1998 vs Argentina. Wavy. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/QAHudQWZ5y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 22, 2021