England are aiming to progress for their first-ever Euros finals by the ultimate underdogs of the Euro 2020 Denmark in the semi-final. They did just that with a gritty 2-1 win in extra time, setting up a mouth-watering clash against Italy in the final on Sunday.
Despite playing the Three Lions at their own yard, Denmark showed no signs of fear and took the game to England from the get-go. They took the lead in the 30th minute thanks to a brilliant free-kick from youngster Mikkel Damsgaard, giving Denmark a shock lead.
Jolted by that, England rallied back and made it 1-1 nine minutes later when Bukayo Saka’s pass was put into his own net by Simon Kjaer – resulting in the 11th own goal of the Euros.
England then threw the kitchen sink to get the winner, but the Danes’ stubborn defending denied them so in normal time – forcing extra-time for the second time in as many semi-finals! It took the longest time, but England finally got the lead in the 104th minute after Harry Kane scored off the rebound of his saved penalty past the brilliant Kasper Schmeichel.
That was enough for the Three Lions to see through a win and take a step closer to winning the entire thing. Is it coming home? Right now, it definitely looks so!
Here are England player ratings vs Denmark.
England Player Ratings vs Denmark
Gareth Southgate (8.0) –
Somehow he just keeps on doing it, but Southgate seems to have mastered the art of grinding out narrow wins with England. His decisions were again controversial today but paid off brilliantly. Starting Saka over Sancho saw the young winger assist the equalizer and torment defenders.
Even after Sterling’s poor display, he stuck with him and was rewarded with the Man City star winning the penalty & causing chaos in extra time. Maintained admirable calmness within his squad through the game & kept them motivated enough to keep attacking until they got the winner. Showed some good game management late on to liquidate Denmark’s threat and get the win.
His subs probably weren’t the best, but Southgate’s clever tactics & in-game management got the best out of his starting XI. Stuff like urging Kane to drop deep to create chances, Phillips to keep being aggressive and encourage Sterling to run at defenders all proved to be decisive. Just one game away from making history as England boss now!
Jordan Pickford (6.0) –
After keeping clean sheets in his last 5 games. Pickford has been finally beaten thanks to a fantastic free-kick from Damsgaard. Not really helping his defenders with some poor distribution giving the ball straight back to the Denmark players on occasions.
Comes up big with a fantastic reflex save to deny Dolberg in the 51st (even if he was offside). Came up clutch whenever needed to ensure he didn’t concede more than one.
Kyle Walker (8.5)-
The Man City right-back saved his defenders from embarrassment by recovering quickly to stop Dolberg from scoring in the 9th. Defensively really strong on the right, neutralizing much of Denmark’s attacking flow through that side and using his impressive pace to break down many attacks. Had the entire right-wing on lockdown the entire game and produced an highly inspired effort to frustrate Denmark.
John Stones (7.0) –
Stones doesn’t seem too comfortable dealing with Kasper Dolberg and wasn’t able to nullify his threat in the first half or stop much of Denmark’s attacks. Not as dominant as Maguire, but Stones did well to help maintain composure inside the box and nullify Denmark’s threat.
Harry Maguire (9.5) –.
England’s best centre-back in the Euros starts the game strongly, winning key aerial duels early on. Stopped a lot of Danish attack during a nervy first half, but starts the second half with a booking in the 49th. Forces a fantastic save from Kasper Schmeichel after a strong header that nearly crept into the goal in the 53rd.
Makes a fantastic interception to stop a dangerous counter-attack in the 77th. Had another header saved in the 95th. Maguire was an absolute monster defensively, winning an incredible 11 duels in normal time! Unmatchable in the air!
The Man United captain ended the game with 13 duels won, 5 clearances, 9 aerial battles won and 5 interceptions! An absolute beast on the day with a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude and played a huge role to help England see through the win.
Luke Shaw (8.0) –
Shaw’s acting like an absolute storm down the left-flank, being absolutely everywhere to win back the ball. Made a few slick passes into the box in the first 10mins, but nobody could identify them properly.
But he started becoming too unnecessarily aggressive as the game went along and gave away the free-kick leading to Damsgaard’s strike with a poor, wrestling-esque foul outside the box. Calmed down and regained his swagger in the second, making a fantastic run inside the box in the 60th but his cross was deflected wide.
Wasn’t as decisive in the attack as usual, but Shaw picked up his defensive game today. Won 4 aerial duels, 3 tackles and made some clutch clearances too. Not letting up his impressive form.
Declan Rice (6.0) –
Unlike the other games, Rice is not being able to help England control the midfield battle in this one as their midfield line was overrun on multiple occasions in the first half. Really seems to be struggling without an experienced head beside him – losing too many crucial battles in midfield & failing to stop Denmark’s fast-breaks. Really impressive in the second half, winning some key battles – but was subbed in extra-time.
Kalvin Phillips (7.0) –
The Leeds United man looks a bit nervous early on, getting the ball stolen off him a couple of times in the early minutes. Distributing the ball around well, but just like Rice, Phillips is also not being able to assert his authority in the middle. Attempts an ambitious long-range that goes wide in the 79th. Skies another into the rafters in the 91st.
Just like Rice, Phillips improved a lot as the game progressed and showed great character to help England grind out the win – making key challenges in extra time to nullify Denmark’s threat.
Mason Mount (5.5) –
Mount is doing whatever possible to help his fellow midfielders by dropping really deep to help defensively. Put in a really good cross for Maguire’s chance in the 53rd. Covered a lot of ground to try getting things started, but not really at his creative best on the day.
Raheem Sterling (6.5) –
Sterling got a great chance to score in the 6th after being spotted inside the box by Kane, but couldn’t get to his cross quickly enough. Wiggled into the box in the 13th, but his scuffed shot was saved easily. Misses an absolute sitter in the 38th from few yards out, but then makes up for it by forcing the own-goal seconds later. Still, should’ve scored that!
Got another decent chance to score in the 74th – but saw his shot blocked from close range. Trying a lot, but just can’t seem to get the right delivery today. Skies ANOTHER shot from a promising area in the 98th.
After a dismal game, he found his second wind in the right-wing spot and won the penalty (rather luckily) after the slightest of nudges. Caused big problems in extra time with his brilliant forward runs and almost scored very late on, but his shot was saved well. His extra time heroics helped divert attention from what was otherwise a very disappointing showing.
Bukayo Saka (6.5) –
The young Arsenal midfielder is back into the line-up after missing the last game through injury. After a quiet start to the game, he cleverly slipped past the defenders inside the box before forcing Kjaer’s own goal. Tormented the Danish defenders with his clever movement & first touches even though his final delivery wasn’t always the best. Subbed after the hour-mark.
Harry Kane (8.0) –
England’s top goal-scorer in the Euros almost set one up in the 6th with an exquisite cross which Sterling couldn’t latch onto. Takes an ambitious shot from outside the box in the 15th that went over. Then creates another fantastic chance by spotting Sterling in an open 1v1 chance in the 38th – only to see him missed. Brilliantly spotted & played Saka through for the OG.
Very unlucky not to get a penalty after being seemingly fouled inside the area in the 75th. Kane played more like a no.10 today than no.9, dropping very deep to create some big chances & was England’s most creative outlet in normal time. Got a big chance in the 93rd after going through on goal, but his shot was saved brilliantly.
Had his initial penalty saved before converting from the rebound to avoid embarrassment. Used his game-management knowledge to see through the win. Created many, scored the goal and produced the big stuff for England again. A true captain’s performance.
Jack Grealish (6.0) –
The Aston Villa star was again brought on too late, but couldn’t make the impact needed in normal time. Made some nice passes, but most of his passes were too safe to make a difference. Smashed the keeper’s arms with a powerful attempt in the 97th. Subbed for some weird tactical reason in second half of extra time.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) –
Henderson should really have started this one but helped bring more calmness to England’s midfielder after coming on. Bullied the Danish midfielders and helped his side go past the finish line comfortably.
Phil Foden (N/R) –
The Man City winger showcased some slick trickery after coming on and some impressive link-up play late on to help his side preserve possession.
Kieran Trippier (N/R) –
Trippier was brought on solely to defend the lead in the second half of extra time, something he did well.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kane might’ve scored the winner, but Harry Maguire deserves the MOTM after an absolute colossal performance in which he won almost every single duel he was involved. Stopped so many Danish moves and made them look worse than they were.