England booked their place in a European Championship final for the first time ever as they reached Euro 2020’s showpiece event with a 2-1 win over Denmark in extra time on Wednesday night.
After a frantic start from England the Danes dished out a sucker punch as Mikkel Damsgaard fired a ferocious free-kick past Jordan Pickford to hand his side the lead.
The Three Lions hit back almost immediately as Bukayo Saka repaid the faith of Gareth Southgate by breaking free down the right before pulling the ball back where Simon Kjaer put through his own net under pressure from Raheem Sterling.
England came within inches of taking the lead as Harry Maguire’s header was somehow palmed away by the brilliant Kasper Schmeichel, before Harry Kane was denied a penalty for a challenge that could easily have been deemed to be a foul.
With the scores locked at 1-1 the game headed for extra time and immediately Schmeichel was called into action again as he denied Kane with an excellent save down to his right.
Southgate’s side were handed a glorious opportunity to take the lead as Sterling drifted past Joakim Maehle who brought the forward down to concede a penalty, and despite Schmeichel’s heroics to deny Kane from the spotm the England man followed in to tap the ball home.
Denmark offered little in the way of a response as England hung on to secure their place in the final of Euro 2020. Now doesn’t that sound good? Here’s your player ratings from the clash…
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 5/10 – Made arguably his first mistake of the tournament as he needlessly gave possession away early on and was lucky to escape unpunished, but his second mistake soon followed as he should have done better with Damsgaard’s free kick.
Kyle Walker (RB) – 7/10 – Used his pace superbly to help sweep up behind the backline when England looked to have been caught out. Used all his nous to manage the game in the second half.
John Stones (CB) – 6/10 – Looked a little nervy at times but stuck to his task and battled well with Kasper Dolberg and Yussuf Poulsen.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 8/10 – Started the game on the front foot and wasn’t afraid to step forward to help open up the game. Came within inches of making it 2-1 to England but was denied by an unbelievable save from Schmeichel. Defended very well all game.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 7/10 – Continued his lovely link-up play with Sterling down the England left and looked a constant threat on the overlap.
Declan Rice (CM) – 5/10 – Far too passive and couldn’t handle the pressure that he was put under by the Danish midfield. Picked up the pace a little more in the second half but not his finest outing on the whole.
Kalvin Phillips (CM) – 4/10 – Looked wasteful in possession early on and gave the ball away on a number of occasions. Too busy trying to pass backwards and sideways rather than actually moving forward.
Mason Mount (AM) – 5/10 – Battled well and did plenty of work for the good of the team but he couldn’t produce the kind of endeavour on the ball that we’ve become used to seeing.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – 7/10 – Superb bit of play down the right to help England grab the equaliser. Withdrawn in the second half after he seemed to run out of steam a little but a good performance nonetheless.
Harry Kane (ST) – 8/10 – Dropped into little pockets of space as we’ve become used to seeing him do and showed great technical ability to pick out England’s wide men. Came up trumps with a late goal when his country needed him most.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – 7/10 – Missed a couple of good chances early on but did brilliantly to pressure Kjaer for the own goal. Looked a threat every time he got the ball even though some of his touches were a little off. Instrumental in the winning goal as he won his side the penalty.
Jack Grealish (LW) – 7/10
Jordan Henderson (CM) – 6/10
Phil Foden (AM) – 6/10
Kieran Trippier (RB) – 6/10
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 9/10 – Produced an instinctive stop to rush out to the feet of Sterling and prevent him from equalising but nothing he could do about Kjaer’s own goal. Pulled off another great save in the second half to deny Maguire and was unbelievable all night,
Andreas Christensen (CB) – 5/10 – Bamboozled by Sterling at times down the Denmark right and allowed him infield far too often. Eventually came off with what looked like cramp but could well have been an excuse to get away from Sterling.
Simon Kjaer (CB) – 7/10 – Did brilliantly to step into midfield on a couple of occasions to intercept England’s long balls up to the frontline. Very little he could do as he scored the own goal to pull England level.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) – 6/10 – Sprayed some lovely balls around with his cultured right foot but struggled with the pace of the England frontline at times. Stood strong late on as England continued to push forward.
Jens Stryger Larsen (RWB) – 6/10 – Struggled to get forward too much early on and seemed to be pre-occupied with stopping the forward runs of Luke Shaw. Withdrawn in the second half.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) – 7/10 – Pressured both Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice and had the better of the midfield battle the whole game.
Thomas Delaney (CM) – 7/10 – Joined Hojbjerg in driving forward and pushing the England midfield backwards. Clearly absolutely gassed in the final minutes of normal time and was withdrawn for Mathias Jensen.
Joakim Maehle (LWB) – 7/10 – Very good display down the Denmark left. Tucked in when England were on the ball and headed away a number of late England crosses. Let himself down by conceding the late penalty to hand Southgate’s men the win – though it did look a little harsh.
Martin Braithwaite (RW) – 6/10 – Chased plenty of lost causes and didn’t stop pressing Maguire but couldn’t really got a foot on the ball to try and make things happen.
Kasper Dolberg (ST) – 7/10 – Battled brilliantly and wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line for the good of the team. Linked up well with his teammates and had a couple of efforts stopped by Pickford.
Mikkel Damsgaard (LW) – 8/10 – The brightest player on the pitch in the opening half hour. England’s defence couldn’t get near him as he skipped away from their challenges and he opened the scoring with an absolute beauty of a free-kick.
Daniel Wass (RWB) – 7/10
Yussuf Poulsen (ST) – 5/10
Christian Norgaard (CM) – 6/10
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 7/10
Mathias Jensen (CM) – 6/10
Jonas Wind (ST) – 6/10