Euro 2020: Band of Coldstream Guards perform ‘Three Lions’
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Gareth Southgate laid some Euro semi-final demons to rest as he guided England to their first major tournament final in 55 years. It was left to skipper Harry Kane to be the man to get the Three Lions over the line, his fourth goal of the tournament and third successive goal of the knock-out stage.
However, if any one of an England persuasion was expecting a similar kind of rout to last Saturday’s 4-0 romp over Ukraine, they were sorely mistaken.
The 60,000 England fans were silenced on the half hour mark after Mikkel Damsgaard ended Southgate’s side’s run of five consecutive clean sheets with a free-kick from around 25 yards.
Nine minutes later and the stadium erupted after Bukayo Saka latched on to a delightful Harry Kane through ball to lash a pass across the face of Denmark’s goal which was turned into his own net by Simon Kjaer.
Nothing could separate the sides in 90 minutes, an extra-time spot-kick rebound from Harry Kane eventually handing England the victory they deserved – just.
The Three Lions will meet Italy back at Wembley on Sunday night knowing they are now just one game away from their first piece of silverware in more than half a century.
Here are Express Sport’s player ratings for the clash…
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Jordan Pickford – 5
Signs of the shaky Pickford Everton fans witnessed last season were on show in the first half, with one notably poor attempt to distribute the ball putting his defence under pressure.
The England number one eventually grew into the tie but should take some blame for failing to keep a sixth successive clean sheet after Mikkel Damsgaard’s well-struck free-kick beat him despite ending up somewhat central in the goal.
Kyle Walker – 7
England’s strongest defender on the night, his pace a constant weapon ensuring England’s relatively high-line was always protected.
John Stones – 6
A relatively comfortable evening for Stones given the level of pressure from the opposition, Stones was typically assured on the ball and won key aerial battles.
Alongside Harry Maguire, Stones had quite the task from defensive set-pieces trying to quell the physical presence of Jannik Vestergaard and Kjær.
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Harry Maguire – 7
Constantly marauding out from the back four with the ball at his feet, Maguire was responsible for a number of England attacks.
He came within one Schmeichel save of repeating last weekend’s feat of finding the net with a trademark bullet header.
Luke Shaw – 6
The more attacking of England’s full-backs, Shaw’s performance bettered as the game went on, though the kind of pinpoint precision crossing that tormented Ukraine was not as prominent.
Kalvin Phillips – 6
A typical tough-tackling display in the middle of the park, Phillips ensured any calls for Jordan Henderson’s return to the starting line-up in the final will quieten.
Declan Rice – 6
Out of England’s traditional midfield defensive two, Rice endured the more difficult evening, regularly struggling to deal with the rapid passing and transitional play from his Danish counterparts.
Having lasted the full 90, Rice was eventually replaced by Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson five minutes into extra-time.
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Bukayo Saka – 6
Registering his first assist of the tournament, it was Saka’s pass that forced home England’s equaliser.
Saka’s performance mirrored his other Euro 2020 displays, having started bright but faded around the hour mark, before eventually being hauled off for Jack Grealish with 20 minutes to go.
Mason Mount – 7
The Chelsea man struggled to impact early proceedings, but eventually broke Danish lines to influence the latter stages of the contest.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Arguably England’s player of the tournament thus far, the Man City star was a constant thorn in the side of the Danes.
Another stellar display on the ball has all but guaranteed his place in the starting eleven for Sunday’s final.
Harry Kane – 8
As if often the way with the England skipper, the game could not have passed without Kane’s influence.
Despite seeing his spot-kick saved, Kane responded the quickest to convert the rebound and ensure his strike was enough to guide England to within one game of glory.
Kasper Schmeichel – 8
Andreas Christensen – 6
Simon Kjær – 5
Jannik Vestergaard – 6
Jens Stryger Larsen – 6
Pierre-Emile Hojberg – 7
Thomas Delaney – 6
Joakim Mæhle – 6
Martin Braithwaite – 6
Kasper Dolberg – 7
Mikkel Damsgaard – 7
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