England 2-1 Denmark: Player ratings as England ride resilience, luck to end Danish fairytale in semi-final

When referee Danny Makkelie blew the final whistle to mark the end of England’s game against Denmark in the second semi-final of UEFA Euro 2020, the floodgates opened for English fans at the Wembley.

There were not tears of sorrow, as was the case at the end of another European Championship semi-final game 25 years ago, but of joy. England had, after all, finally overcome the ‘semi’ hurdle to make it to their first major final since 1966, and that too in front of their raucous fan base.

England overcame a plucky Denmark team 2-1 in an emotionally-charged game to set up a date with Italy in the final on Sunday at the same venue. It took them some effort to do that, though.

Denmark, the surprise package of Euro 2020, took a deserved lead through a stunning free-kick from Mikkel Damsgaard in the 30th minute. But England were deserving of their equaliser, which came about followed sustained pressure which led to Denmark captain Simon Kjaer turning the ball into his own net nine minutes later.

A soft penalty awarded to England much later, in the 14th minute of extra time, for minimal contact on Raheem Sterling, led to Harry Kane scoring the winner off the rebound after Kasper Schemeichel had saved the latter’s original feeble effort. But to be fair to them, England were relentless in their effort to get the winning goal in the later stages of the game and laid siege to the Denmark penalty box.

On that note, here are the player ratings from another enthralling UEFA Euro 2020 game.

England Player Ratings

Harry Kame (centre) and Gareth Southgate.
Harry Kame (centre) and Gareth Southgate.

Jordan Pickford (6.5/10)

In a game in which he broke legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ longstanding record for most minutes by an England keeper without conceding a goal, Pickford was a mixed bad on the night.

He made a few decisive clearances through punches and decent saves but also made two horrible passes that put his team in trouble. If one is extra critical, one might also pick holes in his efforts to stop the cannonball-like free-kick that led to Denmark’s goal.

Harry Maguire (7.5/10)

It was another fine performance from Harry Maguire at the heart of England’s defence. He was calm, assured, good in tackles and clearances, good with his distribution, and as always an offensive threat from set-pieces. A soft yellow card later in the game marred his night to an extent, though.

John Stones (7/10)

It was another good outing for John Stones as well, whose telepathic understanding with Maguire has made England a formidable defensive unit. He did not put a foot wrong in his coverage.

Kyle Walker (7/10)

When Kyle Walker is at his best, he is full of running and verve as well as being a tough person to get past for the opposition. Thankfully for England, he was all that and more on an important night.

Luke Shaw (7/10)

Shaw is in great form; he is calm on the ball, great with his crossing and effective both on the overlap and while tracking back. But he has had much better games at UEFA Euro 2020. It was Shaw who gave away a cheap free-kick that led to Denmark’s goal.

Declan Rice (6.5/10)

Rice did his job perfectly as a defensive midfielder, screening the backline and keeping it neat as England passed the ball really well on the night. But he offered very little going forward.

Kalvin Phillips (6.5/10)

Once again, Phillips was tidy in possession and great in breaking up plays, However, he squandered one gilt-edged opportunity by shooting the ball high over the bar. He found himself in advanced positions, but did not use those opportunities judiciously as well.

Mason Mount (7/10)

Mount was loads of energy and fine touches in the first half. But the playmaker vanished a little in the second as he hardly exerted the same creative influence on the game.

Bukayo Saka (7.5/10)

A fine young talent, Saka was again started as the right-sided wide forward by Gareth Southgate. He was a livewire, with his dangerous low cross from that flank leading to England’s first goal on the night.

Harry Kane (8/10)

Yes, his penalty was poor, and he offered little as a goal threat on the night, but the England captain was inspirational. His passing was on cue as well, and it was his defence-splitting pass that opened up for Saka to cross the ball for England’s first goal. Kane topped off a good night with the winning goal, a tap-in from close range following a missed penalty.

Raheem Sterling (8/10)

Once again England’s best attacker, Sterling exhibited top-notch dribbling, while his movement across the final third was menacing. His pressure led to the own goal, and his nifty footwork to the winning penalty. But he hit the ball straight to the keeper from close range right before England’s opener when he should have scored. Sterling also skied another good chance.

Ratings of England Substitutes:

Jack Grealish (7/10)

Grealish came on in the second half and immediately livened up proceedings with his ball-control and playmaking. He also had a powerful shot saved, but was strangely subbed before second half extra-time.

Jordan Henderson (6/10)

Henderson replaced Declan Rice in the second half but did little to assert his authority on the game, as he got very few touches.

Phil Foden (7/10)

Foden was good on the ball and in passing in the limited time he spent on the pitch.

Kieran Trippier (6.5/10)

Trippier came on to see off the game and did just that.

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