The four quarter-finals are over with Spain, Italy, Denmark and England completing the semi-final line-up. Arguably the most impressive display came from England who hammered Ukraine 4-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night. Harry Kane scored a brace, while Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also got on the scoresheet for the Three Lions in Rome.
The doubts about this England team earlier in the campaign now seem to have given way to a real belief that Gareth Southgate’s team can win Euro 2020.
Controlled the majority of the match
It wasn’t just the size of the victory that was reassuring for England fans, it was the fact their team controlled the majority of the game. There was a short period in the first half that Ukraine offered an attacking threat. However, once the second goal went in Southgate’s team were in complete control of the game.
From back to front, England pressed and kept the ball when needed calmly and professionally, something not always associated with England teams of the past in major tournaments. Some will decry the victory because Ukraine were not great, but a team can only beat the opposition they were facing and Andrey Shevchenko’s team were well and truly beaten.
Quality is finally shining through for England
On paper, England have some major quality within their ranks. These are players who play for the biggest clubs and biggest club competitions in the world for their club teams. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Kyle Walker and John Stones featured in the Champions League final last season.
Then there is Tottenham’s Harry Kane. The England captain took a while to get going after failing to score in the opening two games at Euro 2020. However, he has now scored three goals in his last two games in the competition. When he finds form, it is difficult for opposition teams to stop him.
The supply to Kane has been better the last few games, with Sterling turning creative force, while Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has started to come alive in the opposition half. Both could have taken the man of the match award, while Jadon Sancho looked lively in his first start of the competition.
The defence were solid, as were Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice until their exits in the second half. In short, every player quality shone through and it would be hard to pick the star performer.
England still have work to do to seal final spot
For the second major straight major tournament, England have made the semi-finals. Croatia defeated them 2-1 in extra time at World Cup 2018. Their opponents Denmark this time around will be Denmark, who have been superb in recent games without talisman Christian Eriksen.
They will not be easy opponents and England cannot afford any complacency, as they still have a major obstacle to avoid to book their place in the final of Euro 2020. However, if Saturday night’s performance is anything to go by then the Three Lions could well be appearing in only their second-ever international final in a week.
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Were you impressed by England’s display against Ukraine?