Soccer

England-Denmark player ratings: Raheem Sterling steals the show as Three Lions reach Euro 2020 final

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For the first time since 1966 England are in the final of a major tournament. They certainly did not do it the easy way against Denmark but a 2-1 win at Wembley Stadium means they will face Italy at the same ground on Sunday as they bid to win the European Championships for the first time.

Mikkel Damsgaard’s brilliant free kick, the first goal England had conceded at Euro 2020, briefly quelled the hopes of a 60,000 home crowd but a Simon Kjaer own goal forced by Raheem Sterling after excellent build up from Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane brought them level before half time. The best chances fell to the hosts as the game wore on but it took until extra time for the breakthrough to come.

Sterling went down in the area — somewhat contentiously from a Danish perspective — and though Kane’s penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel he pounced on the rebound to fire England into the final.

But how did the players fare at Wembley Stadium? Find out below:

England ratings

(GK) Jordan Pickford

120

There were moments of that slightly cavalier spirit that Everton fans were familiar with, not least a throw out that was stolen by a Danish forward. Mainly though he will be far from happy that he went with the wrong hand in his attempt to save Damsgaard’s free kick.

4

(DEF) Kyle Walker

120

He made an impressive start to his battle with Joakim Maehle, shoving him to the deck in one encounter, and his recovery pace proved to be vital in denying Denmark in what looked to be a few hairy moments.

9

(DEF) John Stones

120

Though no center back is going to have things entirely his own way against Danish crosses, Stones was a steadying presence under those high deliveries and with the ball at his feet. 

8

(DEF) Harry Maguire

120

Rather skittish in defense early on, it took a spectacular diving save from Kasper Schmeichel to deny him another important goal in the knockout stages for his country. As the pressure grew so did his excellence, particularly from set pieces and crosses at both ends. You never believed he would make a mistake.

8

(DEF) Luke Shaw

120

He was guilty of unnecessary roughness in conceding the free kick from which Damsgaard scored and for a time looked nervy, letting Denmark’s No.14 sneak behind him soon after the goal. He learned from it in the second half, combining well with Sterling and making one crucial late tackle to deny Kasper Dolberg.

6

(MID) Kalvin Phillips

120

After a slow start he began to stamp his mark on the game, upping the intensity of his press as Denmark began to tire. Suddenly England got the territorial advantage they were lacking for much of the middle period of the game and Phillips never looked like he would stop running.

7

(MID) Declan Rice

94

Something of a frustrating contest for the West Ham midfielder, who as much as anyone struggled under the Danish press early on and was forced to look backwards more often than he might have liked. In the closing stages he did offer a more expansive approach but at times you sensed he was doing so while leaving the back door unlocked.

5

(MID) Mason Mount

94

He pressed with real intensity early on and after fading from the contest he burst into life around the hour mark, twice getting in behind to get shots away. That was perhaps the one spell where Mount was truly influential, frustrating for a player who was so consistently excellent in Chelsea’s biggest games.

5

(FWD) Bukayo Saka

68

Certainly his first touch in the move that forced the own goal was not of the standards Saka would set for himself, but the composure he showed to get the right pass across goal made it all the more impressive. Whenever there was a spell of real stress for England, Saka seemed to get on the ball and win a foul.

7

(FWD) Harry Kane

120

⚽ 104′ England’s captain delivered a quite excellent through ball for Saka in the build up to the equalizer and tonight seemed to finally be clicking with the forwards who were surrounding him, freeing him up to take those deep positions he relishes. As the game wore on he grew in menace, drawing a fine save from Schmeichel early in extra time. His penalty was woeful but he showed classic Kane instinct to turn in the rebound.

8

(FWD) Raheem Sterling

120

By far England’s outstanding performer of the first half, he kept getting into positions to test the goalkeeper and after one excellent save from Kasper Schmeichel he put the pressure on Kjaer to force the own goal. Being moved out to the right flank after Saka’s exit briefly quelled his talents but his excellent run forced the penalty even if he might have already been on the way down. This was his greatest game.

10

(FWD) Jack Grealish

Saka (68′)

Almost as soon as he was on he was drawing a yellow card foul from Daniel Wass. He radiated aggression and fearlessness, constantly looking to pin back the Danish defense.

6

(FWD) Phil Foden

Mount (94′)

There were only a few flashes of Foden’s undoubted quality even if others took more of the lead in creation.

5

(MID) Jordan Henderson

Rice (94′)

When England were building their stranglehold outside the Danish area early in extra time Henderson was invariably showing as that spare man.

5

(DEF) Kieran Trippier

Grealish (105′)

He was everything England needed him to be in the closing stages, solid in his positioning and disciplined in possession. He had an impressive knack of getting to the corner flag.

5

Gareth Southgate

4

He and England kept their cool after a poor start and it is perhaps to his credit as much as his players that as this nervy occasion went on the Three Lions roared. He kept his substitutions up his sleeve until late but ultimately that punch of late energy was too much for Denmark to deal with in extra time. 

6

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Denmark ratings

(GK) Kasper Schmeichel

120

Made a massive save on Raheem Sterling 38 minutes in and was attentive to every single ball that came his way. Can’t be faulted for the own goal. Played smart and made another stunning save in second half on Harry Maguire. Also saved Kane’s penalty before Kane pounced on the rebound.

8

(DEF) Jannik Vestergaard

105

Very strong on Harry Kane early but then struggled to deal with England’s speed on the wing. His positioning was generally solid though.

6

(DEF) Simon Kjaer

120

⚽ OG 39′ Led the backline, was strong in the air but then scored an own goal. He did what he could, trying to block Sterling, and it took an unfortunate bounce. Showed a ton of heart as usual.

7

(DEF) Andreas Christensen

79

Out of position on the opener with his lack of pace preventing him from recovering. Good in the air, which we’ve come to expect. Taken off in second half.

6

(MID) Joakim Maehle

120

His passing was precise and threatening but defensively he was overly aggressive, giving England some cheap free kicks. That lack of composure could have really come back to bite him, but he was fortunate it didn’t.

6.5

(MID) Thomas Delaney

88

A tad sloppy from the Dortmund man. Taken off in the second half as he looked absolutely gassed.

5

(MID) Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

120

Got forward well but rarely looked dangerous. Defensively he was able to cut off angles, especially from the sidelines, but he like this entire Denmark side, faded as the game went on.

5

(MID) Jens Stryger Larsen

67

Average. Wasn’t overly sharp on the ball but kept shape defensively and showed a ton of heart. Just seemed a tad off or exhausted.

5

(FWD) Mikkel Damsgaard            

67

⚽ 30′ Very attentive when pressing in attack and created a great chance in the first half, just missing the far post with a curler. Then he beat Pickford with an unstoppable free kick.

7.5

(FWD) Martin Braithwaite

120

Much better when he is positioned centrally, but he drifted out a bit too wide at times. His touch was also off a little too frequently, but he did well to play into space. There were times where he should have taken a crack. 

5

(FWD) Kasper Dolberg

67

His best involvement came when he was offside. That’s all you need to know. Kasper was, essentially, a ghost. And I assume friendly.

4

Daniel Wass

Larsen (67′)

Picked up a quick yellow card but remained aggressive. Defended corners well.

7

Yussuf Poulsen

Damsgaard (67′)

Came in as England were gaining control, and that resulted in him seeing very little of the ball.

5

Christian Norgaard

Dolberg (67′)

Came in to help the midfield but had trouble, especially when Grealish came on. Effort was there though.

5

Joachim Andersen Christensen (79′) Involved plenty. Showed no fear and helped boost the backline a bit. 6
Mathias Jensen Delaney (88′) Will be remembered as the one who conceded the decisive penalty. And it was harsh. It wasn’t even close to a penalty, and he’ll have to live with it. Unfortunate.  5

Kasper Hjulmand

6

He didn’t wait to make changes, though taking off Damsgaard was questionable considering what he can pull off by himself. He was proactive and put his team in position to win. A phenomenal tournament for him.

6



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