The match: 0-4
The cheerful “Football’s coming home” will be able to ring out again at Wembley. For their only match outside London in this Euro, the Three Lions managed a brilliant performance against Ukraine (4-0), in Rome this Saturday, to join the last four of the competition, which will take place at 100% at their home.
Applied, determined, insatiable, the English have reached the semi-finals of the Euro for the third time in their history after 1968 and 1996. They will face Denmark on Wednesday (9 p.m.), in an attempt to obtain a ticket for their first European final.
Seeing Harry Kane open the scoring after only 3 minutes and 32 seconds of play at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, the oldest English fans exulted, admittedly, but quickly put the brakes on their euphoria. The memory of the quarter of Euro 2004 and the goal of Michael Owen after less than 3 minutes against Portugal, for a brutal elimination to the key (2-2, 6-5 at the tabs), came to qualify the emotions. But the 2021 Three Lions exude a sense of quiet strength that their elders didn’t have and made sure not to get intoxicated.
Well in place, they were able to keep the pressure on the Ukrainian goal, without exposing themselves too much, even if the team of Shevchenko was a little more dangerous by going from 5-3-2 to 4-3-3 , before the break. Pickford was vigilant in front of Yaremtchouk (17th) while Chaparenko was clumsy (43rd). But the best opportunities were indeed English.
England have not conceded a goal since the start of the Euro.
Bouchtchane repelled a tense shot from Rice (33rd), before winning in front of Sancho (40th), and England finally flew at the start of the second half, on two consecutive heads to delicious balls from Luke Shaw. The first, on a free kick, found Harry Maguire for the break (47th), and the following resulted in Harry Kane’s double (50th).
In a Ukrainian defense definitely exceeded, Jordan Henderson signed his first achievement in the selection (for his 62nd cape), from a corner (4-0, 63rd). Head again. England had not scored four goals in a big-competition knockout match since winning the 1966 World Cup final (4-2 against the FRG). A sign ?
Jordan Henderson scored his first national goal. (F. Faugère / The Team)
The Fact: Harry Kane has Gary Lineker length
Captain criticized at the start of the Euro, Harry Kane is now a hero in England. The number 9 of the Three Lions, who had already signed a capital break against Germany in the round of 16 (2-0) lit the Roman night this Saturday. His fox point to open the scoring after four minutes of play put his team in the right direction. It was again he who got the free kick on which Maguire scored the second goal.
Kane himself signed the 3-0 with a head toe (50th). With this double, the 27-year-old striker now has nine goals in major competition (World Cup + Euro), as much as Alan Shearer. He is only one unit behind Gary Lineker’s national record (10). He almost matched it by brushing the hat-trick with a volley diverted for a corner by Bouchtchane (62nd). He received a standing ovation when he left (73rd).
The player: Sterling is worth gold
If the competition promises to be tough, Raheem Sterling scores points match after match in the race for the title of best player of the Euro. After scoring three times in the first four meetings, the wisp of Manchester City was decisive this time by passing.
Raheem Sterling allowed Harry Kane to score against Ukraine. (F. Faugère / The Team)
He dribbled two opponents on the left side before slipping a perfect ball towards Kane in the box (4th). His lightning accelerations hurt a lot, on the left (33rd) as well as on the right (45th + 2). He had already won 8 duels at the break, and did not decrease in intensity after the break. It was his fixing work in the left area that resulted in Kane’s third goal.