As England fans make plans for the Euro final, England’s attentions now turn to their toughest opponents yet: an Italy side that hasn’t lost for 33 matches
Gareth Southgate has said that England deserved to make the Euro 2020 final, despite Denmark’s manager claiming that Harry Kane’s crucial penalty should not have been given.
England has triumphed 2-1 after extra-time, as a result of Kane’s goal and had the lion’s share of goal chances.
They now face Italy, who have been unbeaten for nearly three years, at Wembley Stadium on Sunday for the chance for their first major tournament win since the 1966 World Cup.
Southgate praised the Danish side for an “incredible tournament” and said that they had made things “really difficult” for the England squad, but insisted that his players had earned their place in the Euro 2020 final.
This comes as after supporters and been estimated to buy 6.8 million pints during their semi-final match with Denmark, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) had predicted.
The England team’s manager said: “We were so smooth through the quarter-final and relatively unscathed through the second round.
“We knew that at some point we were going to concede and we would have to respond.
“Denmark have had an incredible tournament. I have got to give them huge credit.
“But I think on the balance of play when you look at the number of saves we forced the goalkeeper to make and long periods of the game where I felt we were the biggest threat, I think we deserved it.”
Denmark had briefly silenced the home fans at Wembley when they took the lead with a sensational first-half free kick goal, but England then levelled up when Saka’s cross went in off of the Danish captain.
The crucial point came during extra time, Raheem Sterling judged to have been tripped within the area and VAR then confirmed the England penalty decision.
Kane stepped up, but his penalty kick was easily saved by Kasper Schmeichel. Luckily for the England captain, the rebound fell kindly for him to get the goal.
Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark’s manager, called it a “bitter” blow and said that the penalty “shouldn’t have been a penalty and it’s something that annoys me right now”.
This comes after Christian Eriksen was reportedly in a “good mood” as doctors continued to carry out tests following his collapse during a Euro 2020 football match. The Danish footballer is currently recovering in hospital after he collapsed 42 minutes into the game between Denmark and Finland in Copenhagen on Saturday.
England’s Marcus Rashford paid tribute to the Danish side’s impressive run, which came following Christian Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in their opening match against Finland, a moment which had seemed to galvanise the team’s Euro 2020 experience.
He tweeted: “I’m not sure how I would have reacted to seeing my teammate in such difficulty. You captured everyone’s heart and I’m sure @ChrisEriksen8 is extremely proud of what you have achieved. Heads held high. I’m sure we’ll see you soon @DBUfodbold.”
English fans weren’t questioning their team’s penalty however, and around the country there were many wild celebrations and a shower of many air-bound beverages as the Three Lions had secured their first shot at international football glory in 55 years.