'Top-drawer' England cruise into Euro 2020 semi-finals

No place like Rome for Three Lions as Ukraine demolished 4-0 to set up Denmark clash

Harry Kane scored twice as England overwhelmed Ukraine in 4-0 in Rome on Saturday to reach the European Championship semi-finals.

In the only match of Euro 2020 that England have played away from Wembley Stadium, the team put on their most dominant performance to date.

Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also scored as Gareth Southgate's men kept a clean sheet for the fifth straight match.

England now goes back to London to face Denmark on Wednesday after the Danes beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in Baku.

Goal-scoring centre-back Harry Maguire was already looking forward to the clash moments after the final whistle.

"I don't want to be a party-pooper but we don't stop here, we've got another big game coming up and we want to go further this time than we did at the World Cup," Maguire told the BBC.

"Of course it's a great feeling to win here and the way we've done it as well, the big progress we're making as a country, so long may it be improving and continue, and we've got another big one coming up," he added.

Italy will face Spain in the other semi-final match on Tuesday with the final next weekend also to be played at Wembley.

The last time England made it to the last four of the European Championship was in 1996 - but the bigger goal at this point is to duplicate the success of the 1966 England team that won the World Cup on home soil.

Kane scored on England’s first opportunity in the fourth minute, using one touch to redirect a through ball from Raheem Sterling for his second goal in as many matches. The ball went in off the shoulder of goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan inside the near post.

Quote
To perform like we did was top-drawer - another clean sheet, four goals, it was the perfect night for us
Harry Kane

England also scored early in the second half after Kane was fouled about 10 seconds. A free kick from Luke Shaw set up a header from Maguire, England's first goal from a set piece in the tournament.

Four minutes later, Kane got his second by heading in another cross from Shaw on a play that included a backheel pass from Sterling as England dazzled.

After failing to score in the group stage, Kane now has three goals in two matches after also scoring in the 2-0 win over Germany in the last 16.

Henderson’s goal - his first for England after a decade with the national team - also came with a header as Ukraine’s defenders had no answers to England’s aerial prowess.

Ukraine had relied on occasional counterattacks in the first half and produced a series of chances just before the break.

Kane said his side brushed off the pressure of being favourites to deliver a clinical, composed performance.

"To perform like we did was top-drawer - another clean sheet, four goals, it was the perfect night for us," the England captain said.

"We don't get carried away, we've got a great unit here, a great team working front to back ... we've got a big semi-final coming up, we've got to keep working hard and recover well and then look forward to the semi-finals."

Updated: July 4th 2021, 4:48 AM
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