The Quarter final fixture between Ukraine and England was dominated by the Harry’s as captain Harry Kane continued to prove the doubters wrong with a brace and leaping headers from Harry Maguire and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson to help secure the victory.
Formation and line up:
England manager Gareth Southgate gave a first Euro 2020 appearance to new Manchester United signing, Jadon Sancho who came in for right back, Kieran Trippier as Southgate reverted to a back 4 and the other change to the team that defeated Germany was Mason Mount taking back his place from the injured Bukayo Saka. The set up looked to be a 4-2-3-1 with Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling either side of Mason Mount with Harry Kane as the sole number 9. Kalvin Phillips and Declan rice kept their places as the pivot in the midfield.
The biggest controversy in the selected line up by Southgate surrounded the inclusion of Jadon Sancho for the first time this tournament. Some fans heavily disagreed with this decision however this opinion was quickly retracted as the explosive winger gave England the extra bit of creativity that the team needed down the right side. Sancho impressed on his major tournament debut, bringing the ball forward both through the middle and out wide and could be an intriguing option for Gareth Southgate looking forward to the Denmark Semi-final.
Ukraine stuck with their back three or back five as some call it that helped them scrape past Sweden with a late stoppage time winner from Artem Dovbyk in extra time to book their place against England in Rome. Manager, Andriy Shevchenko believed this was again the best way to stop England having the freedom to create and get in behind easily with a solid foundation with three centre backs and captain, Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left side of a midfield three. This tactic ultimately backfired when England scored early in both halves which threw Shevchenko’s game plan out the window.
The game started with an early England goal which was a Ukraine nightmare start and Shevchenko’s gameplan was out the window after 4 minutes after the in form Raheem Sterling played through Harry Kane who slotted it past the keeper. Ukraine almost hit back in the first half after Man City’s Kyle Walker played John Stones short and striker Roman Yaremchuk picked up the loose ball and drove towards goal, only to be denied by a comfortable Jordan Pickford save.
This chance spelt the end to big chances for Ukraine for most of the match and England looked in control. An injury to centre back Serhii Kryvstov forced him to replaced by Viktor Tsygankov.
As the first half was brought to an end, the one thing that Shevchenko would have told his players at half time was to not concede early in the second half which was where Harry Maguire comes in and produces the spoils on Ukraine’s team talk.
Luke Shaw’s magnificent free kick cross met Manchester United teammate, Harry Maguire’s head and inside two minutes, England had doubled their lead. The floodgates opened from here on and England skipper, Harry Kane earned Luke Shaw his second assist of the game and Kane’s second goal as he headered the ball through Bushchan’s legs.
The final nail in the coffin for Ukraine was a special moment for Liverpool Captain and match substitute Jordan Henderson after he grabbed his first ever England goal after missing a penalty a couple weeks before the Euros. Mason Mount’s near post cross resulted in Henderson heading the ball home for England’s 4th which saw Southgate’s England cruise through to the Semi-finals to take on Denmark.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin also had his second appearance of Euro 2020 off the bench replacing Harry Kane. The Man of the Match was awarded to the impressive Harry Kane who scored England’s first ever brace from an England player in the Euro knockout stages.
Is it finally coming home?
England fans’ dream to go all the way for the first time since 1966 carries on and after Jordan Pickford enjoyed his 5th consecutive clean sheet and yet to concede this Euros tournament, there’s no reason they can’t reach the final on Wednesday.
Next up for the Three Lions is Denmark at Wembley in an enticing fixture as Southgate turns his attention to a Denmark side with most of the World’s fans on their side after earlier events surrounding Christian Eriksen. England will be hoping to continue their form fine form and break their Euro’s semi final curse.
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