Rome, Italy | THE INDEPENDENT | Wembley beckons for Gareth Southgate’s side after a devastating spell at the start of the second half in Rome earned England their most emphatic win at a EURO, and ended Ukraine’s hopes of reaching the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals.
Having brought in Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount, England set out to dominate possession, and were in front inside five minutes, the ever-slippery Raheem Sterling cutting inside from the left to slide the ball through to Harry Kane, who eluded his marker and stretched out a leg to beat Georgiy Bushchan.
The Three Lions looked to patiently pick off Ukraine thereafter; Kane headed over from a Luke Shaw cross, and Declan Rice thumped a powerful shot at Bushchan from distance. An injury to defender Serhiy Kryvtsov forced Ukraine to switch to a more aggressive formation on 35 minutes, but any extra threat evaporated after a devastating spell of England play after the interval.
Shaw’s free-kick teed up Harry Maguire to head in a second just after the restart, and Ukraine had no time to regain their composure before Kane made it 3-0, Shaw’s sweet ball in from the left inviting the No9 to head down through Bushchan’s legs and into the net. Bushchan produced a terrific save to deny a Kane volley just after the hour-mark, but the goalkeeper’s suffering continued as on-coming substitute Jordan Henderson connected with a Mason Mount corner to make it 4-0: his first England goal in 62 appearances.
Ukraine could not respond, and a run of tactical substitutions towards the end of the game allowed Southgate to give some key players a chance to rest their legs ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against Denmark.
Italy vs Spain (21:00, Tuesday 6 July, London)
This is the fourth straight EURO in which Italy have played Spain. At UEFA EURO 2008, Spain won 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 quarter-final draw in Vienna. Four years later, they drew 1-1 in the group stage in Gdańsk and then met again in the Kyiv final, Spain winning 4-0. Italy turned the tables with a 2-0 round of 16 win at Stade de France. In 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, they drew 1-1 in Italy and Spain won 3-0 at home, and they have another semi-final lined up in October in the UEFA Nations League in Milan.
England vs Denmark (21:00, Wednesday 7 July, London)
England and Denmark have met once at a EURO, a 0-0 draw in the 1992 group stage in Malmö. Ten years later, England won their World Cup round of 16 tie 3-0 in Niigata. More recently in the UEFA Nations League, it was 0-0 in Copenhagen in September 2020 before Denmark won 1-0 at Wembley a month later thanks to a Christian Eriksen penalty.
Italy/Spain vs England/Denmark (21:00, Sunday 11 July, London)
SOURCE: EURO2020 MEDIA