Euro 2020: England fans climb Shaftesbury memorial fountain after Ukraine victory
Gareth Southgate’s side return to Wembley for their next game – and for the final, should they make it there – after winning this game in Rome, their first fixture of the tournament outside of London. They will meet Denmark in the semi-finals, after the storied Scandinavians won their own encounter with Czech Republic 2-1 in Baku just hours before the Three Lions triumphed.
On the other side of the draw, much-fancied Italy will play Spain, with the Azzurri seeing off Belgium in impressive fashion and La Roja just sneaking through past Switzerland on penalties.
Just three games remain after a thrilling and absorbing summer of action spread across the Continent, with the semi-finals taking place across Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Dreams of success have quickly become concrete optimism for four national teams and their fans, but work remains to be done to reach the final. Follow all the build-up to the two semi-finals at Euro 2020 live here:
Uefa referees for Euro 2020 semi-finals and final
L’Equipe are reporting that Felix Brych will be the official in the middle for Italy vs Spain in the first Euro 2020 semi-final.
The German ref took charge of Portugal vs Belgium in the round of 16, and England’s win over Ukraine in the quarters.
For the England vs Denmark semi, it’s Dutch ref Danny Makkelie who is reported (but not confirmed) to be selected – while his compatriot Bjorn Kuipers will referee the final itself.
Makkelie took charge of England’s Wembley win over Germany, so Southgate and Co will hope that’s a positive omen.
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 15:38
Southgate hails England squad’s ‘spirit’ and ‘sacrifice’
Gareth Southgate has praised the spirit of the England camp as they reach the last four:
“I’m more thinking about the players I had to leave out of the 23 and the ones I didn’t get on the pitch. They’ve been such a massive part of what we’re doing and it’s so difficult to keep a squad of this size involved, happy, feeling valued.
“Those guys have been phenomenal with the way they’ve sacrificed themselves for the group and understood the importance of the group.
“We’re in a semi-final because of that spirit, in a lot of aspects.
“Of course the quality of the play is important. But I’ve seen lots of nations go out of tournaments because the spirit hasn’t been like these guys have got.”
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 15:10
Henderson praised for his work on and off the pitch
Speaking of Jordan Henderson, after scoring his first goal for England he’s feeling pretty good. And he has also been praised by Wales international Natasha Harding for continuing to display his support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:56
‘Fantastic’ performance but England haven’t achieved anything yet – Henderson
England’s vice-captain Jordan Henderson has cautioned against getting carried away by the thumping 4-0 win over Ukraine and says the Three Lions still have much to do before they can truly celebrate.
Having lifted the Premier League title and Champions League as skipper of Liverpool over the past few seasons, nobody in the England squad is better-placed to reign in over-optimism and serve a reminder of the work which lies ahead than the midfielder.
But he praised the overall level against Ukraine and says attention now turns to a team who will provide a very tough test in the semis.
“Overall a great night, but we haven’t achieved anything yet,” Henderson said.
“We need to quickly turn the focus, use tonight – we can still use it in a positive way tonight – but turn the focus to Denmark on Wednesday night.
“We’ve got momentum, we’re feeling confident, but at the same time we’ve got to give Denmark full respect because we know they are a fantastic team. We’ve played them not long ago and we know how difficult that will be.”
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:42
The secret to England’s defence at Euro 2020? It’s down to more than their defenders
As well as reaching the last four, England’s win last night was notable for being a record-breaking defensive effort – the Three Lions still haven’t conceded a goal.
Here’s our correspondent Mark Critchley in Rome, explaining the workings of the back line and how it has been such a collective effort to ensure five clean sheets so far.
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:28
England squad statistics at Euro 2020
After last night’s win over Ukraine, 21 players have featured at the finals for the Three Lions. The five without game time at this stage are the two backup keepers – Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale – along with late call-up Ben White and fellow centre-back Conor Coady. The other is Ben Chilwell, who is so far the odd man out of all those full-back selections.
Of those who have played, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (18 minutes) has seen least time on the pitch, while Jordan Pickford (450) hasn’t missed a minute and both John Stones (439) and Kalvin Phillips (425) are close behind.
Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling have three goals each; Luke Shaw leads the way with three assists, followed by Jack Grealish with two.
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:15
Some things never change with England
Harry Maguire loves a major tournament goal!
He has four now for the national team – only Kane, Sterling and Rashford have more than him in the squad.
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:04
Alan Shearer urges England players to enjoy the tournament atmosphere
It doesn’t come around all that often, for footballers: pretty much the whole nation backing you and hoping you succeed. Alan Shearer has recalled his Euro ‘96 experiences at reaching the semis with the Three Lions and hopes the current crop soak it all up – and use the buzzing Wembley atmosphere in their favour against Denmark.
“I‘ve been here myself, the last time we got to this stage of a men’s European Championship in 1996,” he told BBC Sport.
“I remember popping out of the team hotel and going to get my hair cut (yes, I used to have hair) and when I got out of the taxi in Burnham town centre, there was a kind of street party going on.
“There is going to be more of the same this time too. You can’t escape the atmosphere, but then you don’t really want to – it’s an incredible feeling, knowing the whole nation is supporting you on a stage as big as this.
“The team are back on home soil now for the rest of the tournament and there is going to be one heck of a din when they walk out at Wembley.
“It was rocking when there were 40,000 fans there for the Germany game in the last 16, and things are going to crank up another notch with 60,000 inside for the semis.”
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 14:00
In-form Kane could prove the “difference” in Euro 2020 semi-final
Former England winger Chris Waddle doesn’t expect there to be a great deal of difference in quality between England Denmark in the semi-finals, but a return to goalscoring form for Harry Kane could prove critical, he feels.
“I think England will create chances. England are very strong at set-pieces, but saying that, Denmark are. It’s a good match-up,” Waddle said.
“There’s never a lot between England and Denmark. They’re both strong, physical, willing runners, defenders are big, strong, again set-pieces.
“When you look at the teams and you match them up, the difference may be – and he’s hit form now, for me – the difference on the night could be Harry Kane.”
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 13:41
Jadon Sancho happy to help England through to Euro 2020 semis
Having agreed a move from Dortmund to Man United earlier in the week, Jadon Sancho topped off a big few days by playing the full 90 minutes for England against Ukraine in the 4-0 Euro 2020 quarter-final win.
He has had to bide his time, but Sancho is delighted to have played his part now.
“It’s definitely one of my happiest moments,” he said.
“My family will be proud of me and I’m just happy that all the coaching staff gave me the opportunity to play tonight. It’s always frustrating not to be in starting XI but I knew that my chance would come so in training I’ve just given it everything, 110 per cent.
“I’m just happy that I got the opportunity tonight and showed the fans what I can do.”
Karl Matchett4 July 2021 13:07