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Kyle Walker provides England spark on electrifying night at Wembley


Our attacking stars will get the credit when we look back on this epic, historic win – but don’t forget the contribution of Kyle Walker.

Don’t forget the cool and concise way in which he ensured England’s defence didn’t fall apart after Mikkel Damsgaard silence Wembley and left the country dumbstruck after half an hour.

Don’t allow the credit that the likes of Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling absolutely deserve to overshadow the way in which Walker kept the back door shut time and again.

The talk ahead of this semi-final was that Kieran Trippier would come in for Walker because the Atletico Madrid man was more solid, more reliable.



Kyle Walker of England battles for possession with Joakim Maehle
Kyle Walker of England battles for possession with Joakim Maehle

Walker, a four-time Premier League winner and Champions League finalist, didn’t look the inferior player on this evidence. Not a chance.

From the outset, he was a man in the mood to ensure this would not only be his night – but England’s night. The country’s night.

Nine minutes in he outpaced Kasper Dolberg when a ball over the top looked as though it would leave the forward clean through on goal.

In those early minutes, he remained calm and precise with his passing even though Saka – on the shoulder of Jannik Vestergaard, kept pawing at the space in front of him, hungry to burst free like a greyhound out of the traps.

When the Danes looked to break on the counter from a corner three minutes later. Walker was there to slam the door shut.

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When he spotted Harry Kane in space on the edge of the box shortly after that, Walker whips a ball which allowed the England captain to fire a snap-shot over the bar.



Mikkel Damsgaard of Denmark battles for possession with Kyle Walker
Mikkel Damsgaard of Denmark battles for possession with Kyle Walker

Right backs don’t tend to get the spotlight when the A-listers bring their A-game on nights like this.

But Walker’s pace and superb reading of the game helped to provide an important platform for our place in the final.

He couldn’t legislate for keeper Jordan Pickford, who’d had an excellent tournament before this semi-final, losing his way midway through the first half, leading to uncertainty in the England defence.

As Denmark used it to grow into the game, Damsgaard scored to make a game of it. Come on, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.



Harry Kane scored the winning goal for England
Harry Kane scored the winning goal for England

But when the Danes put together a 22nd-minute spark of passes to spark anxiety in the majority of Wembley hearts, Walker was there to clear the ball upfield and relieve the pressure.

When Denmark looked as though they’d break down their left, four minutes later. Walker was there to head the ball back into their half.

As England prepared to take a 35th minute free-kick, Walker provided Pickford with the crucial team-talk he needed to get his head together.

It wasn’t just with the ball that he influenced this game.

After the equalizing goal, courtesy of Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, England were able to regain their composure to bend Kasper Hjulmand’s side until they broke.

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No wonder the Manchester City full-back was drenched in adulation by fans after the final whistle.

On a night with an electrifying atmosphere, it was Walker who played a key role in providing the spark.





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