03 Jul Euro 2020: England into Euro 2020 semi-final with 4-0 win over Ukraine | UK News
England have reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Ukraine.
A Harry Kane brace and goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson sealed the Three Lions’ place in the last four with a superb display in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
England’s performance sparked wild scenes among fans inside the stadium and in homes, pubs and fan zones across the country as hope that Gareth Southgate’s team could end 55 years of hurt is turning into belief it could happen.
It is the first time the England’s men team has reached the semi-final of a European Championship for 25 years, as they seek to win their first major tournament since the 1966 World Cup.
England will now play Denmark at Wembley in front of a 60,000-strong crowd on Wednesday for a place in the final of Euro 2020.
Supporters gathered in Rome after being told not to travel to the Italian capital from the UK due to COVID restrictions.
Italy is on the UK government’s amber list and travel restrictions mean all British arrivals have to isolate for five days.
It meant England fans watching the team in Rome either live in Italy or arrived from another European Union country to attend the match.
And supporters did not have to wait long for an England goal as Kane scored after four minutes.
Raheem Sterling – arguably England’s best player during the tournament – played an exceptional pass through Ukraine’s defence which the Spurs striker latched on to and stabbed past the onrushing goalkeeper.
It prompted England fans inside the stadium to start singing: “Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wembley”, where the semi-finals and final will be played.
England doubled their lead early in the second half with a powerful header from defender Maguire after Luke Shaw whipped in a free kick into the box.
Three minutes later Kane scored again – his third goal of the competition so far – after Shaw provided another assist with a cross from the left.
Substitute Jordan Henderson bagged England’s fourth as he headed home from a Mason Mount cross.
It was the Liverpool player’s first ever England goal in his 62nd international game.
After the match, Maguire said the victory was a “great achievement” before adding: “I don’t want to be a party pooper but we don’t stop here”.
“We want to go further than we did at the World Cup,” Maguire said, after the team reached the semi-finals in that tournament in 2018.
“The dressing room will be great tonight, but tomorrow we’ll wake up and be focused again, because this group of players won’t settle for a semi-final.”
Following the game, Kane admitted “there was a lot of pressure” on the England team before the match.
“The performance was top-drawer. Another clean sheet, four goals, it was a perfect night for us,” he added.
Speaking moments after the final whistle, Southgate said the win was “still sinking in a bit”.
“We want to go the two steps further, I know what will be happening at home and that’s great,” he said.
“They should be enjoying it, it’s been a long year for everyone and I’m chuffed the two performances have brought so much enjoyment and happiness to people.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those to congratulate the England players, hailing their “outstanding performance”.
“We’re all behind you for the semi-finals, bring it home,” he added.
Analysis: England are getting better and growing into Euro 2020
By Nick Powell, sports editor
From Rome to home, football’s coming back to Wembley with a bounce in the step and song in the heart.
The opening goal told a story. Raheem Sterling had the confidence and enterprise as well as the skill to run at the Ukraine defence and carve the opportunity for Harry Kane inside four minutes.
Recent generations had the talent but – seemingly wearing the England shirt like a straightjacket – rarely the confidence.
Gareth Southgate can take the credit for finding a way to get his players delivering for their country as they do for their clubs.
He has not just unleashed a treasure trove of young talent with a licence to thrill, but kept the back door locked. His team are the first of any nationality to begin a European Championships with five clean sheets.
England are getting better, growing into the tournament. Sterling is terrorising every defence. Jadon Sancho, on his first Euros start, jinked like a magician on speed. Above all Kane, their talisman, is scoring again.
Ukraine were fortunate to get as far as the quarter finals and it showed. England had their opponents on the ropes as Ukraine’s chief cheerleader Wladimir Klitschko used to in his days as world boxing champion.
It was not perfect. More clinical opponents might have punished occasional moments of English defensive slackness. Denmark could do on Wednesday.
But England have given the Danes – and potential final opponents Italy or Spain – concrete reasons to be fearful. Let’s go no further than that. Let’s not tempt fate.