England Will Face Denmark In The Semi-Finals Of Euro 2020 On Wednesday
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England cruised through to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 after a clinical display saw them dispatch Ukraine 4-0 in Rome.
After getting off the mark within five minutes when Harry Kane slotted home after good work from Raheem Sterling, a quickfire double early in the second half removed any faint hopes that the Ukrainian team might have had of troubling Gareth Southgate's young side.
Playing away from home for the first time in the tournament, England ensured that they would return to Wembley for their next game against Denmark by settling any nerves right from the start.
Sterling, perhaps England's most creative player so far in the tournament, wriggled free and sent a pinpoint pass through to England's captain and talisman Kane.
Kane made no mistake in finding the back of the net past Heorhiy Bushchan in the Ukraine goal.
Ukraine grew into the game over the course of the first half, but found themselves facing a worse position after conceding to a set piece within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Luke Shaw curled the ball into the box from the left hand flank for his Manchester United teammate Harry Maguire, who used his sizeable head to batter the ball into the goal.
Then, England took another significant step towards the penultimate round of the delayed European Championships with yet another headed goal from the left hand side.
Some crisp passing sent Shaw down towards the by-line once again, and he stood the ball up invitingly to Kane, who needed no second invitation to stick the ball downwards and through the hapless Bushchan's legs.
By that point, Southgate was able to begin planning for Wednesday, even finding opportunity to replace some players for whom a yellow card would see them miss the game.
One of those substitutes, Jordan Henderson, added yet more
gloss to the performance by claiming his first goal for England, rising and
profiting from more inattentive Ukrainian defending.
Beyond that, it became even more of a procession for England, who kept their fifth clean sheet of the tournament.
The goals from Kane will be of particular cheer to his manager, as will the ability to give game time to fringe players, as well as much-needed rest to some of his charges.
After yet another emotional win for the Danes, seeing off Czech Republic 2-1 in Baku, England will almost certainly face a tougher challenge on Saturday than at the Stadio Olimpico this evening.
However, with the Wembley crowd backing them, and the array of talent at Southgate's disposal, they will be considered heavy favourites.
In the past, that label might have weighed heavily on the Three Lions, but the current crop appear to have the professionalism and humility that other generations perhaps have lacked.
It remains to be seen whether that will see them the whole way, but this performance will have certainly put all remaining teams in the competition on notice, were they not already.