July 24, 2021

Europeans, England-Ukraine 4-0: Kane brace, goals from Maguire and Henderson

The Southgate team goes to Wembley after the Olympic triumph: Wednesday semi-final with Denmark

A flicker at the beginning of the first half, three in the second half and England get rid of a couple of things: the first is Ukraine, in the first European quarter of its history, the second is an uncomfortable question, “Away from home the English what are they doing?”. They win again: 4-0 in Rome, fifth game in a row without conceding a goal and semifinal. Kane makes two, Maguire and Henderson complete the work. Twenty-five years ago the last time this high in a European. For those who love the cabal there are 9138 days and 1305 Sundays. Euro ’96, Germany-England at the old Wembley. English out for a mistake by Southgate on a penalty, the man who leads the troop today.

what a start

Not even the time to get comfortable that England is already ahead. Sterling sees Kane’s cut at minute 4, the striker thanks and strikes Bushchan: 1-0. The rest of the first half makes the British become a sharp blade: one cut to the right with Sterling, another to the left with Sancho and one in the center with a right from Rice. Ukraine is struggling to raise its head. At 15 minutes Yaremchuk tries, but Pickford deflects for a corner. At 35 ‘Sheva plays the Tsygankov card: Krivtsov gets hurt, inside the whimsical outside of Dynamo Kiev. At the Olimpico, in 2018, he scored a great heel goal against Lazio in the Europa League. This time you never see it.

super kane

The second half opened in the same way: England’s goal at the start (46 ‘). This time he throws it in Maguire, central of United, who scores the 27th career header in a postcard-worthy Roman night (Shaw assist). The third goal is still from Kane and again with a header: another assist from Shaw and a flicker from the Spurs striker, 37th goal in the national team and third in the European Championship (-2 from top scorers Schick and Ronaldo, both already eliminated). Henderson closes the game in the 63rd minute … still with his head. And this time the assist is taken by Mason Mount: perfect corner kick and a poker detachment to close the match. Pickford blocks the door for the umpteenth time: 5 games, no goals conceded.

it’s coming home

In England everyone is singing it: “It’s coming home…”. A catchphrase that has been going on for several years. Semifinal in London, eventual final always there, at Wembley. It was 25 years since the British had played a semi-final in a European championship. The last in 1996: Venables on the bench, the blond Gascoigne in the middle, “Psycho” Pearce in defense, Sheringham forward and finally Southgate, the one who missed the decisive penalty against Germany in the semifinal. A burden carried on the shoulders for two decades and more. Today he became a coach, led England to the semifinals at the World Cup in Russia (2018) and now he repeats himself at the European Championship. On 7 July, the surprise Denmark will arrive at Wembley, under the arch. Nordic talents playing for Eriksen: Damsgaard, Mahele, Dolberg, Poulsen. It will be tough.