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England vs Denmark: ‘We know how this ends’- England booed in ugly scenes as...

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Published Time: 21.06.2024 - 06:01:14 Modified Time: 21.06.2024 - 06:01:14

England remain on top of Group C, two points clear of Slovenia, who they face in Cologne on Tuesday, and Denmark. England vs Denmark, Denmark vs England, England, england v denmark


“We’re top of the group. We know we can improve. I know there will probably loads of noise and a bit of disappointment back home. Step by step, we’ll get there.”

Ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand continued: “The current balance of the team is not allowing the players to reach the levels that they have done for clubs.

“Phil Foden is out of position and not playing his best, maybe Jude Bellingham would be better playing at number eight. It is a big concern.”

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel claimed on the eve of the game they would not be fuelled by revenge for their Euro 2020 semi-final heartbreak to England three years ago.

However, the Danes were a different beast from the side that disappointed at the 2022 World Cup and in drawing against Slovenia to open their tournament in Germany.

“I can’t say we are disappointed but it’s a shame. There was a result there we could have gotten,” Hjulmand said.

“We believed we could win. We played well but the most important thing is that we play like we did today in the upcoming games.

“I know we have been looking for this kind of game for some time. It’s taken us a while.

“Today we showed how we really play and express ourselves – with quality, with fire – this is how we want to play.”

Denmark had made the brighter start as both sides struggled to cope with a bobbly pitch in Frankfurt that cut up badly in just its second game of five at Euro 2024.

Yet, England capitalised on a howler from Hjulmand’s men to take the lead on 18 minutes.

Victor Kristiansen was caught unaware of Kyle Walker’s run down the right and his deflected low cross fell perfectly for Kane to roll in his 13th goal at major tournaments.

Failing to build on early 1-0 leads has been a consistent criticism of England under Southgate.

In the 2018 World Cup semi-final and final of Euro 2020, Croatia and Italy were able to wrestle away momentum from the Three Lions.

This time Denmark were not deterred by conceding, although it took a spectacular strike to bring them level.

Hjulmand was given far too much room by the England midfield to take aim but he took full advantage form long range with a blistering shot that clipped the inside of the post on its way in.

Southgate made no changes at the break, but the future of his experiment of playing Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in a midfield role is in doubt after he was hooked for Conor Gallagher on 55 minutes.

Phil Foden’s form for England had been a source of much debate after he again failed to shine at international level against Serbia.

The Manchester City playmaker looked much more like the man that won Premier League player of the year awards this season and was inches away from restoring England’s lead with a low drive that came crashing back off the post.

Southgate’s caution has been criticised in the past, but he was bold with his changes in the search for a winner as Kane, Foden and Bukayo Saka were sacrificed for Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen.

Watkins nearly made an immediate impact as he was denied by Schmeichel after a brilliant through ball from Jude Bellingham.

Yet, it was Denmark who had the better chances to take all three points in the closing stages.

Andreas Christensen spooned over when unmarked from a corner before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg curled inches wide.

Southgate admitted England’s lacklustre draw against Denmark showed they are struggling to cope with the pressure of being one of the Euro 2024 favourites.

“Clearly we are disappointed with the level of the two performances. We have to analyse that in depth and find some solutions to the issues we have. We will spend a lot of time doing that,” Southgate said.

“We know the level can be higher. Maybe the biggest thing is we have to accept the environment we are in and walk towards the expectations.

“These boys aren’t lacking effort. We have to find more quality in what we do. If anything they are showing they care too much.”

England would have wrapped up first place in the group with a win over the Danes, but instead were greeted with jeers by frustrated fans after their lethargic display.

“If we don’t win we have to accept what comes our way. I can completely understand the fans’ frustration with the way we played,” Southgate continued.

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