So yes, it was only a quarter-final; yes, semi-final opponents Denmark won at Wembley just last October; and yes, possible finalists Italy and Spain are Italy and Spain. But if England fans aren’t allowed to get excited and dream dreamy dreams after that four-goal performance, there really is no point in watching sport. Congratulations to England, commiserations to Ukraine, and here’s to a couple of cracking semi-finals next week. David Hytner’s report is in, so get clicking. Thanks for reading this MBM. Nighty night!
England rout Ukraine 4-0 to surge into Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark
Ukraine 0-4 England: player ratings from the Euro 2020 quarter-final
England’s two Harrys combine to prompt a roar of collective joy
All roads lead to Rome for England’s ardent army of expat fans
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The BBC talk to Gareth Southgate, who begins by thanking the fringe players in his squad. “I’m thinking about the lads we didn’t get on the pitch; the likes of Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Sam Johnstone, Aaron Ramsdale, they are the ones making this team successful, because the spirit of the group is phenomenal. Whoever comes in does the job, whoever I leave out, the mentality has been fantastic. So looking after those guys is uppermost in my mind. None of them deserve to be left out. But we have to make the right call for the right game and the system. We’re in another semi-final, three in three years. But we want to go a step further, two steps further. It’s lovely to send everyone out on a Saturday night, beer in hand or in the air, wherever it is! I’m chuffed the two performances we’ve put on have given so much enjoyment and happiness to people.”
Jordan Henderson, who finally scored for England after 62 appearances, speaks to the BBC: “It was a very good night. We’re so pleased with the performance level. We defended really well and scored some great goals. We have to be very pleased, but we can’t dwell on it too long. We need to prepare well and give it absolutely everything on Wednesday.” As for ending the longest wait for a first international goal an England goalscorer has ever endured? “It’s about time! It’s been a long time coming. Thankfully I’m on the scoresheet. I always felt a goal would come eventually but I always just try to contribute the best I can on the pitch. Of course I’d have liked to score more goals over the last few years, but I can’t complain! I’m here, and I’m contributing.”
Harry Kane’s turn for a chat with the Beeb. “What a great performance in a big game. Of course we were favourites to win this game, but there was a lot of pressure. So to perform like we did was top drawer. Another clean sheet, four goals, it was a perfect night for us. We have a great unit from front to back working for the team. We’ll keep working hard and recover well, and look forward to the semi-final. We’re knocking it off, step by step. The World Cup was great but we fell short. We had a good run in the Nations League, and now it’s about getting over the line, and that’s what we have got to do on Wednesday. A lot of us have been playing in big games, so we’re looking confident out there. Hopefully I can lead this team to a European final.”
A smile from Harry Kane as he speaks to the media after receiving his star of the match award. Photograph: Valerio Pennicino/UEFA/Getty Images
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Harry Maguire talks to the BBC. “It’s a great feeling. Back to back semi-finals at a major tournament is a great achievement, but, I don’t want to be a party pooper, but we don’t stop here. We’ve got a big game coming up and we want to go further this time than we did at the World Cup. It’s a great feeling to win here, and the way we’ve done it shows how we’ve progressed as a country. Long may the improvement continue! We have great belief in the dressing room. The first half was tough, we got the early goal but they caused us a few problems after changing it a few times. The second goal settled us down a lot and from then on we controlled the game. It was an impressive performance. It’s hard to soak it all in when you’ve got another big one coming up. The dressing room will be a great atmosphere tonight, but when we wake up we’ll be focused again. This group of players aren’t settling for a semi-final, we want to go further.”
England’s Harry Maguire celebrates at the end of the match. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/AP
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A view from the England fans in Rome. “There’s a real buzz at the Olimpico seeing England turning on the style,” reports Colum Fordham. “The England fans near me are chanting Southgate is great and a version of Che sarà sarà, interspersed with Football’s Coming Home. Only the second time I’ve watched England live. Last England v Cameroon in 1990.”
England manager Gareth Southgate and his players celebrate the victory with their fans in Stadio Olimpico. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters
Scenes at the final whistle over at the fan zones in Manchester. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images
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A grim-faced Andriy Shevchenko, who knows a thing or two about leading the line, makes an immediate beeline for Harry Kane, embracing England’s two-goal hero. England celebrate, but not in any conspicuous manner; you suspect their minds are already on Wednesday’s semi-final with Denmark. Model professionals, you see. But the fans can party long into the night: that was England’s biggest victory at a European Championship finals, bettering their 4-1 thumping of the Netherlands at Euro 96. Ukraine depart the scene of their defeat, but only after thanking their fans with a poignant last performance of an Iceland-via-Motherwell-inspired HUH chant.
Ukraine players gesture to fans after the match. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/Reuters
A dejected Andrey Shevchenko thanks the fans after their loss. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
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FULL TIME: Ukraine 0-4 England
The referee Felix Brych blows the whistle after four seconds of extra time, and England have made the semi-finals of Euro 2020 in style!
88 min: It’s Ukraine’s turn to pass it around the back, but their mood is not quite so joyous. What they’d give to hear the final whistle now … though we could have probably said that the best part of 40 minutes ago.
86 min: Henderson puts a stop to a Ukraine attack with a calm backheeled pass out of his own box. It’s been one of those evenings.
84 min: As their team pass the ball around the back in the clock-management style, England fans entertain themselves with a few olés. Any old excuse.
83 min: Sancho shows Mykolenko a clean pair of heels and barrels down the right. The Ukrainian defender recovers excellently to force him off the ball just as he enters the box. For a second, a fifth looked on the cards.
81 min: England are happy to sit back, keeping a clean sheet their main focus now.
England’s defender Kieran Trippier (right) dives to block a cross. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
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79 min: Yarmolenko grooves his way down the right, enters the box, and earns a corner with a deflected shot. Calvert-Lewin heads the corner clear.
77 min: Pickford gets away with another loose clearance. His slightly skittish kicking is perhaps England’s only minus point this evening. It’s not the worst place to be.
75 min: Makarenko has a dig from 25 yards. He aims for the top right and gives it a good old belt, but Pickford punches it clear.
73 min: There’ll be no hat-trick for Kane this evening. He makes way for Calvert-Lewin, and goes off to be wrapped in cotton wool.
Well played Harry. Photograph: Lars Baron/AP
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72 min: Yaremchuk comes through the back of Henderson in the frustrated style. He’s given a good ticking off by the referee, but no booking.
70 min: Some slapstick shenanigans as Pickford comes out of his goal to clear a long ball. He slices his kick, and the ball drops to Yaremchuk, who tries to find the empty net with a low drive from 40 yards. It’s easily blocked. A high looper would have been the better option, but no Patrik Schick he.
Careful now Jordan. Photograph: Lars Baron/AP
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68 min: Of course, anyone who gets themselves sent off would also miss the game, but surely nobody will be that daft.
67 min: Rashford’s first act is to tear down the left and win a corner. It’s hit long for Maguire, who heads harmlessly wide right. Incidentally, with the departure of Phillips, Maguire is now the only England player left on the field in danger of missing the semi – I think we can safely say England are there – should he pick up a booking.
65 min: England make a triple change: Bellingham, Rashford and Trippier come on for Shaw, Sterling and Phillips.
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GOAL! Ukraine 0-4 England (Henderson 63)
Mount curls the resulting corner towards Henderson, who glances a header across the keeper and into the bottom left! His first ever goal for England, at long last!
Photograph: Eddie Keogh/The FA/Getty Images
Henderson wheels away in celebration. Photograph: Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters
Then celebrates his goal with John Stones. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/Reuters
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62 min: Kane is denied a spectacular hat-trick goal by Bushchan. He latches onto a poor headed clearance by screeching a volley from 25 yards towards the top right. The keeper turns it away at full stretch! But it’s all in vain, because …
60 min: On the touchline, Shevchenko is already in thousand-yard-stare mode. He’ll have delivered better half-time talks.
59 min: Mount is this close to releasing Kane through the middle with a forensic pass. Matviyenko intercepts in the nick of time.
57 min: England make their first change, Henderson coming on in place of Rice.
56 min: Ukraine look thoroughly shaken by that double whammy. They’ve not managed to summon any sort of response yet.
54 min: England have three players out there who are one booking away from missing any semi-final they might reach: Maguire, Phillips and Rice. A fair chance now that these lads won’t see the evening out.
52 min: Luke Shaw, huh? That’s two quickfire assists of the highest quality. Maguire and Kane couldn’t miss! Whisper it, but England are an extremely good side.
GOAL! Ukraine 0-3 England (Kane 50)
The semi-final is so close now! Mount drives down the inside left. He slips the ball to Sterling, who backflicks towards Shaw. The full back reaches the touchline, and stands one up into the centre. Kane is on point to head down and in, and England are in total control!
Harry Kane heads home his second, and England’s third, goal. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/Reuters
Here’s the view from behind the goal. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters
Kane celebrates with Raheem Sterling. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/The FA/Getty Images
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49 min: The timing of that goal will thoroughly sicken Ukraine, who will have felt good about the manner in which they’d finished the first half. Well, that’s quite the momentum shifter.
47 min: That was one heck of a delivery by Shaw. Maguire, having timed his run and leap to perfection, could hardly miss!
GOAL! Ukraine 0-2 England (Maguire 46)
Yes they can! The free kick’s curled into the mixer by Shaw. Maguire rises highest, on the edge of the six-yard box. He steers a determined header into the left-hand side of the net with Bushchan rooted to the spot!
Harry Maguire of England scores their side’s second goal past Georgiy Bushchan of Ukraine. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Harry Maguire of England celebrates with Declan Rice. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino – Pool/Getty Images
Down at the other end of the pitch England keeper Jordan Pickford celebrates Maguire’s goal. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images
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46 min: Within 10 seconds of the restart, Sydorchuk stands on Kane’s foot, and it’s a free kick 30 yards out on the right. Can England start the second half even faster than they did the first?
England get the second 45 underway. There have been no half-time changes.
Half-time entertainment. The winner of this tie will play Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday evening. Paul Doyle watched them bounce the Czechs out of the tournament, and you can read his report here. Meanwhile here’s Andy Hunter on a team who are on an emotional mission.
Denmark’s Euro 2020 run is built on class and coaching, not just team spirit | Andy Hunter
HALF TIME: Ukraine 0-1 England
After some garden-variety shoving, a load of nonsensical yap between Maguire and Yaremchuk brings the half to an end. They’re still arguing with each other as everyone leaves for the dressing rooms. England the happier, obviously, though Ukraine will be buoyed by the way they’ve come back into the game.
Andriy Yarmolenko of Ukraine attempts to stop team mate Roman Yaremchuk from helping up Harry Maguire of England. Photograph: Chris Ricco/UEFA/Getty Images
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45 min +1: Sancho excites the fans with a supersonic sashay down the left, jinking elegantly through the smallest of gaps. He’s clipped to a standstill, but Manchester United fans can be forgiven for getting quite excited over their new signing.
Jadon Sancho of England breaks away from Ukraine’s Serhiy Sydorchuk (left) and Andriy Yarmolenko. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/The FA/Getty Images
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45 min: England are sitting very deep. They’ll be happy to hear the half-time whistle and regroup. There will be three added minutes.
43 min: After a brief game of head tennis in the England box, Shaparenko shoots from 25 yards. The ball curls well wide right. This is much better from Ukraine, who have switched to a 4-3-3 after the enforced substitution, and look a lot happier as a result.
Ukraine’s Mykola Shaparenko has a go from distance. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/AFP/Getty Images
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41 min: Yaremchuk busies himself down the left and wins a corner. The set piece is a non-event, but Ukraine are at least asking England the odd question now.
39 min: Sterling slips Shaw clear down the left. Shaw is in acres, racing into the box. He pulls back for Sancho, who spins on the penalty spot and sends a slapshot goalwards. Bushchan shovels clear, then the flag goes up for offside. Not sure why Shaw didn’t go for that himself, one on one with the keeper as he was. Had either he or Sancho scored, VAR would have overturned that offside decision.
England’s Jadon Sancho shoots. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/Reuters
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37 min: Ukraine play some lovely triangles down the left and open England up for the first time. Zinchenko then slips a pass down the channel for Yaremchuk, who cuts back for the Manchester City man. However Yarmolenko also goes for the cutback, and gets in Zinchenko’s way. Neither can get a shot off, and Mount steps in to clear.
Mason Mount of England clears the ball from the boot of Oleksandr Zinchenko. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/EPA
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35 min: Kryvtsov can’t continue. He’s limping badly. On comes Tsygankov.
34 min: Kryvtsov goes down and requires some treatment. He’s grimacing quite a lot. As the physio comes on, it’s a chance for his defence to regroup.
33 min: Sterling drives down the left and crosses low. It’s half cleared. Rice picks up possession on the edge of the box and creams a venomous shot straight at Bushchan. There’s a brief game of high-speed, high-stakes pinball, before Ukraine eventually clear. England can sense a second goal here.
England’s Declan Rice has a pop at goal. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/Reuters
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31 min: Sancho gets his feet moving down the right and nearly tricks his way past Mykolenko. Not quite, but the Old Trafford bound winger is causing all sorts of problems.
29 min: Sterling is upended near the left touchline, and it’s a chance for England to line up just inside the Ukraine box. Shaw to deliver. Kane rises highest to meet the free kick, but can only head harmlessly over the bar.
Harry Kane heads over. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/EPA
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27 min: England’s current confident state of mind is perfectly illustrated when Pickford comes sauntering out of his box to meet a loose ball, and rolls a careful pass to a team-mate between two encroaching Ukrainians. A risky move performed with no little panache.
25 min: Another neat little burst in from the right wing by Sancho. Ukraine aren’t dealing with his runs particularly well. When he’s on one, their nerves are palpable.
Jadon Sancho of England surges forward. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images
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