Southgate daring to dream of Euro 2020 success after matching Ramsey achievement

By Sports Desk July 03, 2021

Gareth Southgate is daring to dream of lifting the European Championship trophy at Wembley after England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 to reach their first semi-final in 25 years.

A couple of goals from Harry Kane and one apiece for Harry Maguire and substitute Jordan Henderson earned the Three Lions a routine win at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

It is just the second time England have scored four goals in a knockout match of a major tournament, the other instance being the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany.

That was the last occasion England reached the final of a major competition, while only three times since then have they made it as far as the semi-finals.

After losing on penalties to Germany at Italia '90 and Euro 1996, as well as to Croatia in extra time at the last World Cup, Southgate is hoping for a different outcome this time around.

"It's fabulous for our country - a semi-final at Wembley," Southgate, who missed the decisive penalty in the 1996 shoot-out defeat to Germany, told BBC Sport. 

"I know what will be happening at home. It's lovely to see everyone on a Saturday night, beer in hand. 

"They should enjoy it. It's been a long year for everyone. I'm chuffed the two performances have brought so much happiness to people.

"I suppose it's still sinking in that it's another semi-final. Everyone can really look forward to that – it's brilliant. We want to go two steps further than last time."

 

Denmark stand between England and the final after overcoming the Czech Republic 2-1 in Saturday's other quarter-final in Baku.

Southgate will be just the second manager to take charge of England in the semi-final of both the World Cup and the European Championship, after Alf Ramsey in 1966 and 1968. 

"It is an absolute honour to be in that company," Southgate said. "It's lovely to be able to get the results that are putting our country on the football map again."

Southgate reverted to a back four against Ukraine and brought in Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho, the latter making his first start of the tournament.

The England boss now has some big selection calls to make for the semi-final with Denmark, but he is more concerned about which three players miss out on the squad entirely.

"I'm spending more energy worrying about the three I have to leave out because they're all good players," he said. "None of them deserve to be left out. 

"They're all giving everything in training. None of it is because I don't think they're up to the level but we have to make the decisions. 

"We have to make the right call for the right game with the right system. All of the players have been brilliant. Tonight all the way through the group they've been fantastic."

Ukraine were competing in just their second major tournament quarter-final, but the demands of their extra-time win over Sweden on Tuesday seemingly took their toll.

The Blue and Yellow enjoyed a spell on top at the end of the first half, though they ultimately only managed a couple of attempts on target in what was a one-sided contest. 

Three of England's goals came from headers and Andriy Shevchenko, though pleased with his side's run to the last eight, acknowledged that aspect of his side's game let them down.

"I think small details played a key role in the game," he said at his post-match news conference. "We didn't cope well with the high balls. England have a big advantage in that area.

"But in general we played our football; we didn't turn our back on our principles. We tried to put up a good fight against this opposition, but this mountain turned out to be too big for us to climb. 

"It's probably a bit too early for us to be climbing mountains like that. The guys did everything they could, and I want to thank them for that today."

Related items

  • Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit

    Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose admits he is "angry" after his side spurned a golden opportunity to win a title after crashing out of the DFB-Pokal 2-1 to St Pauli on Tuesday.

    DFB-Pokal holders Dortmund conceded twice in the first half before Erling Haaland pulled back a 58th minute penalty but they could not find an equalizer in the last-16 clash.

    The defeat means for the first time since 2006-07, neither Dortmund or Bayern Munich will contend in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals, with Rose admitting it was a major missed opportunity.

    "I'm just angry. The cup is a chance for a title and we're generally in good shape," Rose told Sky. "Then we just give the game away in the first 10 minutes.

    "The fact that you then get into problems with the ground and the strong opponent under the conditions is inexplicable and cannot be excused."

    Dortmund had come into the DFB-Pokal game fresh from beating SC Freiburg 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday, as well as coming from behind to win 3-2 over Eintracht Frankfurt.

    "It's a pity and a bit stupid of us that after a top performance against Freiburg and the game we played in Frankfurt, we didn't do it again," Rose said.

    "Unfortunately, we are again confirming a few things that have been held up to us in the last few weeks, months and years. It's just our fault.

    "The end pisses me off because it was a chance for a title and we're just giving the game away."

  • Australian Open: Medvedev, Kyrgios get chance to bring Melbourne to life Australian Open: Medvedev, Kyrgios get chance to bring Melbourne to life

    Nick Kyrgios is box office whenever he plays – and the Australian Open gets a first-week gift in the form of a second-round blockbuster against Daniil Medvedev.

    Kyrgios still managed to bring John Cain Arena to life even during a relatively straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-3 win over Liam Broady on Tuesday.

    The Australian, who has dropped to 115th in the rankings after not playing since last year's US Open, is arguably the must-watch player in the men's draw.

    Anything can happen when Kyrgios is in action. For all the frustrations about a thus far unfulfilled talent, Kyrgios – a two-time grand slam quarter-finalist – is box office.

    On Thursday he faces the highest ranked player in the men's draw, last year's US Open champion Medvedev, in what shapes as being a thrilling contest.

    Kyrgios has won both of his previous meetings with the Russian second seed, who is among the favourites to win the title at Melbourne Park.

    With Roger Federer absent and Novak Djokovic having been deported from Australia, tournament officials have been gifted a contest that belongs in the second week.

    All eyes will be on Thursday's schedule, with Kyrgios seemingly likely to miss out on playing on his preferred court – John Cain Arena – in a match that undoubtedly belongs on Rod Laver Arena.

    "I mean, obviously either way it's going to be a hell of an experience for me. He's probably the best player in the world at the moment. So I'm pretty excited, I'm excited for that moment. That's why I play the game," Kyrgios said after beating Broady.

    "I feel like those matches still excite me, to go out there and play the best in the world. That was always something I wanted to prove to people that someone like me could do, win those matches. I'm not going to go into it with a lot of expectation. I'm going to go out there, have some fun, play my game. I have a pretty set-in-stone game plan of what I need to do to have success.

    "As I said, he's probably the best player in the world, he does everything extremely well. He's a hard worker, ticks all the boxes. I'm not going to even think about that now. To play it on John Cain would be – I'm just going to call it the Kyrgios Court – would be fun."

    Kyrgios and Medvedev played twice in 2019, the Australian winning two tie-breaks in their most recent meeting in the final in Washington in August of that year.

     

    Medvedev was a top-10 player then, but it would be later in that year that the Russian would truly make an impact, edged by Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.

    He went 20-3 at majors last year, winning the title at Flushing Meadows, reaching the final in Melbourne and the French Open quarter-finals.

    When he met Kyrgios in Washington, Medvedev had won four ATP titles. He now has 13 to his name.

    "Yeah, I just became a different player in terms of ranking and titles. It gives you experience. That's where you can try to win matches which you have lost before, opponents which you have lost before," Medvedev said following his opening-round win against Henri Laaksonen.

    "I think there are still some guys on tour who I haven't beat. So can stay like this. I think our last match was so long ago and we are both so different and a different momentum of our careers that it's really tough to count it. As I say, win or lose, I don't think these two matches gonna count into this one, so yeah."

  • Australian Open: Brilliant Barty brushes past Bronzetti Australian Open: Brilliant Barty brushes past Bronzetti

    Ash Barty continued her impressive start to the Australian Open with a resounding win over Lucia Bronzetti on Wednesday.

    The world number one dropped just one game in the first round and was similarly rampant in the second, crushing Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

    Barty, a two-time grand slam champion, raced through in just 52 minutes to set up a meeting with another Italian, 30th seed Camila Giorgi.

    The Australian remains on track for a blockbuster fourth-round meeting with Japanese star Naomi Osaka.

    Barty quickly broke the Bronzetti serve, taking a 2-0 lead after a double fault and tame backhand into the net from the Italian.

    Bronzetti won just one point during her opening two service games as Barty broke again for 4-0, on her way to taking the first set in just 26 minutes.

    The one-sided encounter continued to begin the second set, a pair of double faults from Bronzetti helping Barty break to love in the third game.

    Barty remained untroubled, cruising through in style as her run in Melbourne continued.

    DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty continues early blitz

    Barty has dropped just three games through two rounds at the Australian Open.

    That is the fewest number of games she has lost through the opening two rounds of a grand slam in her career, better than last year's Australian Open (seven).

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Barty – 21/14
    Bronzetti – 6/14

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Barty – 8/2
    Bronzetti – 1/5

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Barty – 5/6
    Bronzetti – 0/0

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.