England 0-1 Denmark: Three Lions pay penalty after Maguire red

By Sports Desk October 14, 2020

Harry Maguire saw red as England's disciplinary problems continued in a 1-0 Nations League loss to Denmark. 

Having come from behind to beat Belgium 2-1 at the weekend, Gareth Southgate's side immediately ceded top spot in Group A2 as Christian Eriksen scored the only goal with a 35th-minute penalty. 

It was the third spot-kick England have conceded in four Nations League matches this season, by which point Maguire had already accrued two rash bookings to earn their second red card of the campaign - full debutant Reece James joining that list of ignominy after being sent off for dissent after the final whistle. 

Mason Mount came closest to an equaliser from Declan Rice's 66th-minute corner, only for Kasper Schmeichel to produce a remarkable save. 

Denmark started brightly and Kasper Dolberg had an eighth-minute attempt from Eriksen's clever low corner deflected into the side netting by Kalvin Phillips. 

England struggled to create clear openings, although Harry Kane's touch deserted him in front of goal on the end of Mount's lay-off. 

Southgate would rue that chance slipping away as his team imploded just after the half-hour mark. 

Maguire was arguably fortunate to stay on the field after his reckless early lunge on Yussuf Poulsen and referee Jesus Gil Manzano had little choice when the Manchester United captain's heavy touch led to him careering into Kasper Dolberg. 

By the time Dolberg hobbled out of the action, Eriksen had slammed home from the spot after Kyle Walker was harshly penalised for impeding Thomas Delaney. 

England's performance improved despite their reduced numbers and Schmeichel displayed incredible athleticism and reactions to deny Mount. 

The Leicester City goalkeeper was similarly sharp to tip over a rasping free-kick from James 12 minutes from time, although he needed the help of a goal-line clearance by captain and cap centurion Simon Kjaer to frustrate Conor Coady in the final minute.

What does it mean? England flaws magnified 

It seemed churlish to complain over the less impressive elements of a win over Belgium - the number one ranked team in the world - but Southgate's side once again showed plenty of room for improvement.

Even before Maguire's dismissal they carried negligible attacking threat. Despite the talent in their ranks, this is the third of four Nations League matches where they have failed to score from open play. 

Maguire misery continues 

After his holiday ordeal and court case in Greece - a matter still pending a retrial following an appeal - and a ragged start to the Premier League season with a shambling Manchester United, Maguire badly needed this international sojourn to go off without incident. It was not to be. 

His red card was, frankly, awful and he became the third England player in history to be sent off at Wembley entirely due to his own incompetence. The player who shone on the way to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, becoming a cult hero in the process, is a fast-fading memory. These are tough times for the most expensive centre-back in the world. 

Eriksen at home in familiar surroundings 

Back at a ground he called a temporary home while at Tottenham, Eriksen purred during the opening stages and helped Denmark dictate terms to a ragged England. The match-winner had more shots and attempted more key passes than any other visiting player. 

What's next 

England travel to Belgium in their penultimate group game next month, when Denmark entertain Iceland next in the Nations League.

Related items

  • Conte likens Lukaku to NFL quarterback as Inter boss lauds Hakimi Conte likens Lukaku to NFL quarterback as Inter boss lauds Hakimi

    Inter head coach Antonio Conte compared Romelu Lukaku to an NFL quarterback, while he also hailed two-goal hero Achraf Hakimi following Saturday's 3-1 win over Bologna.

    Conte's Inter closed the gap on Serie A leaders and city rivals Milan to two points thanks to Lukaku and full-back Hakimi at San Siro.

    Inter star Lukaku broke the deadlock in the 16th minute before Hakimi doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.

    Emanuel Vignato's 67th-minute goal threatened to make things tense for Inter, but Hakimi's second wrapped up proceedings as the Nerazzurri took their tally to 26 goals in the first 10 Serie A games of the season for the first time since 2009-10.

    Conte heaped praise on in-form forward Lukaku, who has scored eight goals in his first nine league appearances this term – the Belgium international has scored more than seven goals before the 11th match of the season for the first time in his career.

    Lukaku has also scored in all of his first four home appearances in Serie A in 2020-21, joining Christian Vieri as the only Inter players to achieve the feat in the league's three-point-win era.

    "I believe he can still get stronger," Conte told DAZN. "I described him as a rough diamond when he arrived and felt that work would help him become one of the best strikers in the world.

    "He is on the right track, as he has everything, the physicality of a centre-forward, but also the pace and power of an American Football quarterback.

    "He is doing well, has understood what needs to be done, is humble and works for the team. I am very happy with him."

    Hakimi, who arrived from LaLiga champions Real Madrid ahead of the current campaign following two successful seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund, became the only Serie A defender this term to score at least two goals and provide two assists.

    "This lad is 20 years old and had just two seasons at Dortmund, where they play a much less tactical style of football. Haki is working hard, he has realised the difference between playing in Italy and Germany, where the opponents don't study you as much, where they don't identify your characteristics as precisely," Conte added.

    "I think he is in the right team and with the right coach to become one of the best in the world in his role. It will require a lot of work, but I'm very happy, because this type of performance will boost his confidence, whereas errors in the past might've dented his self-belief.

    "He needs a balance, it's going to be a process and I am glad he got this personal satisfaction of a brace."

    Christian Eriksen, who is out of favour and heading for a January exit just a year after swapping Tottenham for Inter, was a stoppage-time substitute against Bologna.

    "My rapport with Christian is the same as all the other players. I will never tire of explaining that what I do and the choices I make are for the good of Inter," Conte.

    "The last thing I do is look at the face of the player, it's about everything else. Eriksen is working and he is at our disposal."

  • Rumour Has It: PSG still considering Messi signing Rumour Has It: PSG still considering Messi signing

    Lionel Messi reportedly remains a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

    Messi, 33, is contracted at Barcelona until the end of the season, having stayed at the club after sensationally requesting to leave earlier this year.

    With uncertainty still surrounding his future, the Barcelona star is apparently wanted by PSG.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG EXPLORING POSSIBILITY OF SIGNING MESSI

    PSG are exploring the possibility of signing Barcelona star Messi, according to ESPN.

    Along with Manchester City and Inter, PSG have been among the clubs most heavily linked with a move for the Argentina international.

    The report says Neymar and sporting director Leonardo have discussed bringing Messi to PSG.

    It comes just days after Neymar said he wanted to play with Messi again and was keen for it to happen "next season".

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Still linked with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, Manchester United could look elsewhere. The Sun reports United are eyeing Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes as a possible alternative.

    - Staying at Manchester United and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been under some pressure. Bild reports the Premier League giants are interested in PSG coach Thomas Tuchel if they decide to sack Solskjaer.

    - With Christian Eriksen seemingly set for an exit, Inter are considering their midfield transfer targets. CalcioMercato reports Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante remains Inter's dream signing, but Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum is also an option with his contract expiring at the end of the season. However, the report also says Inter could challenge Liverpool for the signing of Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma.

    - Also at Liverpool, the Premier League champions are reportedly still eyeing a centre-back amid their injury woes. Bild reports RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is on their list, as is his 21-year-old team-mate Ibrahima Konate.

    - Atlanta United could be close to appointing a new coach. TyC Sports says former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Argentina defender Gabriel Heinze, most recently in charge of Velez Sarsfield, is a step away from taking over at the MLS club.

  • Chiesa is growing after a tough start, says Juventus boss Pirlo Chiesa is growing after a tough start, says Juventus boss Pirlo

    Juventus can expect a lot more from Federico Chiesa after the Italy international opened his account for the club in midweek, according to Andrea Pirlo.  

    The 23-year-old struggled initially following his two-year loan switch from Fiorentina in October, which Juve can make permanent for a reported total fee of €50million if certain conditions are met. 

    He received a straight red card on his debut against Crotone and then failed to find the back of the net in his next seven appearances in Serie A and the Champions League.  

    In three starts and one substitute appearance in the Italian top flight, he has taken just two shots and has the second-worst passing accuracy and dribble success rate for the Bianconeri.  

    However, he has three assists to his name from the six chances he has created for his team-mates in those games.  

    Chiesa finally registered his first goal in the 3-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday and Pirlo expects more of the same in the coming weeks as he finds his feet at the Allianz Stadium.

    "I ask a lot from Chiesa," Pirlo told Juventus TV ahead of the derby against Torino this weekend. 

    "He's doing well. It's not easy to be catapulted from Fiorentina to Juventus, but he's a very good lad. 

    "It took him time to adapt, but now he's growing after arriving with so much controversy and weight on him." 

    Pirlo could become the first coach to remain unbeaten in his first 10 Serie A games since the competition moved to a three-points-for-a-win system in 1994. 

    Standing in his way is a Torino side who have endured an abysmal start to the campaign.  

    Marco Giampaolo's men have amassed just six points from their nine games, their worst start to a season since 2002-03. 

    Pirlo, though, does not think his side will necessarily have it all their own way against their local rivals, as he expects a tough battle. 

    "This is an important derby for the two sets of fans, it's always tense," he added.  

    "It's nice to play, there are many emotions involved. I was lucky enough to be part of it several times, to win and score important goals. 

    "Torino are built well and have an excellent coach. They play proactive football with excellent players in all departments." 

    Juve go into the match fourth in Serie A, six points behind leaders Milan, having drawn five of their opening nine games.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.