England delivered a masterclass in game management deep in extra time as the Three Lions put together a 54-pass, 11 player move to keep the ball away from Denmark.
When Harry Kane sent England ahead in the 104th minute at Wembley, the entire nation was on the brink of reaching their first major international final since 1966.
Wembley descended into chaos and the emotions ran high as the Tottenham Hotspur forward slotted the ball home past Kasper Schmeichel after a good initial save from the Danish goalkeeper.
YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/uRIPGbeOb9— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 7, 2021
But England still had to hold on until the end of extra time to truly seal their place in the 2020 European Championship final to set up a clash with Italy.
And it would not be an understatement to say that they did just that and some more.
Gareth Southgate’s team were confronted with the task of not conceding a goal in the second half of additional extra time, and the head coach helped his team produce a masterclass in game management to see the match out.
In order to tighten things at the back, Southgate took off substitute Jack Grealish for Kieran Trippier, as England shifted to five at the back to shut up shop.
All the Three Lions had to do was to keep possession of the ball for as much as possible, and not providing the resilient Danes with even the slightest sniff of Jordan Pickford’s goal.
In order to do that, England strung together a brilliant passing move as late as in the 116th minute.
54 – @England recorded a sequence of 54 consecutive passes in extra-time against Denmark; the most passes in a sequence of play by any team during the whole of EURO 2020. Methodical. #ENG #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/Phdhm7nDLZ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 8, 2021
The passing move started off with Kyle Walker winning the ball in his own half and storming into the Danish half, and from then on, England showed perfect game management skill to keep the ball rolling from flank to flank.
The passing move consisted of a total of 54 passes that involved every single one of the English players, a move that helped England keep possession for nearly three full minutes before the ball finally went out of play – and Denmark had a chance for a final attempt.
But it proved to be too late, as the move represented a training ground routine that the well-drilled Three Lions prepared for similar situations, and England booked a date with Italy in the final to bring football ‘home.’
This is the England we’ve got now. 54 passes killing 2m40s pic.twitter.com/n0T3bsTV4s— Sean Farrington (@seanfarrington) July 8, 2021