Ukraine 0-4 England: Harry Kane brace sends the Three Lions into the semi-finals

A brace from Kane and goals from Maguire and Henderson sealed a memorable 4-0 win for England against Ukraine in Euro 2020 quarter-finals. The Three Lions will meet Denmark in semifinals at Wembley Stadium.

Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson of England against Ukraine in Euro 2020
Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson of England against Ukraine in Euro 2020.

England booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Championships with a 4-0 win over Ukraine tonight.

A brace from Harry Kane and goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson sealed a memorable win for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Here at Anytime football, we look at the major talking points from tonight’s contest.

Harry Kane is back

The England striker had a torrid time in the group stages, but the 27-year-old has shown that form is temporary and class is permanent.

Kane has found his goal-scoring form once again. He scored a vital goal against Germany and followed it up with a super performance against Ukraine tonight.

The Tottenham star scored in either half and reminded everyone exactly why he is considered as one of the best players in world football.

England will be hoping that came can keep his goal-scoring boots on for the semi-finals and potentially the finals.

Strength in depth

Very few teams in world football have the kind of depth England possess.

Gareth Southgate has the luxury of bringing in top quality players to switch his starting line-ups depending upon the opposition and tactical choices.

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was handed his first start of the tournament tonight, and he managed to impress. The likes of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish sat on the bench as the Three Lions romped to a 4-0 win.

England were able to bring on a seasoned veteran like Jordan Henderson to close out the game in the second half and rest the likes of Declan Rice.

Defensively, they have incredible depth as well, with the likes of Tyrone Mings and Ben Chilwell waiting in the wings if needed.

Resolute defensive unit

England have undoubtedly been the best defensive side in the tournament so far.

Gareth Southgate’s men have played five matches, and they are yet to concede a single goal.

There is a saying in football that attack wins you games, but defence wins you trophies. If England can continue to stay organized at the back, there is no reason why they cannot go all the way this summer.

The likes of John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have been in remarkable form for their country so far, and Jordan Pickford has chipped in with important saves in between the sticks as well.

Horses for courses

Gareth Southgate deserves a lot of credit for switching his teams and tactics depending upon the opposition so far.

England needed to attack tonight in order to exploit Ukraine’s defensive vulnerabilities, and he picked an attacking squad and switched back to the four-defender formation.

Southgate’s tactical switch worked like a charm, just like it did against Germany in the last round.

In the round-of-16 clash against the Germans, Southgate knew he had to keep his team’s shape compact and well organized. Therefore, he switched to a five-defender formation, and England were able to contain the German attack.

The England manager has shown tactical versatility and intelligence in the tournament so far, and the fans will be hoping for more of the same in the semi-finals now.

Raheem Sterling has been the best player of the Euros

The Manchester City winger has been in remarkable form this summer, and he has carried England to the stage.

When the likes of Harry Kane were struggling to get on the score sheet, Sterling won matches all by himself and helped England get through the group stages.

The 26-year-old failed to score tonight, but he put in a superb performance and helped create Harry Kane’s opener.

There have been several impressive performances throughout the tournament so far, but Raheem Sterling is one of the main reasons England are in the last four of the competition.