Harry Kane returned to goalscoring form with a stunning brace as England registered a 4-0 win over Ukraine to reach the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-finals.
England advanced to the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship after securing a commanding 4-0 win over Ukraine in the quarter-final in Rome. It was a dominating performance from the Three Lions, who were playing their only away game of the tournament. They are now set to return to Wembley, locking horns with Denmark, who had beaten the Czech Republic in Baku earlier in the day.
It was not a fascinating game to watch by any means as both sides embraced a cautious approach. Ukraine, in particular, did not take any risks at all, allowing England to rotate possession at will despite conceding a very early goal from Harry Kane. It turned out to be a costly mistake for Andriy Shevchenko as Gareth Southgate’s men slowly started to impose their dominance on the proceedings.
Ukraine’s shoddy defensive work did not help either, with the Three Lions eventually doubling their lead in the 46th minute. It was scored by Harry Maguire just a few minutes before Kane doubled his own tally, giving England the third and moving one step closer to the semi-finals.
The Ukrainians did not provide anything much in response. They were unable to craft goalscoring opportunities, amassing only two shots on target. It was not a good look for Shevchenko’s men, whose fate was sealed when substitute Jordan Henderson netted England’s fourth in the 63rd minute, once again through a set-piece.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the England and Ukraine players in this quarter-final affair in Rome, as the Three Lions continue their march in the tournament.
Jordan Pickford: 7/10
Jordan Pickford did not have a lot to do as Ukraine struggled to produce too much going forward. He still looked composed in between the sticks, imposing his authority throughout the course of the game. He did make a late save to deny Evgeny Makarenko from long-range, thus keeping yet another clean sheet. Five in a row for him in this tournament.
Jordan Pickford is only the second England goalkeeper in Three Lions’ history to keep seven consecutive clean sheets. 🤯
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) July 3, 2021
Kyle Walker: 8/10
The absence of a proper wing-back saw Kyle Walker feature in a versatile role on the right. He was given the freedom to venture forward, occasionally linking up with well Jadon Sancho out wide. He was defensively solid as well, barely offering an opening for the likes of Vitaliy Mykolenko and Manchester City teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko, other than a potentially costly mistake in the first half.
John Stones: 7.5/10
John Stones produced a decent display at the heart of England’s shifting back four. He was confident in possession, spreading the ball around with no real pressure. Defensively, the Manchester City centre-back had one or two problems dealing with Roman Yaremchuk but got better as the game progressed.
Harry Maguire: 9/10
Harry Maguire was one of the best performers for England, putting in a defensive masterclass at the heart of the backline. He was almost faultless during defensive phases, keeping Andriy Yarmolenko quiet while offering excellent security in possession. The Manchester United captain was a threat on the opposite end as well, notably netting England’s third goal of the night.
Luke Shaw: 10/10
Luke Shaw is a strong Man of the Match candidate in this dominating display for England. Starting at left-back, he was a constant threat for the Ukrainian defence, making marauding runs forward while linking up well with Raheem Sterling out wide. Unsurprisingly, the left-back picked up two assists, including the excellent set-piece delivery to feed Maguire for the second goal.
Only two English players have provided 3+ assists at a single European Championship tournament:
David Beckham (2000)
Luke Shaw (2020)
Pinpoint delivery. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/UxGQSvA4Ct
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) July 3, 2021
Kalvin Phillips: 8/10
Kalvin Phillips fared well in the middle of the park. He made good movements, offering himself as a secure passing option during the build-up. The Leeds United star also covered the marauding Walker, at times, shifting down to the right hand side. It was yet another masterful performance from the Englishman, who continues to shine in the tournament.
Declan Rice: 8/10
Declan Rice played a very efficient role in the holding midfield position. His defensive awareness made it extremely difficult for Ukraine to play their usual game by overloading the final third. However, the youngster was taken off early, with Gareth Southgate instead opting for Jordan Henderson during the final phase of the proceedings.
Jadon Sancho: 7.5/10
Jadon Sancho once again became the hot topic for England heading into this game – this time for starting the match against Ukraine. Operating on the right flank, the newly-joined Manchester United forward exciting movements, allowing Walker to make overlapping runs out wide. Linked up well with Mason Mount as well but was unable to find the back of the net.
Jadon Sancho starts and England score more than 2 goals in a match for the first time in the whole tournament. Noted. ✍️
— Ryan. 🔰 (@Vintage_Utd) July 3, 2021
Mason Mount: 7.5/10
Mason Mount linked up well with almost all of his teammates. However, he wasn’t as effective as some of his other teammates, with the Chelsea playmaker seemingly rather quiet at times. He does deserve credit for his work rate, especially in the first line of press that made it difficult for Ukraine to transition further up the park. Not to mention, he provided the assist for Henderson’s goal in the second half.
Raheem Sterling: 8.5/10
Raheem Sterling once again produced an impressive display on the left-hand side of the England attack. He always looked to probe the opposition defence, making life difficult for Oleksandr Karavaev and Ilya Zabarnyi. Not to mention, the Manchester City star produced an outrageous through pass to set up Harry Kane for the early opener.
Harry Kane: 9/10
Harry Kane looked much more lively than he had so far in the tournament. He was willing to get on the end of chances, opening his account in the third minute, thanks to Sterling. The Tottenham forward was indeed an asset for England inside the box, allowing the Three Lions to express themselves outside the area.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 3, 2021
Jordan Henderson: 8/10
Jordan Henderson replaced Rice around the hour mark. It was a move that paid off extremely well, as the Liverpool midfielder ended up scoring his first goal for England with a thumping header in the 63rd minute. Offered leadership during the final phase of the game, helping his side retain their dominance.
Kieran Trippier: 7/10
Kieran Trippier offered the relentless presence on the right-hand side. His marauding runs on the far side helped England continue to pressurise the Ukraine defence.
Jude Bellingham: 7/10
Jude Bellingham replaced Phillips in the 65th minute, offering a lot of energy and vigour in the middle third. The youngster looked particularly composed in possession as well.
Marcus Rashford: 7/10
Marcus Rashford added more freshness to the England attack after replacing Sterling in the 65th minute. It was a sensible switch from Southgate, although the forward did not make too much of an impact.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 7/10
A late replacement for star man Kane, adding even more physical presence inside the box for the Three Lions.
Georgiy Bushchan: 6/10
Georgiy Bushchan could not have done too much to prevent England from unleashing an onslaught, but he was certainly beaten a bit too easily by Kane for the opening goal. The goalkeeper did make a few saves in the game, notably denying Kane in the second half.
Illya Zabarnyi: 4/10
Illya Zabarnyi was awful on the right side of the defence, failing to keep track of Sterling’s through pass early on. He had difficulties keeping up with the Manchester City winger, struggling for the most part in this game.
Ukraine 0-1 England
What a ball! What a start for England!
Sterling sliding in a through ball for Kane who continues poking home from close range.
Sterling takes on Ukraine's Illya Zabarnyi
England keeper Jordan Pickford saves well from Roman Yaremchuk pic.twitter.com/qP6AIVAIvR
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) July 3, 2021
Serhiy Kryvtsov: 5/10
Serhiy Kryvtsov was brought in to provide cover against the English attack. Unfortunately, his night was cut short after the defender picked up an early injury. He was subbed off in the 36th minute.
Mykola Matviyenko: 2/10
Mykola Matviyenko was perhaps the worst performing defender for Ukraine. The Dynamo Kyiv centre-back offered no resistance whatsoever, finding it difficult to keep up with the opposition pressure. Showcased very ordinary defending, especially from set pieces.
Oleksandr Karavaev: 3/10
Another Ukraine player who produced a disappointing defensive performance, Oleksandr Karavaev, was way too vulnerable out wide. He allowed Shaw to make overlapping runs behind the backline, causing the Ukrainian defence to stumble on multiple occasions.
Mykola Shaparenko: 4/10
Mykola Shaparenko struggled to impose his presence in midfield without much possession. It is a glaring weakness in his game, and it was pretty much evident against England.
Serhiy Sydorchuk: 5/10
Sergiy Sydorchuk did not offer enough resistance in the holding midfield role. He was unfortunate not to receive optimum support from fellow midfielders but could have used his experience to break down the channels.
so apparently malinovskyi is injured? not great timing for a match where suddenly #ukr are gonna have a lot of the ball
— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) July 3, 2021
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 4/10
It was a disappointing performance from Oleksandr Zinchenko, to say the least. The Manchester City star did not offer any creativity going forward while looking vulnerable in possession. He was dispossessed on multiple occasions, sometimes even by his Manchester City teammate Walker.
Vitaliy Mykolenko: 4/10
Vitaliy Mykolenko did not offer any inspiration either, spending the majority of the game defending the threat of Sancho. He also had to be careful of the marauding runs from Walker.
Andriy Yarmolenko: 3/10
Andriy Yarmolenko was the biggest disappointment for Ukraine. After enjoying an excellent tournament, the winger stuttered big time against England. He was unable to craft goalscoring opportunities while being dispossessed far too easily. It was not a good look for the West Ham star, whose disappearance in big matches was already well-documented.
Yarmolenko was not having any of it 💀 pic.twitter.com/fR1gNyZqZZ
— Marta (@MartaMariaFCB) July 3, 2021
Roman Yaremchuk: 6.5/10
Roman Yaremchuk was by far the best performer for Ukraine in this game. The dynamic forward tried to cause problems for the English defence with his sharp movement, even managing to get behind the lines on a few occasions. Unfortunately, he simply was not given enough support, especially by Yarmolenko on the right.
Viktor Sygankov: 5/10
Viktor Sygankov replaced the injured Kryvtsov in the 36th minute. He added the attacking firepower, allowing Yaremchuk to operate as an out and out number nine. He did try his best to break down the lines of the opposition but lacked the quality to do so.
Evgeny Makarenko: 6/10
Evgeny Makarenko replaced Sydorchuk in the 64th minute. The midfielder did well to probe the English defence, even forcing a good save from Pickford. He certainly should have started the game or introduced much earlier.