We’re heading towards the business end of the European Championship as only four teams remain in the tournament. The quarter-final stage produced some exhilarating football and none better than Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions breezing past Ukraine in a 4-0 drubbing.
All the matches from the quarter-final had plenty of storylines about them, so let’s get into them one by one.
SWITZERLAND 1-1 SPAIN (SPAIN WON 1-3 ON PENALTIES)
The match that kept us on the edge of our seats for the longest time was the first game of the quarter-finals at Saint Petersburg. Switzerland came back in this match after conceding an early own goal, with their captain Xherdan Shaqiri popping up with a crucial equaliser. Soon after equalising, the Swiss team found themselves a man down as Remo Freuler was sent off at the 77th-minute mark. From that point, it was all Spain but they couldn’t make inroads against a sturdy Swiss defence. The match eventually went to penalties and it was Luis Enrique’s men who kept their nerves to go through to the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
BELGIUM 1-2 ITALY
This was tactically the most fascinating game to analyse. It was Roberto Martinez’s world number one side Belgium up against one of the best teams of the tournament in Roberto Mancini’s Italy. The stats would suggest that it was an even game but it was Mancini’s Azzurri who were far superior when it came to the tactical battle. Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne who scored for the Italians and won them a spot in the semi-final against Spain.
CZECH REPUBLIC 1-2 DENMARK
The match between the Czech Republic and Denmark was always going to be a closely-fought encounter. It was the Danish team that opened the scoring early courtesy of a goal by Thomas Delaney in the fifth minute. Kasper Dolberg continued his good form from the Round of 16 stage and got on the scoresheet again. Then, it was Czech’s main man Patrik Schik who got them back into the game early in the second half but the Danes had already done enough to book a spot in the Wembley semi-final.
UKRAINE 0-4 ENGLAND
After a strong performance against the Germans in the Round of 16, Gareth Southgate’s England were up against a Ukraine team who could consider themselves lucky to get a spot in the final eight of the tournament. It was England’s first away match of the tournament and the pressure was on Gareth Southgate’s men to take the initiative and break down the Ukraine block. It didn’t take long for the Three Lions to open the scoring as their captain Harry Kane broke the deadlock in the fourth minute. After that, it was England’s game to lose and they controlled it really well. Kane got on the scoresheet again, with Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also chipping in with crucial goals to make it three semi-finals in three years for England under Gareth Southgate.