Denmark’s Euro 2020 campaign got off to a most shocking and scary start when Christian Eriksen suffered a heart attack on the pitch with the whole world watching, but they have recovered beautifully from that traumatic event to put together a most magical run that’s beginning to border that of 1992, when they won it all as a last-minute replacement team (for Yugoslavia).
Standing between the Danes and the final are England, who themselves are threatening to put something magical together, having reached the semifinals of this competition or the first time since 1996. England have yet to lose or even concede a goal in this tournament, and in the previous round, put four past a hapless Ukraine. With Harry Kane firing once again, the Three Lions are surely favorites to progress from Wednesday’s semifinal.
Not if Andreas Christensen has anything to say about that!
“I feel like we have the qualities to play against everyone. As a team, I would not say they are that much better.
“We know [Kane’s] qualities and everyone has an idea of what we can do to stop him. [Spurs teammate] Pierre-Emile [Højbjerg] also knows him and it may be that he can share some things.
“All players have their habits and we must take advantage of them. He is good with his feet and he is one of the best finishers in football. I react a lot on instinct. He is very big, so it is hard to get into his body, but he also has great qualities with his feet, so you should not get too close either.”
-Andreas Christensen; source: Guardian
Christensen has had a very good 2021, for both club and country, and certainly turned some heads with his piledriver of a goal against Russia earlier in the tournament. But it’s his defensive work that’s been truly impressive, whether in a back-three for Chelsea (center or center-right), a back-two for Denmark, or on a man-marking assignment such as against Wales’ Aaron Ramsey. (Which is why it’s imperative that we sign him to a new contract, especially with just a year left on his current deal.)
Of course, stopping Harry Kane is just part of the equation for beating England, but it’s certainly a big part of it. And as much as England’s run has galvanized a nation, Denmark still have the better “story”.
Written in the stars?