Denmark 0, England 0 (UEFA Nations League)
England laboured to a dull 0-0 draw away to Denmark in the Nations League as Gareth Southgate’s tactical reshuffle failed to excite.Embed from Getty Images
Gareth Southgate’s side went second in the Nations League table with the point in Copenhagen after the uninspired performance with Harry Kane’s injury time chance cleared off the line.
Southgate handed two debuts to Wolves defender Conor Coady and Leeds United defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
And Jack Grealish and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s second half introduction meant that England had fielded four debutants in a non friendly match for the first time since October 1962 when Ray Charnley, Chris Crowe, Mike Hellawell, and Alan Hinton featured in a European Championship qualifier against Poland.
This was Phillips’ first England cap at any level as England made three changes from the side that narrowly beat Iceland at the weekend.
Phillips and Coady were joined in the team by Trent Alexander-Arnold as they replaced James Ward-Prowse, the suspended Kyle Walker, and Phil Foden who was sent home after a COVID 19 indiscretion in Reykjavik along with Mason Greenwood after the Iceland game.
And Alexander-Arnold was England’s best outlet early on, with Coady finding him with raking passes from defence.
But England’s 3-4-3 formation lacked enough left footed players in key areas and was missing the creativity that someone like Foden, Ward-Prowse, or Jack Grealish might have offered in midfield.
Denmark were not overawed by their visitors as they knew just where to concentrate their attacks.
Thomas Dolberg was allowed to run at England’s makeshift left sided defence with Phillips and Eric Dier eluded by the Danish forward as he struck a shot over the bar.
Martin Braithwaite juggled the ball before sending it wide while Christian Eriksen beat his old Spurs team-mate Dier to thread the ball through to Dolberg for a great chance that was parried away by Pickford.
It had also been a game of set pieces but there was little action at either end even though the home side had won more free kicks in dangerous places.
Gomez cleared from Skov while Thomas Delaney’s low shot was easy for Jordan Pickford after the break as the Danes picked up the pace.
England lack creativity but almost score with a golden chance right at the end in Denmark
The introduction of Mason Mount for the jaded Jadon Sancho after an hour added the bit of creativity that England were crying out for after Kane’s shot from an offside position was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Kane was getting closer though, and Kieran Trippier’s cross was an excellent chance for the England captain who headed over the bar after getting onto the end of it.
Sterling won a corner after Schmeichel tipped away his low shot.
Spurs’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and Rasmus Falk, replaced Brentford midfielder Oliver Norgaard, and Dolberg, while Jack Grealish finally made his entrance, replacing Phillips.
The tired Danes could have taken the lead when Eriksen blazed over with 9 minutes to go under pressure from Gomez following Yussuf Poulsen’s knockdown – a brilliant chance to take the lead from 8 yards out.
Simon Kjaer replaced Braithwaite in Denmark’s final substitution while Ainsley Maitland-Niles made it four England debutants in a game – coming on for Alexander-Arnold.
England won a couple of corners in injury time and Kane had a great chance to win it cleared off the line by ex-Huddersfield Town defender Matthias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen as both sides shared the spoils.
MATCH STATS – Denmark 0, England 0
Denmark: Schmeichel, Wass, M Jorgensen, Christensen, Skov, Norgaard (Hojbjerg 73), Eriksen, Delaney, Poulsen, Dolberg (Falk 76), Braithwaite (Kjaer 83)
Denmark Subs not used: Lossl, Ronnow, Andersen, Vestergaard, Maehle Pedersen, Jensen, Dalsgaard, Christiansen, Bruun Larsen, Cornelius
Booked: Braithwaite 52 (foul on Harry Kane)
England: Pickford, Gomez, Coady, Dier, Alexander-Arnold (Maitland-Niles 87), Rice, Phillips (Grealish 76), Trippier, Sancho (Mount 60), Kane, Sterling
England subs not used: Henderson, Pope, Mings, Keane, Ward-Prowse, Abraham, Ings
Referee: Istvan Kovacs