Jordan Henderson warns England 'haven't achieved anything yet' after reaching Euro 2020 semi-finals

·22 min read
Jordan Henderson in action during England's 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine - SHUTTERSTOCK
Jordan Henderson in action during England's 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine - SHUTTERSTOCK

Jordan Henderson was quick to stress that England "haven't achieved anything yet" after reaching a first European Championship semi-final since 1996.

Gareth Southgate's men set up a mouth-watering Wembley showdown against Denmark on Wednesday by romping to a 4-0 win against Ukraine at the Stadio Olimpico.

Henderson's first international goal wrapped up a memorable victory that England have quickly parked in order to refocus on their shot at reaching just a second ever major tournament final.

"It was a fantastic performance from start to finish," the Three Lions vice-captain said. "I thought the lads were outstanding. Overall a great night, but we haven't achieved anything yet.

"We need to quickly turn the focus, use tonight – we can still use it in a positive way tonight – but turn the focus to Denmark on Wednesday night.

"We've got momentum, we're feeling confident, but at the same time we've got to give Denmark full respect because we know they are a fantastic team. We've played them not long ago and we know how difficult that will be."

Denmark were the last side to beat England at Wembley, having capitalised on Harry Maguire's sending off to win their Uefa Nations League encounter 1-0 last October.

The Three Lions have conceded just three times in the 13 matches in all competitions that have followed, with Southgate's side becoming the first team in Euros history to start the tournament with five shut-outs.

"It's been a big part of us as a team to try and keep clean sheets, to be defensively solid," Henderson said.

"We know we have got great players going forward and we can always hurt teams in the final third with the quality that we have got.

"So defensively we were really good and [we have been] over the course of this tournament right from the front to the keeper.

"That's really important and we need to keep that going in the next game because Denmark pose a very good threat going forward, have scored some good goals.

"So we need to be 100 per cent again defensively on Wednesday and, if we do that, we give ourselves a chance."

Henderson highlighted the collective effort from all connected to the team for getting England to a third semi-final under Southgate, who has fostered a strong bond within this group.

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"He's created a great togetherness within the team and the group," he said. "He gives the senior players and the [younger] players a lot of responsibility to feel as though they can help not only when they are on the pitch but off the pitch.

"He has a good relationship with the players and he's created a fantastic environment for us to go and work.

"But also tactically, with him and Steve [Holland] as well and the other coaches, the amount of work they put in on the training pitch to make sure we are set up correctly for whoever we are playing, whatever formation that may be... the work that goes in to set-plays and things as well.

"There's a lot of work and a lot of details that the coaches and the gaffer go into, but you get your rewards for that and we've seen that in the last few weeks and obviously in the last World Cup as well.

"We are progressing, we are getting better as a team, we still haven't achieved anything yet so we need to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game and that's the most important one.

"There's a big game coming up on Wednesday and all the focus will be on that to try and get into the final."

Asked if Southgate gets the credit he deserves, Henderson said: "You tell me! From the players he certainly gets the respect and the credit. From the outside I think he does. He's well liked from the fans. That's my opinion.

"People take to him very well, he's a good man manager and has a brilliant relationship with the players.

"He tries to speak to the players even if maybe you are not playing as much or are not in the squad and that helps us as players mentally to keep our focus and stay present and be ready for when your chance comes.

"So, yeah, he gets full respect definitely from within and I am sure he does from the outside as well."

PA

02:45 PM

That's all for now

... but we'll be back tomorrow with another Euro 2020 live blog in the run-up to the semi-finals.

We'll leave you with some of the best goals of the quarters. Harry Kane's unlucky not to feature, mind.

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02:30 PM

Hojbjerg's tears

... were the defining image of Denmark's win in Baku.

Whatever happens next Wednesday, their Euro 2020 campaign will never be forgotten.

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02:15 PM

Hjulmand 'still thinking of Christian every single day'

Following his side's quarter-final win against the Czech Republic, Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has said that Christian Eriksen is still constantly in his thoughts.

"I definitely feel it," he said. "The whole world of football understood that second [when Eriksen collapsed], and the days after, the fundamental things in life and in football. The fundamental values of football came through right at that moment.

"There are so many other agendas in football, but we all remembered why we started to play football, what values football is based on and we had a reminder of this.

"I am still thinking of Christian every single day. He should have been here.

"We are happy that he survived. We carry him all the way to this match and all the way to Wembley. I think about him all of the time.

"We all understood maybe that the values of football came through – and maybe we are a symbol of it. I could not be more happy than that.

"The team showed it without being told: 'This is the way you should act'.

"It was just unbelievable to see this team, how the reaction was, how much compassion and love they gave each other, but also the Danish population.

"We are just happy and proud we can maybe just remind ourselves why we love football and what football can do in the world."

Kasper Hjulmand has said his players will 'carry' Christian Eriksen with them to Wembley - AFP
Kasper Hjulmand has said his players will 'carry' Christian Eriksen with them to Wembley - AFP

02:00 PM

Trippier thanks fans

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01:50 PM

Milestone for Southgate

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01:40 PM

Henderson delighted with first England goal

Having scored at international level for the first time on his 62nd appearance for England last night, the Liverpool captain has every right to savour the moment.

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01:30 PM

Grealish grateful to Shevchenko

... after the Ukraine boss congratulated him magnanimously at the final whistle.

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01:15 PM

Carragher on Maguire

"The first time I saw and heard Harry Maguire, I rushed to an immediate, positive judgement: 'You can tell he is a good lad.' There is something about Maguire which is instantly relatable and likeable, whether it is the honesty and courage with which he plays, or the down-to-earth demeanour he has off the pitch."

After another massive performance against Ukraine last night, Maguire is shaping up to be one of the stars of the tournament. Here's Jamie Carragher on why the Manchester United man is invaluable to England.

Harry Maguire has started three of England's five games at Euro 2020, having returned from injury - SHUTTERSTOCK
Harry Maguire has started three of England's five games at Euro 2020, having returned from injury - SHUTTERSTOCK

01:00 PM

Tactical analysis of Denmark

"The traumatic sight of Christian Eriksen's collapse in Denmark's first game, and the subsequent relief when he survived, has imbued this team with a powerful sense of purpose. It would be reductive in the extreme, though, to describe Kasper Hjulmand's side as one driven purely by emotion. Denmark are powerful, flexible, organised and dangerous. England must be wary..."

Here's Sam Dean on what Gareth Southgate's men can expect when they face the Danes next Wednesday.

Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney punches the air after scoring against the Czech Republic - GETTY IMAGES
Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney punches the air after scoring against the Czech Republic - GETTY IMAGES

12:50 PM

England's win in pictures

Want to bask in the warm glow of England fans' post-match elation?

Here are the 15 best photos of supporters celebrating from London to Newcastle via Manchester and Rome.

England fans go into raptures in Newcastle - REUTERS
England fans go into raptures in Newcastle - REUTERS

12:40 PM

Exorcising the ghosts of the past

"'This time.' Those two words capture the essence of what it has meant to follow England in the 55 years since their one and only major final. It has become the definition of false hope, of the blind faith that this time, everything will work out beautifully, despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary. Now, though, the temptation to be a hostage to fortune is growing irresistible..."

Here's our chief sports writer Oliver Brown on how England can shake off their semi-final curse at Euro 2020.

England are odds-on to reach their first major final since 1966 - AP
England are odds-on to reach their first major final since 1966 - AP

12:25 PM

Sterling looking forward to Wembley return

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12:15 PM

Another good stat

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12:00 PM

Where it all began

They've chosen a cheeky picture for Kane here, it must be said.

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11:50 AM

Kane says England had 'perfect night' in Rome

Speaking after the match, Kane added that England were "on the right track" and praised Gareth Southgate for the "calmness" he's brought to the squad as a whole.

11:40 AM

Encouraging stat

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11:25 AM

Ferdinand analyses the analysts

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11:15 AM

Shaw and Sterling the difference

While Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson got the goals in Rome last night, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling were essential to England's win.

Here's Jason Burt on how their creative instincts changed the game.

Raheem Sterling takes on Andriy Yarmolenko - GETTY IMAGES
Raheem Sterling takes on Andriy Yarmolenko - GETTY IMAGES

11:00 AM

Time to get excited?

"Astonishingly some people are still moaning. Jack Grealish should have played, England attacked too slowly, Ukraine aren't very good, there were too many headers, the kit's too white, the boots are too colourful, it's not as fun as we'd thought it would be. Seriously now. If you can't enjoy this England run yet then maybe it's time to give rugby a try?"

Here's our senior sports writer Thom Gibbs on why it's time for England fans to give in to giddiness.

England fans in the stands at the Stadio Olimpico - PA
England fans in the stands at the Stadio Olimpico - PA

10:55 AM

Despair in Prague

... meanwhile, this was the vibe in the Czech Republic last night.

A Czech fan looks on in disbelief as his team exit the tournament - SHUTTERSTOCK
A Czech fan looks on in disbelief as his team exit the tournament - SHUTTERSTOCK

10:45 AM

Joy in Copenhagen

England fans weren't the only ones who went utterly ballistic yesterday.

It was raining beer in Copenhagen at full time of Denmark's triumph against the Czechs.

It's a miracle! A lager-soaked miracle! - GETTY IMAGES
It's a miracle! A lager-soaked miracle! - GETTY IMAGES

10:40 AM

Neville calls for Saka to return against Denmark

Bukayo Saka was left out of the squad to face Ukraine with a knock but, after bright performances against the Czech Republic and Germany, Gary Neville won't be the only one hoping he makes a comeback next week.

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10:30 AM

Wright on 'trust' for Southgate

Speaking on ITV, Ian Wright has reserved high praise for Gareth Southgate and the way he's managed England's Euro 2020 campaign so far.

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10:15 AM

So, when is the football back on?

The first of Euro 2020's semi-finals takes place next Tuesday, with Italy kicking off against Spain at 8pm.

England take on Denmark on Wednesday, also at 8pm. We've got everything else you need to know about the England game right here.

10:00 AM

Denmark's path to the semi-finals

Having overcome Ukraine, England now face a tough semi-final opponent in Denmark.

Want to know how the Danes made it this far? Here's Sam Dean's report from their 2-1 quarter-final win against the Czech Republic in Baku.

Denmark players celebrate after beating the Czech Republic - GETTY IMAGES
Denmark players celebrate after beating the Czech Republic - GETTY IMAGES

09:35 AM

Over 20 million watch England win

According to the latest figures from the BBC, England pulled in a peak TV audience of 20.9m and 81.8 per cent of available viewers last night.

That means the game goes down as the most-watched live TV event of the year. It also received 5.2m live streams across BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online so, all in all, it's fair to say it got a decent viewership.

09:25 AM

'Something special is happening'

In the aftermath of England's quarter-final win, ex-players, legendary managers and pundits have given their thoughts on what makes this team so special.

From Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand to Roberto Carlos and Arsene Wenger, here's how the world of football has reacted to England reaching the semis.

Jordan Henderson is mobbed by his team-mates after making it 4-0 to England - GETTY IMAGES
Jordan Henderson is mobbed by his team-mates after making it 4-0 to England - GETTY IMAGES

09:15 AM

Kane on his way to breaking Lineker's record

"Those who have doubted Harry Kane should have learned their lesson long ago. But surely now the country will collectively promise to take a minute to remember nights like this one in Rome before wondering whether or not he might have lost his mojo – and the numbers would suggest things are about to get even better for England's captain..."

Here's Matt Law on why Kane finding form could be bad news – and good news, likewise – for Gary Lineker.

Kane is closing in on a new individual accolade - SHUTTERSTOCK
Kane is closing in on a new individual accolade - SHUTTERSTOCK

09:05 AM

Player ratings

Want to know how we rated each individual performance last night?

Here's Sam Dean's verdict. Luke Shaw and Harry Kane will be pleased.

Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game - SHUTTERSTOCK
Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game - SHUTTERSTOCK

08:50 AM

Morning round-up

Unsurprisingly, given the magnitude of yesterday's result, we've got a lot of England features to share this morning.

First up, why not read about how Jadon Sancho made the most of his first start at Euro 2020? It's one for the Manchester United fans, this.

Jadon Sancho leaves the entire Ukraine team in his wake - GETTY IMAGES
Jadon Sancho leaves the entire Ukraine team in his wake - GETTY IMAGES

08:45 AM

Maddison lauds Southgate

Old friend Neil Maddison has praised Gareth Southgate's man management after watching him guide England into the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Maddison took his coaching badges alongside Southgate and has been hugely impressed with how he has shaped his squad, which powered its way into the last four with an impressive 4-0 victory over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday evening.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I just think his decisions have been really good. No one expected Jadon Sancho to start – I didn't expect him to start – but what a brave decision it was, and it was the correct decision.

"I just think he's got a group of players that are going to work hard for him and they understand him.

"He was a player and he understands how players want to be treated and they understand what they're going to give back to the manager, and you can see it on the pitch. They were just ready for it."

England will now face Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday evening with the prize of a return for the final four days later up for grabs, having laid down a significant marker.

Maddison said: "They just got on with their job, they did it to the best of their ability and, for me, it was one of the stand-out performances of an international side that I've seen in a long time.

"Now we find ourselves in a major competition in the semi-finals at home at Wembley, 60,000 fans there. Roll on Wednesday."

PA

Southgate has been widely credited for the relationship he has built with his players - PA
Southgate has been widely credited for the relationship he has built with his players - PA

08:35 AM

For balance

... here's the Ukrainian perspective. There's always next time, lads.

Ukraine supporters struggle to hide their disappointment - SHUTTERSTOCK
Ukraine supporters struggle to hide their disappointment - SHUTTERSTOCK

08:30 AM

Madness in Manchester

... there are photos like this from all round the country but, sadly, we can't share them all.

England fans enjoy celebratory piggybacks - GETTY IMAGES
England fans enjoy celebratory piggybacks - GETTY IMAGES

08:15 AM

Mount 'ready for battle' against Denmark

Mason Mount is looking forward to returning to the "lion's den" of Wembley Stadium as England prepare to face Denmark in their first European Championship semi-final for 25 years.

England flew back to London late on Saturday night following their convincing 4-0 quarter-final victory over Ukraine in Rome with Mount having returned to the team after enduring 10 days of self-isolation following his close contact with Scotland's Billy Gilmour.

The midfielder said he and team-mate Ben Chilwell had "stayed strong" during that frustrating time with England now two games away from their goal of winning a major tournament for only the second time and the first since 1966.

The tie in Rome will be their only game away from home and Mount said he is relishing the contest against Denmark.

"It is unbelievable to play at Wembley and all our group games and the Germany game [in the last 16] were special, special games to be involved in," the 22-year-old said. "I was on the bench and now it is a semi-final at Wembley and hopefully we can get to the final. That has always been our goal from the start and has been our focus.

"It will be a special day and there will be a few more fans there as well to create the atmosphere. You are in the lion's den and you have to come and perform. We are obviously going to try and give our best."

Mount revealed that Gareth Southgate had told the players after beating Ukraine that they have to now "go and win the [semi-final] game and then go into the final". Mount added: "We had a goal at the start of the tournament and we're still pushing towards that. This is another step in the right direction."

Denmark will be difficult opponents and beat England in the Nations League last October, when Harry Maguire was sent off. "We played them not long ago, we know what they're about so every game is going to be tough, you're in a semi-final so you have to bring everything. Just like they will, they'll be passionate, we have to be ready for the battle. That's what we have to do now," Mount said.

He brushed aside England's disappointing record in semi-finals, with the Three Lions having lost their last four: in the World Cups in 1990 and 2018 and at the Euros in 1968 and 1996. "This whole tournament, there has always been talk of what has happened in the past and I think in this group and the boys we have, the boys have not looked back at all," Mount said.

"We are just trying to look forward and create our own history and keep playing to the level we know we can and try and win as many games as we can by the way we play."

Mount also spoke of his frustration at missing out against the Czech Republic and not featuring against Germany after coming into close contact with Chelsea team-mate Gilmour, who later tested positive for coronavirus, following England's group game against Scotland.

"It's been frustrating," Mount said. "We [he and Chilwell] had to stay strong, look at the bigger picture and focus on when we could come out of the isolation and what we can do and, as I said before, the goal of this whole tournament.

"It would have been easy to push us aside – not have us involved for 10 days – but we were in all of the meetings virtually through Zoom, we were in the meetings, we were involved in all the info going into games even though we weren't involved.

"That was good to still be there, get the info, understand what the boys were doing and we watched the game, supported them from inside our rooms.

"When you're in that situation, it's frustrating but you have to keep focused…we all want to win this tournament and if we're going to do that, we have to do it together."

Jason Burt

Mason Mount made an impressive comeback against Ukraine - SHUTTERSTOCK
Mason Mount made an impressive comeback against Ukraine - SHUTTERSTOCK

08:05 AM

Good vibes only

... excellent badge kiss, that. 10/10.

There's a World in Motion joke to be made here if someone could be bothered - GETTY IMAGES
There's a World in Motion joke to be made here if someone could be bothered - GETTY IMAGES

07:55 AM

Party in Trafalgar Square

... where hundreds of fans gathered to watch the game.

England supporters get an atmosphere going - PA
England supporters get an atmosphere going - PA

07:50 AM

Flying cans

... were sighted in this particular fan zone.

Wahey! - REUTERS
Wahey! - REUTERS

07:45 AM

Scenes in Rome

... as England fans poured out of the Stadio Olimpico on a wave of euphoria.

What are the odds this man is singing Football's Coming Home? - GETTY IMAGES
What are the odds this man is singing Football's Coming Home? - GETTY IMAGES

07:35 AM

England fans celebrate

... in Piccadilly Circus, with the obligatory hijacked traffic cone just out of shot.

Fans get the party started in central London - GETTY IMAGES
Fans get the party started in central London - GETTY IMAGES

07:25 AM

Southgate urges England 'to make history'

England coach Gareth Southgate said it was the spirit of the whole group that set his team apart as they booked a spot in the Euro 2020 semi-finals with a 4-0 win over Ukraine on Saturday.

Two goals from Harry Kane and headers from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson saw England through to the last four of a Euros for the first time in 25 years, with Southgate hailing his side's collective attitude as the reason for their progression.

"We gave a fantastic performance, not only the players that started, but the players who came on and kept the momentum going," Southgate told a news conference.

"I am also actually thinking about the players who I left out of the squad and who didn't get on the pitch.

"They have been such a massive part of what we are doing. It is so difficult to keep a group of this size involved, happy, feeling valued. And yet those guys have been phenomenal in how they have sacrificed themselves for the group.

"We are in the semi-finals because of that spirit. Of course the quality of our play is important, but I have seen lots of nations go out because they don't have the spirit of these boys."

Up next for England is a clash on Wednesday at Wembley with Denmark who beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on Saturday.

The Danes have had an emotional tournament in the aftermath of Christian Eriksen's on-field cardiac arrest, and Southgate is aware of their quality and togetherness after the midfielder's harrowing experience.

"We know what a good side Denmark are and they have proved that in this tournament," Southgate added. "They are riding a wave of emotion with what happened with Christian as well.

"It will be a fantastic game to be a part of. We have more experience of those kind of games as a group and individually the players have experience of those games too [from club level], so we've got to use that on Wednesday night."

The prize on offer is a first European Championship final appearance for England, and a second in major tournaments.

"We still have a long way to go," said Southgate. "Before the end of tonight's game I was already thinking about the next challenge.

"That's the one for us, we have never been to a European Championship final, and it is another opportunity for us to make history."

Reuters

Gareth Southgate shows his appreciation to the England fans in Rome - PA
Gareth Southgate shows his appreciation to the England fans in Rome - PA