Gareth Southgate’s side failed to take the opportunity to qualify for the Euro 2024 knockout stage and produced a poor display while they did so, too. Check out the best facts from the game with our Denmark vs England stats page.

Below-par England performances have been a consistent feature of their major-tournament history, but after coming into their second game of Euro 2024 with the chance to secure top spot in their group, England produced a display so disappointing few could have foreseen it.

A draw against a very good and grossly underrated Denmark side is hardly a devastating result, and still leaves England two points clear at the top of Group C, but the manner of this performance was extremely concerning.

After Serbia had earlier on Thursday earned a 1-1 draw with Slovenia with a last-gasp equaliser, England came into this game knowing that a win would see them qualify as group winners after only two games.

Manager Gareth Southgate chose to ignore the clamour to ring the changes and instead, in his 97th game in charge of England, named an unchanged starting XI for just a fifth time. Each of the previous four occasions had come at the World Cup (twice in 2018 & twice in 2022).

The early indications were that his players were going to repay his faith.

England started on the front foot, dominating the ball and pressing high up the pitch when the opportunities presented themselves. Twice in the game’s early stages, they created openings after regaining possession in the final third, and the second of those opportunities led to a goal.

Kyle Walker charged forward after Jude Bellingham’s overhit pass down the right wing and caught Denmark left-back Victor Kristiansen, who had no idea what was behind him, by surprise, nicking the ball from his opponent and running clear into the box. Walker cut the ball back and, via a couple of deflections, found Harry Kane, who slotted into the corner of the net.

With that goal, England’s record scorer became only the third player to find the net in four separate major tournaments for England (Euro 2020 and 2024, and the 2018 and 2022 World Cups), after Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, and the first England player to score 5+ goals at both the Euros and the World Cup.

It was his first goal of Euro 2024 but his 50th for club and country in 2023-24, following an extraordinary debut season in Germany with Bayern Munich.

But all too predictably, England went into their shell, and only led for 16 minutes.

A criticism of Southgate throughout his England tenure has been his approach after taking leads in big games. Yet again, they made little effort to push for a second goal and they were punished in brutal fashion.

Kane played a blind pass across the pitch inside his own half, which Kristensen collected gratefully. He found Morten Hjulmand, who fizzed an unstoppable effort from way outside the box low, and off the inside of the post into the net.

The goal meant 13 goals have already been scored at Euro 2024 from outside the penalty area – accounting for 28.3% of the goals so far, up from 13.4% at Euro 2020.

England had shown little ambition to build on their lead. By the point of that Denmark equaliser, Southgate’s side had had just four touches in the opposition’s box.

The sides went in level at half-time, but there was a justified feeling of concern around another underwhelming attacking performance on England’s part.

Southgate again stuck with the same 11 players at the start of the second half, but there was a hint of an admission that things weren’t quite going to plan when, after just nine minutes, he withdrew Trent Alexander-Arnold and replaced him with a natural central midfielder in Conor Gallagher.

But even that change didn’t solve England’s problems in possession. They weren’t helped by a terrible pitch that was breaking up and causing players on both sides to slip over all night, but they looked terribly disjointed and were once again incoherent in attack. From Kane’s goal after 18 minutes until the 69th minute – when Southgate substituted his entire front three – England created chances worth just 0.34 xG.

England again struggled to created much down their left flank, with Phil Foden starting there once more but drifting into central areas and right-footed left-back Kieran Trippier again unable to provide attacking width. The vast majority of England’s attacking touches came down their right side, where Bukayo Saka was significantly more threatening, but still way off his best.

England attacking thirds v Denmark

The England manager was clearly as unhappy as large swathes of the fans in the stands with how things were playing out, pulling Kane, Foden and Saka off, and replacing them with Jarrod Bowen, Ollie Watkins and Eberechi Eze. Kane left the pitch with a goal but having only touched the ball 22 times all game.

Harry Kane touches vs Denmark

But if the problem before those changes was that England’s attackers looked as though they had never played together, the issue now was that they had almost no experience alongside one another. Before this game, Bowen, Watkins and Eze had been spent just 61 minutes on the pitch together.

It was instead Denmark who were by far the more threatening side in the game’s latter stages, with Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg going closest to finding a winner. On one occasion he forced Jordan Pickford into a save low down at his near post, and on another he flashed a fierce effort just wide of the post. Substitute Mikkel Damsgaard also drew a save from Pickford.

England, meanwhile, had just one shot between that 69th-minute triple change and full-time. Watkins only saw enough of the ball to attempt a single pass. That pass didn’t even find its target.

Their lack of joined-up thinking in attack was epitomised by the decision to bring Pickford forward to launch a couple of free-kicks on halfway hopefully into the Denmark penalty area. Neither came to anything.

England gained a point that puts them in a strong position to win the group, but they will want to leave this desperate performance behind them. There’ll need to be a huge improvement against Slovenia next Tuesday.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Denmark vs England stats from their Euro 2024 Group C clash at Frankfurt Arena in Germany.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Denmark vs England: Post-Match Facts

  • Pierre Højbjerg attempted 5 shots in this game, the joint-highest total for a Denmark player in Euro 2024.
  • England have won just two of their last eight competitive meetings with Denmark (D4 L2), having won each of their first four such games against them.
  • There have been 13 goals scored from outside the box at EURO 2024, already more than there were in the entire group stages of the previous tournament at EURO 2020 (12).
  • Harry Kane became the third man to score at four different major international tournaments for England, along with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.
  • Harry Kane’s opener was his fifth goal at the UEFA European Championship, becoming the first England player and eighth player overall to score 5+ goals at both the men’s FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship.
  • Denmark’s leveller was England’s eighth goal conceded from outside the box at the UEFA European Championship. No side has conceded more on record in the history of the competition (since 1980, Portugal also 8).
  • Morten Hjulmand’s equaliser was his first goal for Denmark (9th appearance). It was also Denmark’s ninth goal from outside the box at the UEFA European Championship, with only three teams netting more on record (since 1980 – Germany 15, Netherlands 12, France 11).
  • No player created more chances (3) or played more line-breaking passes in the final third (5) for England against Denmark than Trent Alexander-Arnold, despite him being subbed off in the 54th minute.
  • Denmark have won just one of their last 10 group stage games at major international tournaments (EURO/World Cup), beating Russia 4-1 on MD3 in EURO 2020 (D5 L4).

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