England 0-1 Denmark: Christian Eriksen’s penalty earns famous victory after


When the final whistle blew, there was one tiny little bright star in the England firmament. Reece James had a blinder at right-back. So, naturally, he marched up to the referee, gave him a mouthful over God knows what and was sent-off.

So that made two of them. Harry Maguire was the first. There have only been 18 dismissals in the history of England’s senior team – and 11.11 per cent of them came last night. What a shambles it was.

Not just the defeat, but its manner. Going down to ten men due to two pieces of utterly reckless play by Maguire. The penalty conceded after poor defending by Kyle Walker and confusion added to the mix, courtesy of the increasingly erratic Jordan Pickford.  

Christian Eriksen coolly dispatched from the penalty spot to give the visitors the lead against 10-men England

Christian Eriksen coolly dispatched from the penalty spot to give the visitors the lead against 10-men England

Harry Maguire was shown a red card shortly after the half-hour mark after picking up his second yellow for a follow-through

Harry Maguire was shown a red card shortly after the half-hour mark after picking up his second yellow for a follow-through

A superb reflex save from Kasper Schmeichel denied Mason Mount from scoring an equaliser for England in the second half

A superb reflex save from Kasper Schmeichel denied Mason Mount from scoring an equaliser for England in the second half

Reece James had been England's best players but was sent off after the game for confronting referee Jesus Gil Manzano

Reece James had been England’s best players but was sent off after the game for confronting referee Jesus Gil Manzano

And then the debacle at the end, James confronting referee Jesus Gil Manzano of Spain, and becoming the second man staring at a brandished red card. Gareth Southgate looked like he might have gone earlier in the game, too, when Manzano came over and gave him a stern-faced lecture. The indiscipline crept into all areas. It was a very poor night for many.

MATCH FACTS

England: Pickford, James, Coady, Maguire, Maitland-Niles (Mings 36), Walker, Rice (J Henderson 75), Phillips, Mount (Sancho 73), Rashford (Calvert-Lewin 72), Kane;

Subs not used: Pope, Saka, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Ward-Prowse, Grealish, Ings, D Henderson

Booked: Maguire, Henderson, Phillips

Sent off: Maguire (31) 

Scorers: None

Denmark: Schmeichel, Wass, Kjaer, Christensen (Jorgensen 46), Skov (Maehle 46), Delaney, Hojbjerg (Jensen 87), Poulsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite (Vestergaard 73), Dolberg (Sisto 37);

Subs not used: Billing, Dalsgaard, Gytkjaer, Lossl, Wind, Hansen

Booked: Christensen, Hojbjerg

Scorers: Eriksen (35)

And for one man in particular. Unlike James, Maguire did not even have the succour of a decent display to soften the blow of the red card. The sad reality these days is that his name appears far too often in sentences that contain the word shambles. Manchester United defensive shambles; England defensive shambles. 

And there is Maguire, the most expensive defender in the world, increasingly hapless, architect of his downfall. Bouncing onto international duty on the back of a 6-1 home defeat for Manchester United by Tottenham, Maguire was sent off here after 31 minutes in what swiftly became three minutes of game-changing calamity for England.

He didn’t start well, either, booked after just five minutes for a nasty tackle on Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen. Maguire dived in and caught Poulsen…



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