Denmark and Slovenia fail to frighten England despite Christian Eriksen efforts

Denmark and Slovenia fail to frighten England despite Christian Eriksen efforts

A draw between Denmark and Slovenia was always going to be the ideal result for England, but when Gareth Southgate watches this match back he will be filled with even more confidence his side will top their group.

On the basis of Sunday, neither Denmark nor Slovenia should give England too much to worry about — especially if Southgate's men are able to recreate their first-half performance from last night's win over Serbia.

England have history with Denmark, who they face next on Thursday, but this is not the same side they squeezed past in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

The Danes finished bottom of their group at the World Cup in Qatar and manager Kasper Hjulmand has been searching for answers ever since.

He used more than 30 players during qualification for this Euros, but it is the familiar face of Christian Eriksen that England will be most worried about.


The midfielder was the best player on the pitch yesterday, scoring the opening goal. It was an emotional afternoon for Eriksen, who collapsed on the pitch during the last Euros three years ago in Denmark's opener, against Finland.

The 32-year-old has since been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and he marked his return to this stage in style.

Eriksen was directly involved in 12 shots for Denmark against Slovenia (five shots, seven chances created), which was the most by a midfielder in a game at the Euros since Mesut Ozil for Germany against Greece in 2012.

"This time at the Euros, my story is very different to last time," said Eriksen. "I had in mind that I've never scored at a Euros, but there was nothing but football on my mind. I was just happy to help the team with my goal."

It was a brilliant goal, too, with Eriksen ghosting in to latch onto striker Jonas Wind's flick. With one touch, Eriksen chested down the ball before swiftly firing it into the bottom corner. In a rigid 3-4-1-2, Eriksen has the freedom to roam as Denmark's No10. He got into pockets of space and England will need to be wary about not leaving Declan Rice with too much to do in that area.

Benjamin Sesko, of interes to Arsenal and Chelsea, looks a real threat despite feeding off scraps

Powerful strikers Rasmus Hojlund and Wind give Eriksen a focal point to play off, while Morten Hjulmand and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg provide a solid base behind him.

Left wing-back Victor Kristiansen caused Slovenia problems with his pace, but England will be pleased by the lack of speed in Denmark's back-three.

Physically, the trio of Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard and Joachim Andersen were imposing, but Slovenia had some joy in behind them when they got the ball forward quickly. Slovenia, who equalised through Erik Janza in the 77th minute, acquitted themselves well, given this was their first appearance at a Euros since 2000.

Striker Benjamin Sesko, who turned down Arsenal and Chelsea to sign a new contract with RB Leipzig last week, looks a real threat. He fed off scraps, but still hit the post and fizzed another strike just wide. Both efforts were from outside the box and are evidence of how the 21-year-old will shoot on sight.

Sesko is the star of Slovenia's team, but it was in defence that they caught the eye. Atletico Madrid goalkeeper

Jan Oblak is world class and made a few fine saves. Ahead of him, the centre-back pairing of Jaka Bijol and Vanja Drkusic were solid.

Slovenia boss Matjaz Kek insisted before the weekend his side were not in Germany to go "sightseeing". Yesterday's comeback suggested he was right.