Follow all the latest news and build-up to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals as Czech Republic face Denmark in Baku and England take on Ukraine in Rome.
It was a thrilling day as Spain booked their semi-final berth after a penalty shootout win over Switzerland while Italy beat Belgium in an entertaining game in Munich. The Three Lions are into the last eight of the tournament after goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane booked their safe passage much to the delight of a raucous Wembley Stadium. Gareth Southgate’s side are now the bookmakers’ favourites to win the tournament.
Southgate believes a short trip away from Wembley will benefit his squad and their chances of Euro 2020 glory: “I think there was clearly a big emotional toll from the game and everybody enjoyed the day but, even in the dressing room afterwards, the players were already talking about the next game and the need to prepare well,” Southgate said. So we have shifted the mindset quickly onto that next challenge. We’ve achieved one challenge but that’s not the Everest we set ourselves, really. We want to push on from where we’ve got to now.
“I think the psychological freshness is key. We’ve obviously got a strong squad as well. It’s actually, for us, probably a good thing to be going away now. It would’ve been very hard, three days later, to replicate that experience at Wembley. So now we’ve got a different sort of test. We’ve got to go away from home, play a good team, without many English fans in the stadium, so it’s all about our group, it’s all about our team and what we do, and the energy and focus that we create.”
Follow all the latest updates to England’s quarter-final in Rome plus build-up to the earlier kick-off between Czech Republic and Denmark in Baku, Azerbaijan.
England vs Ukraine referee: Meet Felix Brych
Felix Brych will take charge of England vs Ukraine in Rome this evening.
The German official will referee the Euro 2020 quarter-final, which will be his fourth match of the tournament.
Brych was in charge when Ukraine lost 3-2 to the Netherlands in Amsterdam during the group stage.
And the choice from Uefa may not go down well with Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko, who could be seen visibly remonstrating with Brych on the touchline of the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
The 55-year-old booked Ukraine midfielder Serhiy Sydorchuk in his only yellow card of the first two games.
Brych also took charge of Belgium’s 2-0 win against Finland, with a clean game in Saint Petersburg not requiring a card throughout the 90 minutes.
His first knock-out game of the tournament came in Belgium’s 1-0 victory over Portugal in the round of 16 last weekend.
This is where Brych was more liberal with his cards, showing five in total, three for Portugal (João Palhinha, Pepe and Diogo Dalot), with two more for Belgium (Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen).
Brych was accused of being lenient in that game with Thorgan Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne targeted with heavy treatment from the Selecao.
Assistant referees Mark Borsch and Stefan Lupp will join Brych for the quarter-final, while the four-man Video Assistant Referee team, led by Marco Fritz, are also all German.
Carlos del Serro Grande from Spain is the fourth official for the game.
Brych has experience from the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, Euro 2016 and the 2012 Olympics.
Brych, a qualified lawyer, also took charge of the 2017 Champions League final when Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1, and has been officiating since 2000, with 17 years of Bundesliga experience.
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has described Brych as “excellent”.
“There might be a few eyebrows raised at Uefa’s appointment of Felix Brych for England’s quarter-final with Ukraine, just days after they knocked out the Germans,” Halsey told The Sun.
“But Germany’s top referee is excellent and has a wealth of experience. Saturday’s Rome showdown is fitting for an official of his calibre.
“I’ve no problem with the appointment. He’s a top professional and will be assessed by a Uefa observer, like every game at the Euros, and will want to give his best performance.”
Italy lean on rich heritage with time running out for Belgium’s golden generation
Mancini’s freewheeling side have charmed with their attacking brilliance, wedding young Bugsy Malone talents going forward with grizzled veterans defending the back. The former has brought a unique verve to the Azurri. The latter a foundation based on traditional strengths, and it was this that confirmed their semi-final with Spain on Tuesday. It was not pretty, especially the last 20 minutes, at odds with how they have operated in this tournament and indeed those previous 70.
Naturally, football fans on social media took up residence in one of two camps – “great banter” and “great shame”. The clip of Ciro Immobile’s miraculous recovery from injury after Nicolo Barella scored Italy’s opener went around the houses. Gianluigi Donnarumma was lauded/derided for cramming as many seconds into goal kicks. “Classic Italy” the sentiment, in two very distinct tones.
Gascoigne: Southgate has the answer to everything for us
“The crucial thing is for as many England fans as possible to get to the game and, most importantly, get behind Gareth,” Gascoigne told The Sun.
“He’s the answer to everything for us, and we need to believe in him.
“I know Gareth well and we’re still good mates so I know he’s got what it takes to take us all the way. He’s the key.
“Gareth is amazing, and a good mate. I’ve spoken to him fairly recently before the tournament.
“We’ve always stayed in touch. When we played together, he was an amazing team-mate but a brilliant bloke off the pitch, too.
“He’s always been good to me on a personal level. He’s very approachable. He understands people and he understands football. He’s a smart guy.
“He’s also very proud of his role with England, which he should be. It’s the ultimate job for a football man, and he really deserves it.”
Martinez sadness at Belgium exit at Euro 2020
“The feelings are what you can imagine really, sadness and disappointment because I don’t think these players deserve to be out of this tournament.
“They have done an incredible job to be prepared, to be ready, to go step by step every day from the beginning of the tournament. Today, we faced a very good side and unfortunately, the margins didn’t go in our favour.”
Asked about his own future, Martinez added: “It is very difficult to speak about anything else other than the defeat and that we are out of the Euros. At the moment, it’s still too raw and I don’t want to say anything that could be emotional.”
Mancini on Italy’s victory over Belgium
“The team has progressed game in, game out. Even when there have been tricky matches, the team has always got better – and there is still room for improvement.
“That’s what I saw in my squad, the desire to play well, to try to bounce back after the disappointment of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup – it was all of those ingredients. But we can still do better.
“First and foremost, we will go to Wembley safe in the knowledge that we are a team that can still offer a lot in this tournament.
“We know that we will be up against top-class opposition once again because Spain, like Belgium, are very tricky opponents.
“But it’s very important that we rest up before this semi-final and get ready for it.”
De Bruyne played against Italy with ligament tear
“For me personally it has been four or five weird weeks. But I especially want to thank the medical staff,” he said.
“It was a miracle that I played today because there was definitely damage to my ankle. A tear in my ligaments. But I felt responsibility to play for my country today. Too bad I couldn’t do more.
“It was a difficult tournament for us, we suffered many injuries. We fought until the end. Italy were better than us in the first half, but in the second we created more chances. We could have got it to 2-2 but we didn’t.
“We lost against a top-notch team. We’ll try to win next time, at the World Cup, but first I have to recover physically. I’ve had too many (injury) problems in the last few years but I’ve always tried to give everything for the team.”
Insigne credits Mancini’s ‘fun’ atmosphere for Italy success
“I’m really having a lot of fun. I’ve never played with such a big smile on my face, it’s like playing with my mates back home when I play during the week,” the Napoli star said.
“The head coach deserves credit for that because he really has allowed us to produce our best football. And everyone, myself included, is really playing with a smile on their faces. And that’s our secret.
“I’m very pleased for the team as a whole because we’re proving that we’re a great squad and the head coach deserves a lot of credit for that. We simply need to kick on because we haven’t achieved anything yet. We still have plenty to do.
“We need to kick on … we haven’t achieved anything yet. We need to put in this last effort, keep our head down and graft.”
Denmark must play fearless football against Czech Republic, coach insists
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand is confident his side can continue to play without fear as they try to edge close to repeating the feat of their 1992 predecessors.
The Danes have grown in stature as Euro 2020 has progressed after their horrific start when Christian Eriksen collapsed with a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland.
They head into a quarter-final against the Czech Republic in Baku having scored four times in each of their last two matches and Hjulmand hopes the “courage” his players have shown will continue.
“I can’t say compared to other teams if we play with more freedom but I can say an important thing in our game is to play without fear,” the Denmark coach told his pre-match press conference.
England v Ukraine: Tell us your predicted score for the Euro 2020 quarter final clash
England face Ukraine in their Euro 2020 quarter-final clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome tonight (3 July).
The Three Lions saw off old foes Germany on Tuesday night at Wembley to reach the last eight and – with the semi-finals and final back at Wembley – will be aiming to keep progressing into the business end of the competition.