Denmark marched to the quarterfinals Euro 2020 in an impressive way this evening Wales 0-4 in Amsterdam. The result was just what Denmark deserved, as they largely outscored Wales in what was expected to be a close match.
Wales actually started clearer, with Gareth Bale looking menacing from the right side of the turf and opening up the Danish defense on several occasions. However, a smart tactical change after about 15 minutes completely nullified the impact of Tottenham’s loan, and from there the game was all over Denmark.
The Danes opened the score through beautiful Kasper Dolberg finish in 27 minutes. And despite Wales having a half-time to reunite, Dolberg’s second goal – albeit controversial – quickly doubled Denmark’s lead in 48 minutes.
Robert Page’s players worked hard trying to get back into the game, but just couldn’t find their way through it. And their exit from the tournament was thoroughly confirmed when Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite scored Denmark’s third and fourth goals on both sides of a sharp red card for Harry Wilson.
Here are five points to talk about from Denmark’s 0-4 win over Wales.
# 1 Wales ’bright start canceled the tactical transition from Denmark
It would probably surprise someone who didn’t watch this match when they found out that Wales was actually heading from a much brighter side.
At least at first, Denmark didn’t seem to have too many responses to Gareth Bale’s offensive attacks from the right. He opened the Danish defense several times, and until Wales scored, it looked like the much more likely side would do it.
However, with approximately fifteen minutes, Denmark boss Kasper Hülmand made a great tactical change that completely changed the game. He pulled Andreas Christensen out of the Danish three-man defense, placed him on the practically human character of Aaron Ramsey, and lowered the side-backs of Jens Stryger Larsen and Joakim Maehle a little deeper to form a four-man defense.
The change was instantaneous. After Ramsey was kicked out of the game, a combination of Maehle and defensive midfielders Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg began to prevent Bale’s attacks on the right. And in return, Wales came down to pumping long balls to Kieffer Moore who failed to make an impact.
Since then, the game has basically been won by Denmark.
# 2 Mikkel Damsgaard did a great job replacing Christian Eriksen
Many observers felt Denmark’s chances for an impressive Euro 2020 disappeared when creative center Christian Eriksen suffered a shocking cardiac arrest in his side’s opening match with Finland two weeks ago.
However, after trying to make a trail against Belgium, Sampdoria player Mikkel Damsgaard entered Eriksen’s role and did a fantastic job.
Today’s game was another example of that. Casper Dolberg’s final shot for the opening goal was beautiful, but it was made by running and passing Damsgaard.
The 20-year-old was menacing throughout the game until he was pulled – probably with the round of 16 – to 60 minutes. But he still managed to finish the game with an impressive 83% pass rate, and made three key passes – more than any other player on the field.
Damsgaard clearly lacks Eriksen’s top experience, but in this form he is definitely a worthy replacement for the Inter Milan man. And if he can continue to play this way in the quarterfinals, then he will probably have a lot of money for the summer.