#3 Maguire’s misery continues
It has not been a pleasant last few months for Harry Maguire on a personal level, with his club, or on the international stage. The Manchester United man has not started the 2020-21 season well, as he came into it on the back of a tumultuous off-season that seems to have severely affected his on-pitch performances.
Having been part of an extremely fragile-looking United defence that has already conceded 11 goals in their first three matches, Maguire did not fare any better on this occasion.
His first booking came after just five minutes for an ill-judged two-footed challenge, and it was perhaps the fact that it was so early in the game that he didn’t see red at that stage itself.
After a torrid first half that saw him take some extremely nervy touches, it was another errant attempt at controlling the ball that saw him lunge rashly on Kasper Dolberg and pick up his marching orders at the half-hour mark.
If Maguire’s recent performances are anything to go by, the door seems to be open for the likes of Tyrone Mings and Michael Keane to stake a claim for a place in the England backline. And the signs are not encouraging for Manchester United’s leaky defence either.
#4 England & Denmark much improved a month on from reverse fixture
This was the second meeting between England and Denmark in the Nations League in just over a month, with the two sides playing out a dreary 0-0 draw in Copenhagen last month.
That round of international fixtures was played just before the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season after a much shorter break between seasons than usual, and the lack of match fitness in both camps was quite evident.
However, just over a month on from the Copenhagen fixture and with a few weeks’ worth of domestic action under their belts, both sets of players looked much sharper and fitter this time around.
Even though the game was decided by the solitary goal, the result was heavily affected by the early red card. It would have been interesting to see how it might have panned out had both sides retained their full complement of players.
#5 Belgium become the big winners on the night
Despite suffering a defeat at the hands of England just three days ago, Denmark’s win over the Three Lions sees Belgium claim the top spot in Group A2 in the Nations League.
Belgium defeated Iceland 2-1 to sit atop the group standings on 9 points from 4 matches, followed by Denmark and England on 7 apiece, with the Danes in second on goal difference.
With a tough trip to Brussels awaiting them before a match against Iceland at Wembley, England will have to be at the top of their game if they are to progress from this tough group.
The ill-discipline showed by Maguire and James against Denmark means that Southgate will be two defenders light for the Belgium game, and this is another cause for concern.
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