Three things Gareth Southgate got right as England reach Euro 2020 final

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England have booked their place in the final of Euro 2020, having beaten Denmark 2-1 after extra-time in their semi-final clash to set up a blockbuster game against Italy.

Mikkel Damsgaard gave Denmark the lead in the 30th minute with a stunning free-kick, the first time that England had conceded at the tournament.

Kasper Schmeichel then made an excellent save from Raheem Sterling to deny England an equaliser just eight minutes later.

However, it only briefly kept Denmark's lead intact, as England drew level almost immediately.

An excellent pass from Harry Kane found Bukayo Saka, who was in behind the Danish defence and drilled a low ball across goal towards Sterling, with Simon Kjaer ultimately getting the final touch and scoring an own goal.

Neither side was able to find a winner inside 90 minutes, forcing the game into extra-time, where captain Kane stepped up and sent England through to the final.

After Sterling won a penalty, Kane netted the rebound after his initial spot kick was saved by Schmeichel.

Daily Star Sport has taken a look at three things Gareth Southgate got right as England reached their first ever European Championship final.

Recalling Saka

Having missed the 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine with a knock, Saka returned to the starting line-up against Denmark and became the youngest Englishman to start a game at the semi-final stage or later of a major tournament in the process.

Speaking ahead of the game, Southgate explained his decision to recall Saka ahead of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

"What he's done in previous matches, he's really embraced that challenge," Southgate told ITV. "We were really pleased with Jadon at the weekend.

"Everyone knows we have fantastic options in those areas, but we felt for the balance for tonight that tonight he was the best choice."

The youngster ultimately vindicated Southgate's decision, playing a key part in England's equaliser.

Backing Sterling

Coming into the tournament, Sterling's spot in the starting line-up was being questioned by seemingly everyone but Southgate.

The England boss opted to start Sterling against Croatia, explaining that "his goalscoring record suggests we should have faith in him" and the forward has not looked back.

He netted the winner in that game and has started every match since, going on to score the winner against the Czech Republic and the opener against Germany.

In the clash with Denmark, Sterling was once again a dangerous threat, forcing Kjaer's own goal and winning the penalty which won England the game.

Southgate's faith has certainly been repaid.

England's changed mentality

Southgate said ahead of the Ukraine game about how his side's "mentality is critical" and he has clearly instilled great self-belief in this squad, something that has clearly been lacking in previous England teams.

When they went behind against Denmark, the first time that has happened in the tournament, England were back on level terms after less than ten minutes.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, former England defender Micah Richards said: "I've been really impressed with how England reacted to going down.

"Conceding the first goal at the Euros they reacted in a positive way and the last 10 minutes was very encouraging."

Former England winger Karen Carney added: "My biggest thought is the response. We went behind for the first time and we responded and we dominated."

  • Gareth Southgate
  • Euro 2020
  • England Football Team

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