England ended the most challenging international camp of Gareth Southgate’s reign with another forgettable display as their Nations League trip to Denmark finished goalless.
As if the coronavirus measures, fitness concerns and Harry Maguire’s withdrawal were not enough for the Three Lions boss to contend with, Southgate sent Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden home on the eve of the Copenhagen clash after breaching the bio bubble.
Southgate certainly has plenty to mull over after their first international break in 10 months, with England failing to score from open play in either of their matches as Tuesday’s encounter in Denmark ended in a 0-0 draw.
Three days on from Raheem Sterling’s penalty sealing an unconvincing win in Iceland, the Three Lions again frustrated with the attackers isolated and midfield lacking creativity in front of a three-man backline featuring debutant Conor Coady.
Kalvin Phillips was the other new boy in the starting line-up against Denmark, who looked the bigger first-half threat and went closest through a Kasper Dolberg strike that forced Jordan Pickford into action.
The match continued in a similar vein until Southgate brought on Mason Mount and debutant Jack Grealish, but there was not enough time – or perhaps energy left in their team-mates’ legs – to eke out victory against Kasper Hjulmand’s Danes.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles became England’s fourth debutant of the evening – and sixth across these two matches – before Harry Kane saw a stoppage-time winner denied by Mathias Jorgensen’s goal-line clearance.