Kalvin Phillips makes Leeds United history as he helps England to win over Denmark and Euro 2020 final against Italy

Kalvin Phillips has made Leeds United history after helping England to the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 10:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 10:48 pm
HISTORY BOY - Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips has reached the Euro 2020 final against Italy after helping England to a 2-1 win over Denmark at Wembley. Pic: Getty

The midfielder is the club's first player to reach a major international tournament final since 1966 and the first ever to reach a European Championships.

Phillips, like most of the Three Lions side, recovered from a nervy, sloppy first half in which they conceded for the first time in the tournament, to fight back and beat Denmark 2-1 after extra-time in the semi-final.

The 25-year-old from Armley will follow Jack Charlton, an England World Cup winner in 1966, into the club's history books with an appearance in the final.

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Phillips has been almost ever-present for Southgate, only missing 25 minutes of the quarter-final in order to protect him from potential suspension before his yellow card was wiped out ahead of the semi-finals.

A host of family members and friends travelled to London to be in the 67,500 strong crowd, the biggest he has played in front of in his career.

His 14th international cap since a September 2020 debut that came before he had even kicked a ball in the Premier League, Phillips' evening got off to a shaky start.

England lost their way a little as the first half progressed and Denmark began to find joy through the middle of the pitch.

The visitors took the lead when Mikkel Damsgaard thundered a free-kick into the net past Jordan Pickford, becoming the first player to score against England at Euro 2020.

But England's response to going behind was good, Raheem Sterling forcing a point-blank save from Kasper Schmeichel before his presence in front of goal left Simon Kjær with no option but to put through his own net from Bukayo Saka's cross.

The equaliser settled Gareth Southgate's men before the break and they came close to taking the lead not long after it, Harry Maguire's header palmed out brilliantly by Schmeichel.

It was a cagey second half but England got the better of it and Phillips was at the heart of it, winning the ball back and growing in both confidence and influence as the game wore on.

By the time the sem-final reached its six added minutes, Phillips was finding acres of space and enough time on the ball to pull the strings for Southgate and even found himself in a position to win it, his left-footed shot from the edge of the area sailing over the bar.

As extra-time began England pressed hard for a second goal, Harry Kane forcing another good stop from Schmeichel. Their dominance eventually paid off, Raheem Sterling winning a spot-kick that Kane converted at the second attempt, Schmeichel thwarting his initial effort but unable to stop the follow up.

When Mathias Jensen was unable to continue, with the Danish substitutions all used up, the visitors ran out of steam and England cruised through the final stages to a full-time whistle that sparked wild celebrations inside Wembley and around the country.