England give Denmark food for thought

Denmark 0-4 England The Under-21 finals hosts missed their chances and then paid the penalty as Stuart Pearce's charges produced a clinical display in Viborg.

Danny Welbeck of England scores the first goal during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying match against Lithuania
Danny Welbeck of England scores the first goal during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying match against Lithuania ©Getty Images

Denmark 0-4 England
Denmark were given a stark lesson in the importance of taking chances after losing heavily to England in a friendly in Viborg.

The summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship hosts were the better side in the first half against their fellow finalists, but were undone by clinical finishing. After Denmark started well, Danny Welbeck gave the visitors a 23rd-minute lead, before Scott Sinclair, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson struck after the break.

Keld Bordinggaard would have been happy with his side's start, as Mike Jensen and Nicki Bille Nielsen threatened, but Welbeck then changed the mood in an instant. He picked up Michael Lumb's misdirected headed clearance before firing high into the corner from the edge of the area and, although Denmark redoubled their efforts – Nielsen going closest with an effort cleared off the line – they could not force an equaliser before the break.

Sturridge had been England's best player in a disjointed first-half display and he created the second in the 57th minute. His left-footed shot was spilled by Jonas Lössl and Sinclair followed up to finish before Sturridge got on the scoresheet himself five minutes later. Henderson put the gloss on the result in the 72nd minute to give Group B hopefuls England a nice pre-finals confidence boost.

Denmark – who will compete in Group A in June – continue their preparations for this summer's tournament against Ukraine on Monday, when England welcome Iceland.