World-Class Vision From Eriksen, Otherworldly Saves By Schmeichel Lift Denmark Past Switzerland
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Christian Eriksen may not be having the best of seasons with Tottenham, but he’s still one of the most visionary midfielders in the game today.
With his country hosting Switzerland in a big Euro 2020 qualifier, Eriksen reminded Spurs fans of the quality he’s capable of with a game-changing assist on Saturday. Aided by some huge saves from Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark scored a 1-0 win, with Yussuf Poulsen’s 84th-minute strike set up by Eriksen proving just enough for the home side.
With both teams going into the match trailing Ireland in Group D, the match was massive for both teams. Switzerland created some of the best opportunities, but each time Leicester City’s Schmeichel was there to turn the visitors away.
This montage of Schmeichel saves shows his best stops against Switzerland, including a great one on Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.
Schmeichel’s play between the pipes set up the opportunity for Poulsen to win it, but the play was made by Eriksen.
With six minutes remaining, Eriksen found some space on the left near midfield. Andreas Cornelius made a strong run just inside on the left wing to draw out Switzerland’s deepest defender. With the Swiss defense thinking Eriksen would play the ball into the path of Cornelius, the Dane instead spotted the run of Poulsen and zipped a needle-threading pass to the RB Leipzig winger.
Poulsen did the rest, beating Yann Sommer one-on-one to for the game’s only goal.
How Eriksen saw the run, let alone the path to make the pass, is beyond me. He doesn’t appear to look at Poulsen once in the moments leading up to the assist, so either he has eyes in the back of his head, the instinct of a maestro or horribly shanked a pass meant for Cornelius.
Schmeichel made one more giant save in the 95th minute before Denmark could celebrate the victory, but it was a big one for the Danes.
With the win, Denmark moved even with Ireland on 12 points through six matches, while Switzerland is in third with eight points and a game in hand. Ireland currently has the edge on Denmark based on head-to-head away goals (they drew 1-1 in June in Copenhagen) but the Danes have a much stronger goal difference (+11 to +4). Either way, the top two teams in the group qualify automatically, leaving Switzerland with the possibility of going through a playoff to reach the 2020 Euros.