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tough call Roy Keane's verdict on Jack Grealish's 'nasty' substitution as England reach Euro 2020 final

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Jack Grealish of England reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish of England reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish of England reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

Roy Keane believes England manager Gareth Southgate made the right decision to substitute Jack Grealish after he had been introduced into the Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark after 69 minutes.

England reached their first tournament final since their 1966 World Cup win with victory against Denmark on a high-tension night at Wembley, with former Ireland under age international Grealish replaced by Southgate half way through extra time after Harry Kane fired England into a 2-1 lead and he opted to revert to a more defensive formation to see out the game.

"He is a nice guy, but you have to be nasty to work at this level, so it was no surprise when Gareth made that decision," Keane told ITV Sport.

"Jack will have to look at the bigger picture. It's all about the team getting to the final. There's no doubt that Gareth is nasty enough to make those decisions."

Gary Neville also backed Southgate's decision to take Grealish off, as he suggested the substitution will be a tough decision for the Aston Villa man to accept.

"Jack has suffered tonight," said Neville. "Gareth has made decisions through this competition and he has done things his own way.

"There is no egos in that dressing room. He will do things that will be right for the team to be successful. He puts the team first and it was an embarrassing moment for Jack. He will realise it was the right decision for the team."

For Neville, and Ian Wright, casualties of England’s ’55 years of hurt’, there was huge emotion in witnessing the win, brought about by Simon Kjaer’s own goal and Harry Kane’s strike.

"Denmark played a brilliant game, faded at the end, but Gareth Southgate, his players, staff, everyone has been unbelievable. This crowd… it’s mesmerising being in this stadium right now."

Southgate was relieved to end England's long history of semi-final failures, as he saluted his Wembley heroes.

"I'm so proud of the players. It's an incredible occasion to be a part of," he said.

"We knew it wouldn't be straight-forward, we said to the players we'll have to show our resilience and come back from some setbacks, and we've done that tonight."

Hailing Kane's cool finish after Schmeichel saved his initial penalty, Southgate added: "There's nobody you've rather have on it, but you're up against a great goalkeeper who he's obviously faced a lot of times – but thankfully that's now immaterial.

"I felt we would get there – I knew we would have different sorts of battles because Denmark are so under-rated as a team.

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"They did cause us a lot of problems, when you've waited as long as we have to get through a semi-final, the players, considering the limited international experience some of them have had, they've done an incredible job.

"The most pleasing thing is that we've given our fans and our nation a fantastic night, and the journey continues on for another four days. To come through that sort of a night – we suffered in Moscow (in the World Cup semi-final) and on a night like this we've managed to put things right."

England will now play Italy in Sunday's final at Wembley with an 8pm kick-off.

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