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Eriksen double demolishes Wales as Danes top group

Denmark 2 Wales 0

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MIDFIELD BATTLE: Denmark’s Christian Eriksen (l) and Wales’ Aaron Ramsey vie for the ball during the Nations League, League B Group 4 match at Ceres Park, Aarhus. Photo: PA

MIDFIELD BATTLE: Denmark’s Christian Eriksen (l) and Wales’ Aaron Ramsey vie for the ball during the Nations League, League B Group 4 match at Ceres Park, Aarhus. Photo: PA

MIDFIELD BATTLE: Denmark’s Christian Eriksen (l) and Wales’ Aaron Ramsey vie for the ball during the Nations League, League B Group 4 match at Ceres Park, Aarhus. Photo: PA

Wales slipped to a 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat to Denmark as Christian Eriksen continued his incredible goalscoring form in Aarhus.

The Tottenham midfielder scored in each half - the second a contentious penalty - to make it 15 goals in his last 18 appearances for Denmark.

It was a result which brought Ryan Giggs' side down to earth after they had opened their Nations League campaign with a pulsating 4-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland.

Gareth Bale captained Wales for the first time with veteran defender Ashley Williams rested after the Republic win on Thursday. But Bale largely had a game to forget as Eriksen easily won the battle of the two superstars.

Giggs' tinkering after such a quick turnaround came in defence. James Chester replaced Williams and Chris Gunter was back to win his 89th cap as Connor Roberts was pushed forward and David Brooks omitted. The Danish public were relieved to see their senior players perform after the image rights row which had embarrassed them last week.

Denmark had fielded lower-league and futsal players in their 3-0 friendly defeat to Slovakia last Wednesday, but this was a completely different examination for Wales.

It had not been a smooth build-up for Wales either as a technical fault with their plane had delayed their arrival in Aarhus until early on Sunday.

The opening quarter was a sparring exercise with Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Delaney firing over from range, and Kasper Schmeichel gathering at the second attempt under pressure from Roberts.

Wales were dictating the tempo but there was real concern when Simon Kjaer flicked on Henrik Dalsgaard's long throw and Chester cleared at the far post with Mathias Jorgensen lurking.

Delaney sent a volley whistling wide moments later as Denmark started to stir.

But Bale went close with an angled drive after Ramsey won possession in midfield and the Real Madrid forward was left one-on-one with Kjaer.

Wales were to pay the price of leaving Denmark dangerman Eriksen unattended after 32 minutes. Eriksen controlled Dalsgaard's cross and his low right-foot effort beat Hennessey to go in off the far post.

Hennessey prevented Denmark from doubling their lead four minutes later with a brilliant one-handed stop from Pione Sisto's half-volley.

Wales almost profited from some pinball in the Denmark penalty area at the start of the second half, but Ramsey's effort was blocked and Bale drove a free-kick into the chest of Kjaer.

But the exertions of their Republic win appeared to be catching up with them as Denmark took command. Hennessey held Yussuf Poulsen's header under his bar and Martin Braithwaite prodded wide.

The game was put beyond Wales after 63 minutes when Ethan Ampadu was harshly adjudged to have handled Viktor Fischer's cross.

Ampadu could hardly get out of the way of the ball as he was standing only yards away from Fischer, but Eriksen beat Hennessey with ease.

Bale saw a late deflected effort tipped away by Schmeichel and Ramsey sent a tame header straight at the goalkeeper.

Eriksen almost completed his hat-trick in with a 25-yard free-kick as Denmark went top of Nations League Group B4.


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