Harry Maguire's start to the 2020-21 season proved miserable as he was shown a red card against Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley. Things went worse for England as Reece James was also sent off during their UEFA Nations League encounter. Eventually, the hosts were defeated 0-1.
Maguire was shown a yellow card early into the match for committing a reckless challenge on Yussuf Poulsen. Things weren't going his way, as Maguire was finally dismissed in the 31st minute by Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano. The Manchester United skipper was punished for bringing down Kasper Dolberg in an attempt to retrieve his own poor touch.
England's woes got worse as Denmark was offered a penalty after England's Kyle Walker fouled Thomas Delaney. Christian Eriksen scored his 34th international goal from the spot for Denmark in the 35th minute, which eventually determined the fate of the match. Interestingly, this was Eriksen's 100th international appearance.
Another red card was waiting for England, as Chelsea defender James was sent off during injury time for confronting the referee.
Although Maguire's season didn't start as he expected, England head coach Gareth Southgate showed full-support for his player. The 27-year old defender has been struggling for form since he was arrested in Greece in August.
According to BBC, Southgate said, "He's having a difficult period and in these periods you learn a lot about yourself. You learn who's there for you in those difficult times. He'll come through it, he'll be a better player and a stronger man for it. To go down to 10 men is costly for the team, but we fully back him, we fully support him."
Meanwhile, former Premier League player Chris Sutton blamed Maguire's poor display for England's defeat against Denmark. Sutton insisted that the Man United centre-back must show "real character" to resurrect his form.
The match was tight, with the visitors maintaining ball possession for the majority of the time. England had some inspiring moments, such as the thrilling close-range header from Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount. But Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel rejected the shot with a brilliant effort.
As of now, England is third in their group with seven points from four matches. Denmark is second with the same points but they have a superior goal difference. Belgium is leading the group with nine points. Only the winners of the group will progress to the Nations League finals, due in 2021.