England star Declan Rice responds to Harry Kane ‘chokehold’ during Ukraine celebrations

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Declan Rice was spotted looking rather uncomfortable as Harry Kane wrapped his arm around the West Ham United man’s neck while England celebrated Harry Maguire’s goal against Ukraine in their Euro 2020 quarter-final clash on Saturday evening. The Three Lions romped to an emphatic 4-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico to set up a semi-final meeting with Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Kane found the back of the net inside five minutes to hand England an ideal start to proceedings, before Maguire added a second with a thumping header shortly after the interval.

The Tottenham forward scored his second and England’s third of the match just moments later, with Jordan Henderson getting in on the act after the hour mark to cap off a near-perfect day for Gareth Southgate’s side under the lights in Rome.

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The result sees the one-time World Cup winners reach a second major tournament semi-final in three years, with a place in next Sunday’s final against either Spain or Italy now firmly in their sights.

Rice, who has established himself as a mainstay for England in recent seasons, enjoyed a strong performance and came close to scoring before half-time with a thunderous effort that was parried away by Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan.

He was eventually substituted during the second half, with Southgate unwilling to risk the prospect of a yellow card that would have seen the Hammers skipper ruled out of the semi-final clash with Denmark.

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As England celebrated Maguire’s goal on 46 minutes, Rice was mobbed by Kane, who leapt on his back and momentarily held the 22-year-old’s neck in a position resembling a chokehold.

Rice appeared to be in some discomfort before the England captain removed his arm in a comical moment that was picked up by fans and posted to Twitter.

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The man himself responded to the incident after the match, jokingly tweeting: “Why always me?”

Meanwhile, England boss Gareth Southgate was delighted by the result but urged caution at full-time, underlining his desire to emulate the late Sir Alf Ramsey by leading the Three Lions to major tournament silverware.

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“It’s fabulous,” the 50-year-old told reporters. “I suppose it’s still sinking in that it’s another semi-final, three [including the 2019 Nations League] in three years.

“We want to go two steps further. I know what will be happening at home. It’s lovely to see everyone on a Saturday night, beer in hand.

“They should enjoy it. It’s been a long year for everyone. I’m chuffed the two performances [against Germany and Ukraine] have brought so much happiness to people.

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“We’ve known we had players we needed to look after physically. We’ve been able to introduce them. We know across seven games the squad is so important, trying to give people a breather at the right time.

“We learned a lot from Russia in that instance. We were trying to balance players with knocks and yellow cards. ‘Do we take the centre-back off? Because we’ve the game sown up he won’t need to make a tackle’.

“It’s fabulous for our country – a semi-final at Wembley. Everyone can really look forward to that, it’s brilliant.”

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England are set to fly home from Rome on Sunday in order to begin their preparations back at St George’s Park to face Denmark, who have emerged as one of the surprise packages of the Euros.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side booked their place in the last four of the competition with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Baku earlier on Saturday.

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