Danish press reaction: ‘Remember to bow for Eriksen’
Denmark’s hat-trick hero eulogised over as only Shane Duffy comes out with any credit
Christian Eriksen celebrates with Denmark fans after his side’s 5-1 win over Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
As Ireland capitulated on Tuesday and the Aviva Stadium rapidly emptied, with glum faces slinking off into a miserable night, the party was just getting started in the Havelock Square end of the ground.
With the roars of what sounded like an entire nation against them, the travelling Denmark fans might have been forgiven for thinking they were in for a long night when Shane Duffy headed Ireland into the lead after just six minutes.
But they needn’t have worried, as two quickfire goals either side of the half-hour mark put their side in the driving seat, leaving Ireland needing two more of their own in order to qualify for the World Cup.
What followed was a procession, as Martin O’Neill’s side crumbled after half time and the imperious Christian Eriksen picked up the pieces, inspiring his side to a 5-1 thrashing of their hapless hosts.
The Danish supporters danced and sang in the away end long after the final whistle and their World Cup-bound heroes had headed down the tunnel.
And it is not just the Denmark fans who have been euologising over Age Hareide’s side, with Danish press also full of praise for their five-star performance in Dublin.
Indeed, in the newspaper BT, Farzam Abolhosseini writes: “We are ready for the World Cup! Thank you, Andreas Christensen, thank you, Christian Eriksen, thank you again and again and thank you, Åge Hareide.
“Thanks to the whole Danish national team. They did it for us. So just pack the bags, go to work from work, and make the palate ready for white russian.”
However, most of the plaudits have been reserved, unsurprisingly, for hat-trick hero Eriksen.
Also in BT, Soren Hanghoj Kristensen writes: “It’s hard to find words for the performance Christian Eriksen delivered when Denmark raised the green hat of the Irish on Tuesday evening and kicked their way to the World Cup in Russia with a fantastic 5-1 win.
“With three goals and countless golden touches, Eriksen sprang into history books with one of the biggest Danish national team achievements ever.”
While Ireland’s performance after going a goal ahead on Tuesday night was nothing short of shambolic, all three of Eriksen’s goals were sublimely taken.
And the Danish press are under no illusions as to how integral the Tottenham midfielder is to their side.
“It may be that a World Cup without Irish fans will be sad, but there’s no point in how bad it would be if Christian Eriksen was not allowed to work his magic in Russia,” writes Ole Hoffskov in Tipsbladet.dk.
“It’s good enough - Denmark currently has a world-class player. Class is especially based on players who show their worth when it’s most important, and Christian Eriksen showed it to Ireland on Tuesday. That hat trick sent foot Denmark into football dreamland.”
Meanwhile in the Jyllands-Posten, Soren Lissner gives Eriksen a 10 out of 10 in his player ratings, claiming his performance was: “One of the best achievements for the national team ever.”
One a night when no Irish player - apart from perhaps goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who conceded five goals - can come out with any real credit, the Danish press have at least paid tribute to goalscorer Duffy.
Hoffskov writes: “We must grab a pair of stilts or cranes if a Danish national team player is ever able to match Shane Duffy in the air.
“That man is just a monster in the air, and he used this to bring Ireland to the front. Duffy is an excellent defender and he was the best Irishman in the two matches against Denmark.”
However, Stephen Ward, who was responsible for two of the Danish goals - including the crucial first - doesn’t escape criticism.
Hoffskov writes: “The biggest mistake was made by Stephen Ward. He gave two goals to Denmark and played a terrible battle in every way. Ward will not receive much sleep tonight - and he may not read the newspapers tomorrow.”
But this brief analysis of Ireland’s shortcomings can’t detract from who the real star of the show was in Dublin.
As Abolhosseini writes: “Russia, we are on our way. Just remember to bow for Christian Eriksen. King”