There was good news for Fulham fans from the opening day of the European Under 21 Championships yesterday afternoon as Lasse Vigen Christensen stepped off the substitutes bench to help Denmark to an impressive win over the hosts Czech Republic in the first game of the tournament.
Christensen was only named on the bench for the opening game in Prague as doubts persisted about his match sharpness following the hamstring injury that brought a premature end to his impressive first season in senior football. However, an early injury to Frederik Sørensen forced the Danes into an early substitution that saw Christensen introduced as a 28th minute substitute. In what might have been an unexpectedly swift introduction in the game, the 20 year-old looked full of running and eager to make an impression, despite being employed in a somewhat deeper role than he fills for his club.
There were no signs of apprehension about the hamstring injury that had ended the Dane’s season as early as February as Christensen was fully committed in a number of 50-50 challenges, worked hard to win the ball back for a team that was largely outplayed in the first period before turning things around after the break. As the Danes gradually imposed themselves on proceedings, Christensen came more to the fore, making a couple of trademark runs deep into opposition territory and displaying the range of passing that we’ve come to appreciate so quickly at Craven Cottage.
Sørensen’s injury might force a rethink for the Danes, who initially deployed Christensen’s namesake – the Chelsea centre back Andreas Christensen – as a holding midfielder, and could mean that the Fulham youngster has a chance of starting their next game against tournament favourites Germany on Saturday night. The Danes have put themselves in with a fine chance of qualifying after recovering from the setback of conceding the opening goal to a sublime strike from Czech right back Pavel Kade?ábek with second half strikes by Jannik Vestergaard and Pione Sisto.