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Euro 2020: England waited 55 years for epic knockout

June 30, 2021 | 16:13

England scored greatly in the match against Germany, and went straight to Euro 2020 Quarter-finals, thanks to second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

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It was England's first knockout round victory inside 90 minutes at the Euros and came after midfielder Jack Grealish was introduced in the 69th minute. Six minutes later, after a swift passing move, left wing-back Luke Shaw slipped the ball across the face of the goal for Sterling to slide in.

Grealish was the direct provider for England's second, crossing from the left for Kane to beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a stooping header. Earlier, England keeper Jordan Pickford did well to keep out Timo Werner before tipping over a stinging volley from Kai Havertz. At the other end, Mats Hummels denied Kane with a last-ditch clearance just before halftime.

England vs Germany: Results and match review

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

England beat Germany 2-0 at Wembley on Tuesday to reach the Euro 2020 quarterfinals thanks to second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

Both sides came into this match with question marks over them after unconvincing group stage performances with England scoring just twice despite topping the group while Germany needed a late goal against Hungary to seal their progress.

It was a game of few chances, though Jordan Pickford made an impressive save to deny Kai Havertz just after the interval, while Germany defender Mats Hummels produced an impressive goal line tackle to deny Kane just before half-time.

After a quiet first half, Luke Shaw grew into the game and provided an assist for both of the England's opener, while Jack Grealish once again started on the bench, but was introduced on 69 minutes in place in place of Bukayo Saka and also set up a goal.

The breakthrough came on 75 minutes as Shaw played a ball across goal for Sterling to tap home from close range following good work from Grealish.

The Manchester City forward had also scored England's winners in their 1-0 Group D victories over Croatia and Czech Republic.

Thomas Muller then had a glorious chance to equalise for Germany after Sterling had given the ball away, but somehow put his effort wide when he was clean through.

Shaw and Grealish combined again for the second goal with Aston Villa man providing the assist on this occasion.

Kane, who appeared to pick up an injury midway through the second half but carried on playing, sealed the victory with his first goal of the tournament on 86 minutes as he finished off a Grealish cross with a header from close range.

This was only England's second-ever knockout win at a European Championship and they will face Sweden or Ukraine in the quarterfinals.

A clean sheet ensure England are the only remaining side in the Euros yet to have conceded a goal.

Jordan Pickford - 8 out of 10

Continues to have an impressive tournament. Save from Werner was important, snuffing out Germany’s only real opening of the first half. Big hand tipped over Havertz’s shot in the second half.

Kyle Walker - 7 out of 10

Adapted to the third centre-back role despite a lack of recent practice. In constant communication with Trippier to control the runs of Werner.

John Stones - 7 out of 10

Read several searching passes well and covered Germany’s attempts to counter as the central figure in the three-man defence.

Harry Maguire - 8 out of 10

Solid. An authoritative presence in both boxes but needs to test the goalkeeper more on set-pieces, as has been the story at Manchester United for a while.

Kieran Trippier - 7 out of 10

Too deep to start with but pushed up after the early exchanges, not only offering an outlet on the right but helping shore up the midfield.

Kalvin Phillips - 7 out of 10

Robust in the tackle, sometimes a little too robust. More adventurous in his passing than Rice and even looked to break forward on occasion.

Declan Rice - 7 out of 10

Had to pick his moments to press his opposite numbers in Germany’s midfield and did that well enough after a shaky first 10 minutes.

Luke Shaw - 8 out of 10

Would always be important, as the wing-back with the most license to attack. Like Trippier, started too deep but began to take up advanced position and produced an inch-perfect cross for the opening goal.

Bukayo Saka - 7 out of 10

Retained his place to some surprise but not cowed by the occasion one bit. Direct running at Germany’s defence lifted England out their early slumber but faded as time went on.

Harry Kane - 6 out of 10

Let’s be honest, for the most part he was worryingly peripheral, and the heavy touch when one-on-one against Neuer at the end of the first half summed his tournament so far. Does any of that matter now, after that goal and that moment? Hopefully not.

Raheem Sterling - 8 out of 10

England’s most consistently threatening presence throughout. The run to create Kane’s chance was exactly what England lacked first half. The timing of the run for the finish was instinctive.

Jack Grealish - 8 out of 10

Took a few minutes to get into the game after coming on but changed things once he played his way in, finding the cross for Kane’s clincher.

Southgate's biggest result

Southgate's team selection raised eyebrows when he decided to leave the creative talents of Grealish and Phil Foden on the bench and showed huge faith in Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saka by starting him after his fine performance against the Czechs.

Saka was excellent, the early spark when England struggled, while Grealish added the crucial X factor when he came off the bench to finally help break Germany down.

The scenes at the final whistle demonstrated just how important this win is for Southgate and England, digging deep and surviving periods of struggle to overcome old rivals who have so often got the better of them.

And this may just rank as the biggest and most important victory of Southgate's time in charge.

The last 16 was round that carried so much jeopardy for England when the draw was made, with the knowledge that topping their group would likely mean a meeting with the ever-dangerous Germany, World Cup holders France or reigning European champions Portugal.

While Group F minnows Hungary very nearly caused a huge upset, in the end it was Germany who confronted them and Southgate, who must tired of seeing replays of his penalty miss against them in the Euro 96 semi-final, now has a happy memory to cherish from this fixture, not to mention a potentially favourable route forward in this tournament.

England will feel confident but not complacent against Ukraine, and the shock exit of France to Switzerland shows no-one can be taken lightly.

But this win, against these opponents, will be of huge psychological value as England go forward.

Pickford and Maguire make their mark

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

England had question marks over their defence before the start of Euro 2020 with Manchester United captain Harry Maguire carrying an injury and Southgate still working out his best personnel.

Here he switched to a three-man central defence with Kieran Trippier and Shaw as full-backs and it worked as England kept an impressive fourth clean sheet to maintain their flawless record in the tournament.

And at the heart of it all has been the rejuvenated goalkeeper Pickford, who has emerged from a slump in form at Everton to show exactly why Southgate's faith has never wavered.

Pickford has made crucial saves throughout the tournament but this game was his best yet as he raced from his line to block Timo Werner in the first half then showed great athleticism to turn over Havertz's rising drive with the scoreline still blank after the interval.

Maguire was another important figure and also showed why Southgate regards him as someone he can always count on.

Now fully fit after an ankle injury, he showed great authority alongside John Stones while adding an extra dimension at set-pieces and with his ability to bring the ball out of defence.

These have been two huge pluses for Southgate as he now tries to plot a way past Ukraine.

Germany faces new era

This was the end for Joachim Low as Germany coach after a glittering career that brought a World Cup win in 2014 in Brazil.

He now makes way for Bayern Munich's Champions League-winning coach Hansi Flick - and this performance showed there is rebuilding to be done.

Germany still have plenty of talent in the shape of players such as the elegant Havertz, Joshua Kimmich and others but this may well have been the last fling for older stars like Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos and Muller.

It was Muller who gave England their biggest scare when he strode through late on with the score 1-0 only for the man who has scored so many vitals goals to almost unbelievably steer a low finish inches wide.

He fell to the floor in despair while Sterling did the same in relief as it was his mistake that created this clear opportunity.

Germany will be back - they have too much talent and a fine new coach in Flick - but this is a team in need of renewal.

15 in 20 for Sterling - the best of the stats

England defeated Germany in a competitive game at Wembley for the first time since the 1966 World Cup final, having been winless in their previous three such encounters.

They are only the second side in European Championship history not to concede in any of their first four games of an edition of the tournament, after Germany in 2016. The only previous time England did so at any major tournament (World Cup & Euros) was at the 1966 World Cup.

Sterling has now scored 15 goals in his last 20 appearances in all competitions for England, after going 27 games without finding the net prior to this run.

Kane has now scored 30 goals for England under Southgate; in the national side's history, only Lineker scored more while playing under a single manager (35 under Bobby Robson).

Kane equalled Wayne Rooney for goals scored at major tournaments for England (7), with only Lineker (10) and Alan Shearer (9) netting more across the World Cup & Euros for the Three Lions.

Muller has appeared in each of Germany's last 26 games at major tournaments; the joint-longest streak of any player for the national side, along with Mesut Ozil (26 between 2010 and 2018).

Bukayo Saka (19y 297d) became the youngest starter for England in a knockout game at a major tournament since Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004, in the quarter-final against Portugal (18y 244d).

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