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England advanced to the last eight of UEFA Euro 2020 after a 2-0 win over old foes Germany at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
It was the national side’s first knockout win over the Germans in a major tournament since their 1966 World Cup win.
The two sides went head-to-head in front of 45,000 England fans in their national stadium.
To clarify, England were the only side with home advantage in the last 16.
Both sides set up in 3-4-3 formations with the Germans opting for an attacking variant of the formation and Gareth Southgate choosing to set his side up in the opposite.
However, Southgate’s plan worked quite well as wing-backs Trippier and Shaw locked down the ever-so-dangerous duo of Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens.
The first half was a tense, cagey affair with both sides having the ability to attack but not the ability to finish.
Timo Werner missed a golden opportunity to put his country in the lead but Harry Kane outdid his miss, failing to convert from inside the six-yard box.
Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels was the reason he could not, putting in a fantastic last-ditch tackle to keep the side’s level and scoreless at the break.
Mats. Maschine. Mega. 👏 pic.twitter.com/kscfXM5A2p
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) June 29, 2021
Germany dominated possession for much of the second half but failed to fashion a quality chance.
Southgate’s defensive structure irritated the German’s with seven defensive-minded outfield players on the pitch for England.
Jack Grealish was brought on for Bukayo Saka in the 69th minute and suddenly England were able to threaten the German back three.
It must be said that Saka’s energy for those 69 minutes helped the situation as he tired defenders out with his pace.
The Matthias Ginter – Mats Hummels axis was exposed by Grealish, who worked well with Kane and Shaw to stretch them while Raheem Sterling ran into space to slot home the opener in the 75th minute.
Sterling’s ability to get in behind defenders with ease has led to all three of his goals in the competition so far.
His tendency to receive the ball from deep and dribble inside started the move he finished off.
Chelsea wonderboy Kai Havertz put Thomas Muller through in a quick counter-attack just minutes later but the Bayern star put his shot wide.
Shaw and Grealish were involved in the killer blow for Germany after Muller’s miss, with Shaw finding Grealish in the position the wing-back was in earlier and the Villa star finding Kane who headed the ball in.
Ginter’s positioning for both goals was abysmal and he gave too much space to the goalscorers.
Germany failed to break through the English defences and reply to the two unanswered goals, ending their Euro 2020 run as it began – with a timid loss.
The curtains have closed on Joachim Low’s Germany reign after the exit.
In contrast, Southgate and his men march on with an increased chance of going all the way after their performance.
England will face Ukraine at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, July 3rd at 20:00.