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England beat Germany to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2020

England 2-0 Germany.

England are through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 after beating Germany 1-0 at Wembley. In a match low on quality or craft, Raheem Sterling scored the opening goal of the game, before Harry Kane doubled England’s lead. Thomas Muller missed a sitter late on, in what is likely his final game for Germany, and England have advanced to the last eight of Euro 2020, where they will play Sweden or Ukraine next.

First half.

Germany started the game on the front foot. They pinned England back and pushed their full-backs on. Declan Rice was booked for a foul on Leon Goretzka at the edge of the box and the Germans dominated possession for the opening 20 minutes.

Raheem Sterling, however, tested Manuel Neuer with England’s first shot on goal. Harry Maguire got a header on target from the follow-up corner and England began to grow into the game.

They pushed further up the pitch and started to test Germany, winning several corners and free-kicks in the opposition’s half. England, however, lacked cutting edge and creativity in the final third.

The first half played out as many expected beforehand – it was an evenly matched game between two talented, but flawed sides. They were shadow boxing, more concerned with hiding their own deficiencies than exploiting the opposition’s flaws.

Timo Werner came the closest to opening the scoring in the first half when he was played in on goal and directed his shot at Jordan Pickford. The Chelsea striker arguably should have made more of the chance, but, at the other end, his counterpart Harry Kane had made no impact whatsoever. In total, Kane touched the ball nine times in the first half.

Just before half-time, the Tottenham Hotspur forward ran onto a loose ball in the Germany penalty area, after Sterling burst forward from midfield with the ball. Kane just had to take a shot first time, but tried to dribble past Neuer, only for Mats Hummels to stick out a leg and dispossess him.

Second half.

In the second half, the game continued in a similar vein. Neither side took control of proceedings, there were plenty of fouls and broken passages of play.

Kai Havertz struck a sweet shot with the outside of his boot, forcing Pickford to pull off an impressive, acrobatic save. But there was little quality on show otherwise. England and Germany both laboured and failed to impose their own game.

Southgate had several players capable of changing the game sitting on the bench – such as Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford – and finally made a switch in the 68th minute when Grealish replaced Saka. The Aston Villa captain received a massive cheer from the Wembley crowd when he came on and was involved in the breakthrough goal.

After the ball broke outside the German penalty area, Kane found Grealish, who laid it off to Shaw on the overlap. The Manchester United full-back squared the ball for Sterling to score his third goal of the tournament. A few minutes later, after Muller missed the chance that would have brought the game to extra-time, Grealish crossed for Kane to score.

Who will England play next at Euro 2020?

England advance to the quarter-finals in Rome, where they will play either Sweden or Ukraine.

Verdict.

England will now start to believe that it really is coming home, and their game-management skills will be talked up after this. There were very few negatives for Southgate. His team stifled what threat Germany posed, they rode their luck and won the game in the final 20 minutes.

The path is now clear for England to reach the final, but the most likely winner of the tournament still appears to be on the other side of the draw.

Spain, Italy and Belgium still appear to be a level above England and will pose significantly more problems than Germany, who were muddled and went out of the tournament with a whimper. Yet, England will start to believe that their ultra-conservative form of football will prevail.

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