Lee Carsley pleased to see England youngsters take their chances against Germany
England Under-21s boss Lee Carsley hailed the cutting edge shown by his side in the opening minutes of their 2-0 victory over Germany in the European Under-21 Championship.
The Young Lions hit the front after just four minutes when Cameron Archer latched onto a threaded pass from Jacob Ramsey before slotting the ball past Noah Atubolu, and they made it 2-0 with 21 minutes on the clock as Harvey Elliott scored a superb solo effort.
England secured a quarter-final date with Portugal on Sunday by topping the group with three straight 2-0 wins over their group-stage opponents, while holders Germany were sent crashing out.
Carsley told UEFA.com: “We were fortunate to take our chances. Germany had some really good chances but didn’t take them. We’re really happy with the result but more importantly the performance.
“We thought it was a really difficult game. We knew preparing for the game that it was going to be a tough one.
“We were lucky enough to play Germany in one of the international windows in a friendly. We knew the quality that they had. Tactically they’re very difficult to break down and you’ve seen that in the game today.”
England have yet to concede a goal in the tournament having kept three straight clean sheets, and Carsley praised the performance of his defensive unit.
He continued: “We talk about the whole team defending, as opposed to just the defence.
“I thought Levi (Colwill) and Taylor (Harwood-Bellis) as well as Jarrad (Branthwaite) and Charlie (Cresswell) have done outstandingly at centre-back, and obviously James (Trafford) in goal.
“As a whole, we’ve defended really well from full-back areas, with midfielders and forwards. It was really pleasing to see, right at the end of the game, players making blocks on the edge of the box and blocking crosses. It’s good to see.”