Well, is it coming home then? England took a major step forward into making that dream a reality by beating Germany 2-in their Round of 16 Euro 2020 clash, thanks to second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. Fun fact, England hasn’t defeated the Germans in a major International competition knockout game since 1966 – when they won the FIFA World Cup!
England dominated 53% of the possession in what was a rather cagey, hard-fought first half – but neither team were able to take the little chances they got properly to break the deadlock. After a long period of nothing but boredom, the game lit up after Sterling scored the opener in the 76th through a simple tap-in from close range.
Kane then broke his duck in the Euros with a clever header to make it 2-0 in the 86th – minutes after Germany star Thomas Muller had missed a golden opportunity to equalize things. While the game itself nearly as entertaining as the ones yesterday, but at least England played it smart and snatched a late win.
Despite all the criticism on their set-up and lack of attacking power, they’re still unbeaten in the Euros and haven’t conceded a single goal! They’ll next face the winners of the Sweden/Ukraine game and either the Czech Republic/Denmark beyond that. At this point, a mere fantasy of them winning the Euros now looks very close to soon becoming a reality.
Here are England player ratings vs Germany.
ENGLAND PLAYER RATINGS VS GERMANY
Gareth Southgate (7.5) –
Southgate took a major risk by going for an overly defensive set-up involving 5 defenders, 2 defensive midfielders & just 3 attackers. However, his gamble eventually paid off. Because of his solid structure, his side maintained a very good defensive shape almost throughout the game and restricted Germany to limited chances.
He then brought on Grealish after the hour-mark – which turned out to be the match-winning ploy. Grealish played a part in both goals – while Southgate’s tendency to allow his wing-backs to bomb forward helped Shaw get an assist too.
His pragmatic style definitely worked wonders today – but has to go with a more attacking side in the next rounds where England will face relatively easier opponents. Deserves praise for his intelligent tactics to get revenge on Germany today.
Jordan Pickford (8.0) –
Not really tested before the half-hour mark, but makes a fantastic save to deny Timo Werner from close range in the 32nd. Then makes an even better stop – showcasing lighting reflexes to deny Havertz’s powerful volley in the 48th. Did well to make himself look strong and force Muller to put an easy 1v1 scoring chance wide in the 80th.
4 clean sheets in as many games for Pickford – who now leads the Golden Glove charts! Deserves his clean sheets after some brilliant saves to keep his side in the game.
Kieran Trippier (7.0) –
England’s ‘set-piece specialist’ created a few decent chances for Maguire early on with some nice crosses. Nothing as such special from him – but had the right attitude to keep things rigid at the back. Did a pretty good job to keep Germany’s danger man Robin Gosens quiet today.
Kyle Walker (7.5)-
The Man City full-back is operating in this mixed centre-back/right-back role today. Makes a great recovery tackle to stop Havertz from going through in the 39th. Actually did a very good job in his makeshift role – popping into the right areas to clear danger on numerous occasions and using his pace to neutralize a lot of Germany’s attacks.
John Stones (7.0) –
Stones is playing in the centre of England’s defence and doesn’t look to comfortable against Werner’s pace. Was outwitted and allowed him to go through for his big chance at the half-hour mark – which was fortunately saved. Showcased poor decision making to back off and let Thomas Muller through one v one with Pickford in the 80th – only to see him waste the chance with a miss.
Apart from a few brainfarts, Stones was pretty compelling at the back and rarely lost a key duel inside the box.
Harry Maguire (8.0) –.
The Man United captain got a decent scoring chance in the 13th but put a difficult header well wide. Then hits another header at the goalkeeper three minutes later. Should’ve done much better in the 27th when he got an open header, but looped it over the bar.
But despite his attacking woes, Maguire’s an absolute rock at the back – winning 100% of his ground & aerial duels in the first half! Takes a smart yellow-card booking immediately after Sterling’s goal by stopping a German player from going through to score a goal.
Overall, it was an absolutely rock-solid performance from the United man. He won 10 duels, 6 aerials won & 4 clearances. Bullied German attackers with his impactful defending and acted like a leader at the back.
Luke Shaw (8.5) –
The in-form left-back will be expected to delivery some quality crosses into the box to create big chances. Took his time about it – but played a fantastic cross to basically lay Sterling’s goal on a plate for him. Then superbly stole the ball from Gnabry before driving forward and playing in Grealish in the box to help him assist Kane’s goal.
Wasn’t involved in too many things – but Shaw proved his class by playing big roles in both goals. Defensively pretty strong too and his positive attitude helped dissect the German side. Best left-back in England for a reason!
Declan Rice (7.0) –
The West Ham man has a frantic start and is lucky not to get sent off in the 7th after bringing down Leon Goretzka outside the box after he was clean through on goal. Maintained a lot more discipline after that – hassling German players with his pressing and strong defensive contribution. Moved the ball around really well & absolutely worked his socks off before his substitution.
Kalvin Phillips (7.5) –
Probably England’s best midfielder in the first half. Used his aggressive nature to bully the German midfielders and moved the ball forward efficiently. Booked for an overly aggressive challenge late in the first half.
Showed no fear against some quality opposition midfielders and stuck to his bullish style all game long. Helped his side regain possession on numerous occasions and helped dominate possession smartly.
Raheem Sterling (8.0) –
England’s top scorer in the Euros aims to be at his clinical best to maintain that record. Forces a strong save from Manuel Neuer with a menacing attempt in the 16th. Did well to steal possession late in the first half and march forward to create the chance for Kane’s big chance.
Always a lively figure in & around the box and continues his great goal-scoring form by cleverly moving into the box and tapping in from close for the opener. But then almost undid all his good work by giving the ball away cheaply in the 80th to allow Muller’s big chance – which he wasted. Overall, it was another clinical display from Sterling – who continues being England’s hero in the Euros.
Bukayo Saka (5.5) –
Saka gets a surprise start ahead of Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden & Jadon Sancho, as his gaffer wants him to be England’s unpredictable attacking unit. Causing problems with his fizzy forward runs. But apart from his tricky movement and decent link-up play on occasions, he did nothing prominent and was subbed after the hour-mark.
Harry Kane (6.5) –
Having scored no goals in the Euros yet, the England captain is expected to come up big today. After a quiet first half, Kane got a big scoring chance seconds before the half-time whistle – as the ball fell in his path in an open area inside the box – but his poor first touch allowed Germany to clear the ball before he could tap it in.
After nearly ghosting the entire game, he finally gets his first goal of the Euros with an instinctive header to make it 2-0. Not as impactful as expected, but at least got the goal to turn a bad performance into a good one.
Jack Grealish (7.5) –
The man who really should’ve started the game comes on after 67 minutes! Does well to play Shaw through on the left to help him assist Sterling’s goal. Then plays a brilliant cross to assist Kane’s goal. Wasn’t really surprising that England’s most creative player helped create the two goals. Really should be starting every game going forward.
Jordan Henderson (N/R) –
The Liverpool captain was brought on to help England see out the result towards the end and did that perfectly.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Luke Shaw started the game quietly, but grew into it and played a major role in the win. Created the opener all by himself and then played a huge role in the second. Maintained discipline defensively & didn’t allow Germany to do much from down his wing. Gets my the MOTM today – even though Maguire, Phillips and Sterling were all excellent today.
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