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England and Germany reignited their age-old rivalry on the football pitch at Wembley with a ticket to the quarter-final awaiting the victors.

The opening exchanges saw Germany looking the more threatening of the two with their high press, with England on the backfoot. The first shot on target came from Sterling trying a curler from distance, well saved by Neuer who then easily caught the Maguire header from the subsequent corner.



The Three Lions were becoming more assertive as the half reached its midway point, with Germany seeing much less of the ball. However, the spell of possession kept changing feet as Pickford denied Werner from close range with a good low stop as the score remained nil nil approaching halftime.



Kane had a great chance to open the scoring in injury time of the first half after the ball fell kindly to him from a Ginter challenge. He tried to control the ball on his left foot to fake Neuer but Hummels read it perfectly to make a last-ditch challenge to preserve parity going into the break.



The first chance of the half fell to Havertz within three minutes of the restart, whose shot on the half volley was acrobatically tipped over by Pickford. That was about all the exciting stuff that happened as the game ticked over to the hour mark. Both teams were happy to knock the ball around.



Both managers made one change each with twenty minutes to go, as Jack Grealish and Serge Gnabry came on respectively. With the match heading for the final 15 minutes, a neat team play started by Sterling ended up with Shaw’s first-time slide pass tapped home by the Man City winger for his third goal of the tournament.



Muller had a glorious chance to equalize in the 82nd minute after an errant back pass set Muller free. The Bayern Munich winger raced through on goal but dragged his shot just wide with Wembley breathing a collective sigh of relief. That proved costly as an English attack found Grealish on the left, whose cross was emphatically headed home by Kane for his first goal.



Even a raft of changes by Loew could not salvage the game as Gareth Southgate finally got closure after 25 years of pain. Loew bows out on a low and this exit will hurt just like 2018.

Here are the three key takeaways of the match:



England played the game the same way they had been all through Euro 2020. Compact at the back, venturing forward when chances arose, it was a cagey opening 70+ minutes for the Three Lions. Sterling, looking the most dangerous attacker, was the only one charging forward with confidence throughout the game. Captain Kane almost opened the scoring in injury time of the first half but his wretched tournament continued with Hummels clearing the ball.



The second half started in much the same fashion, and it required Pickford to produce a good save to keep the scores level. Then the game sparked to life with two goals from Sterling and Kane getting off the mark to secure a hard fought win for England.



Germany were never in the game in a threatening manner, but they had their chances. Werner and Havertz saw their shots saved before Muller had the golden chance to make it 1-1. The veteran fluffed his lines and saw his team fall in the abyss of 2-0 soon after.



Truth be told, Loew’s team did not look like creating something over the course of the match but rather were hopeful of a moment of magic or a mistake. His high pressing team waned in the second half, allowing England to take control of the ball more. That culminated with them going down in Loew’s last match in charge of the national team in a whimpering fashion.



The winger has seen his inclusion into the side often questioned but has answered those calls brilliantly. He has three goals to his name now and is very much the main force of England’s attack. Kane did eventually get his goal but make no mistake, Sterling was the most threatening player on the pitch due to his overall game. Southgate will hope he can continue this rich vein of form onto the next round.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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