England 2-0 Germany: Three key areas where Gareth Southgate's Three Lions won historic Euro 2020 clash
Pinch yourself, that just really happened.
Remember the date, remember where you were and who you were with. Saviour it. Treasure it. England have beaten Germany in a major tournament and their dream of Euro 2020 glory is very much alive and kicking.
Football isn’t coming home just yet, but it’s on Trainline and it’s pricing up tickets.
Second half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were enough to secure a famous Wembley win for the Three Lions, and a spot in the last eight of the competition awaits.
From front to back it was an accomplished display from Gareth Southgate’s men, measured throughout and inspired when it needed to be.
But where did England win the contest, and where did their visitors lose it?
We’ve taken a look at three key things that shaped the outcome of a historic clash…
England make wide prowess count
From the moment that the team news was released and it was apparent that Southgate had opted for a five-man defence with wing-backs, plenty of rhetoric was focused on which side would win the battle of the flanks.
For a while it looked to be a fairly even tussle, but slowly and surely England started to assert their dominance in those vital areas, and the introduction of Jack Grealish ultimately tipped things in their favour.
The Aston Villa man was involved in the buildup to Sterling’s opener, playing his part as Luke Shaw slipped in behind to square for the impressive winger, and it was he who provided the assist for Kane’s diving header late on.
Again, the ball came from the left wing, and again it was a credit to England’s adherence to a well thought out game-plan.
Pickford shines once more
For a long while, Jordan Pickford has come under fire from certain sections of the England support for the erratic tendencies that can creep into his game from time to time, but this was another rock-steady showing from the Everton man.
Commanding in and around his area and sharp in his distribution, the 27-year-old made it four clean sheets in a row at Euro 2020, and had to be alert to make a couple of sublime saves – one with his leg from Timo Werner, and one in which he sprang skywards to tip a Kai Havertz rocket into the crowd.
He might not get the plaudits that Kane, Sterling, or Grealish do in the aftermath of this one, but make no mistake, he was just as influential.
A little bit of luck...
With the score at 1-0 and a jubilant Wembley crowd still rocking after Sterling’s opener, the Man City forward relinquished possession far too easily in the centre of the park and Thomas Muller was released through the heart of the English defence to stare down Pickford one-on-one.
It’s the sort of chance that he usually finishes in his sleep, and the seeming inevitability of the Bayern Munich man making the net bulge was reflected perfectly by the image of a dejected Sterling slumped on his knees in the middle of the pitch.
And then he missed.
These are the sliding door moments on which major tournament runs are ended and kick-started, and when push came to shove this evening, Lady Luck was smiling down on the Three Lions.