A history-making performance, years in the making, but finally England look significantly better than the Germans. And have beaten them.
And though Gareth Southgate was criticised for matching up Joachim Low’s wing backs and despite the fact that England took their time, they got there in the end while Germany had precious little to offer.
Here, Sportsmail looks at six things we learned from England’s 2-0 win over Germany…
England have finally beaten Germany and now look a better team than their rivals
The Three Lions took their time but their measured approach saw them get there in the end
Sunday 11 July
Wednesday 07 July
Tuesday 06 July
Saturday 03 July
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT
When you’ve waited 55 years to beat the Germans in knock-out football, you might expect that a degree of patience would be necessary.
At times in the second half, it looked as though England were resorting to turgid ways, frequently turned back inside and playing slowly across the back.
For a period, the Germans enjoyed significant possession and were containing England comfortably.
They even had the best early second-half chance through Kai Havertz. The danger was that, though England were the better side, their caution would invite extra time and penalties. But England were clear in what they wanted to do even if it only happened sparingly.
England’s slow build up saw Luke Shaw and Jack Grealish combine for both of their goals
When they had the chance, a player would drive on and try to make two or three metres of space to invite others to attack. It had worked better in the first half but slowly the opportunities came: first Raheem Sterling drove on, fed Harry Kane who quickly moved the ball on to Jack Grealish with Luke Shaw driving on.
This was the wing-back play they were looking for. Grealish fed Shaw, he delivered, Sterling scored. But it was preceded by precisely the kind of slow build up that can be so frustrating at times.
Similar to the Croatia game, which was laborious at times but got the job done. It took 75 minutes but England’s best moments are worth waiting for.
THE JOY OF PRESSING
The second goal was similar in that the key breakthrough came from a quick drive from a player through German lines, Shaw this time rather than Sterling.
Though England never pressed with intensity in short bursts, this was a goal straight from the Jurgen Klopp playbook of winning possession high up the pitch. Klopp firmly believes that the gegenpress is the best creator of goals in the world, better than Messi.
Shaw pounced on Robin Gosens in possession and drove on. Germany were on the back foot in those crucial couple of seconds which pulled them out of shape. It didn’t happen often, but England exploited the times it…