England 2 Germany 0: Harry Kane and Sterling send Southgate's heroes through and dump bitter rivals out of Euro 2020
RAHEEM STERLING and Harry Kane sank the Germans with late goals and blew open England’s route to the final of the Euros.
At a rocking Wembley, Gareth Southgate’s showed an un-English sense of nous as they bored the Germans to death on their way to a fourth straight clean sheet.
But Sterling fired England ahead on 75 minutes and Kane nodded a second – with both goals featuring Luke Shaw and super-sub Jack Grealish, the darling of all England.
Southgate showed extreme caution with his starting line-up and England defended in numbers but nobody here cared as 40,000 roared every block and tackle as if they were goals.
Sterling started and ended the 75th-minute attack which sent England on course for a quarter-final with Sweden or Ukraine in Rome on Saturday night, bursting forward from midfield and then nudged home a cross from Shaw.
And after Shaw ran at the German defence, Grealish centred for Kane to score with a stooping header.
Obviously not inspired by the 14 goals scored in Tuesday’s two outrageously entertaining last-16 ties, Southgate chose five defenders, two defensive midfielders and another, in Bukayo Saka, whose played plenty of his football at full-back.
Blessed with three outstanding playmakers in Grealish, Phil Foden and Mason Mount, Southgate started with none of them, making Jose Mourinho look like Pep Guardiola in the process.
A half-full Wembley boorishly booed the German national anthem and a significant number booed the taking of the knee.
We started off with a poor set-piece from Shaw, then England gave the ball away several times in dangerous positions before Declan Rice was booked for hacking down Leon Goretzka on the edge of the box – Kai Havertz wasting the free-kick.
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Then Saka finally got on the ball and was bodychecked by Antonio Rudiger before Sterling cut in from the left and had a venomous curling shot pushed away by Manuel Neuer.
From a Kieran Trippier centre, Harry Maguire – later awarded the Man of The Match award – sent a close-range header over when he ought to have scored.
But an incisive pas from Havertz sent his Chelsea team-mate Timo Werner racing through, Jordan Pickford saving with his legs.
Right on half-time, Sterling darted through, went down and appealed in vain for a penalty with the sluggish Harry Kane unable to put away the loose ball.
Soon after the break, Havertz hammered a shot which Pickford pushed over.
Kane appeared to injure his knee after an aerial challenge with Mats Hummels but he limped on.
After ten minutes of the Wembley crowd hollering for ‘Super Jackie Grealish’, Southgate relented, bringing on the Aston Villa maverick in place of Saka.
After Sterling opened the scoring there were two major alarms for England – Maguire bringing down Josh Kimmich on the edge of the area, then Thomas Muller running clean through and screwing his shot wide.
But Kane, who had looked off-the-pace, headed home a centre from Grealish to take the roof and the arch off Wembley – and end Joachim Low’s 15-year reign with a chastening defeat.
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