England 2-0 Germany: 7 talking points – Kane, Sterling send the Three Lions into the quarter-finals

Harry Kane and Declan Rice of England against Germany during Euro 2020
Harry Kane and Declan Rice of England against Germany during Euro 2020

England booked their place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships with a 2-0 win over arch-rivals Germany at Wembley earlier today.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored twice in the second half to secure a memorable win for the Three Lions.

Here at Anytime football, we look at the seven major talking points from tonight’s blockbuster clash.

The rise of Luke Shaw

The Manchester United left-back was outstanding for the Red Devils in the Premier League this past season, and he has carried that form into the European Championships.

Luke Shaw produced an exceptional defensive performance against Germany tonight, and he chipped in with a vital assist for the opening goal of the game.

England left-back was regarded as one of the best young prospects in the country a few years ago. Still, his development stalled under Jose Mourinho, and he was heavily criticised by the Portuguese manager during their time together at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has helped the defender regain his form and sharpness, and England are benefiting from his resurgence.

The ever-present Raheem Sterling

England have won three of their four matches in the European Championships, and Sterling has scored in all of them.

He was the match-winner in two of their group games, and the Manchester City winger is proving to be an indispensable asset for Southgate and England.

The former Liverpool winger will be eyeing the Golden Boot after scoring three goals in the tournament so far, and he will be crucial to England’s hopes of winning the tournament this summer.

The midfield pivot of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice

England are the only side in the competition to have kept a clean sheet in their four matches so far.

One of the main reasons behind that is the solid midfield partnership between Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice. Both players were amongst the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League last season, and they are showing their quality at the international stage now.

The midfield duo have helped England break up the opposition play time and again, and they have done well to shield the back four expertly.

Toothless German attack

Joachim Low decided to start Thomas Muller, Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz in the attack, and all three players failed miserably today.

Werner had a fantastic opportunity to put his side ahead in the first half. Still, the Chelsea striker has been in disappointing form for over a year now, and he failed to capitalise on the opportunity.

Muller had the best chance of the game when he was clean through on goal after a mistake from Raheem Sterling, but the German forward failed to find the net.

Havertz rarely had a sniff of the goal, and the Chelsea attacking midfielder offered very little apart from a long-range effort which Jordan Pickford saved.

Imbalance in the German midfield

Germany have one of the best central midfielders on the planet in Toni Kroos. Still, the Real Madrid midfielder is indisciplined defensively, and Joachim Low should have played a reliable defensive midfielder alongside him.

Kroos’ partner Leon Goretzka is more of a box to box midfielder who likes to bomb forward time and again, and the German midfield was exposed because of that.

The substitution of Jack Grealish

The Aston Villa star has been outstanding in the Premier League this past season, and Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave him out of the starting lineup caused a lot of controversy throughout the tournament.

When England were looking for a goal, Southgate decided to bring the 25-year-old on, and Jack Grealish made an immediate impact.

He was vital in setting up Raheem Sterling’s opener, and the Aston Villa star created Harry Kane’s goal a few minutes later, all by himself.

Harry Maguire – the leader at the back

The Manchester United centre back was outstanding for England tonight, and he did well to lead England’s defensive unit.

Maguire’s communication and positioning were crucial to England’s defensive organisation, and he did well to bring the ball out of play during a few pressure situations.

The defender had a chance to score with a headed opportunity in the first half, and he will be disappointed to have failed to hit the target.