England v Germany Review: Euros 2020
June 30th, 2021 | Football
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience. He is a teenager and looking for work experience within the football industry. He is currently studying for his media and art A-levels.
What a night. England are through to the quarter-finals of EURO 2020 with an impressive and historic 2-0 win against Germany last night.
It was a close game in both halves and could’ve gone either way at times. Timo Werner was brilliantly denied by a Jordan Pickford save. Raheem Sterling’s curling shot was palmed away by Manuel Neur. And Harry Kane was denied a tap-in by a great Matts Hummel’s tackle.
The second half was the same. A Kai Havertz volley kept out by another good save from Pickford. Thomas Muller was through on goal, only to fire his shot the wrong side of the post. Germany had other moments were they looked dangerous, but it was England who when they got their chances were clinical and won the game. Raheem Sterling finished off a brilliantly worked team goal to make it 1-0 is the 75’ minute, before Harry Kane fired in England’s second of the night 11 minutes later, heading in a Jack Grealish cross and getting off the mark in this tournament.
The midfield area was where I felt Germany could exploit England, but I was quickly proven wrong. Sure, the Germans had sustained passages of play, but so did England. Kalvin Philips and Declan Rice managed to not only stop but at times play through the German midfield two of Leon Goretzka and Tony Kroos. This ability to play through the Germans and have sustained passages of play is shown by the 45% possession England had. But this amount of possession wasn’t just down to Philips and Rice. All the England players selected in Gareth Southgate’s Starting XI were comfortable on the ball, which is a big factor as to why England could keep the ball for extended periods. The aforementioned front-three and two central midfielders were obviously important with this, but the three centre-backs and wing-backs were crucial and gave England a stable platform to build from.
The defence were impressive throughout the game. They covered each other if one got exposed, were relaxed on the ball, won their individual battles and were dominant in the air. Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker kept offering an option in midfield and the final third by bombing on from either side of John Stones, something I said would be effective in my last article.
I back Gareth Southgate for his tactical decisions last night and over the last few games. I feel he doesn’t always get the respect he deserves. If England had lost, he would have come under a huge amount of criticism for his team selection and change to a 3-4-3 system. But huge credit to Southgate for matching Germany’s shape and pressing them high up the pitch with energy and determination.
Overall a fantastic performance from everyone involved with the three lions. The manager, players and subs, they fully deserved their victory against the familiar German foes…
England Player Ratings: Pickford (8), Shaw (8), Maguire (8), Stones (7), Walker (7), Trippier (6), Rice (6), Philips (8), Sterling (7), Kane (7), Saka (7).
England SUBS: Grealish (7), Henderson (N/A)
Germany Player Ratings: Neuer (6), Gosens (6), Rudiger (6), Hummels (7), Ginter (5), Kimmich (7), Goretzka (7), Kroos (6), Muller (4), Havertz (7), Werner (5),
Germany SUBS: Gnarby (6), Can (N/A), Sane (N/A), Musiala (N/A)
A result and performance that may finally convince even the most pessimistic England fans.
MOTM: Kalvin Philips.
As an England fan, I didn’t want to highlight one player. Every single one of them contributed to the victory, a real team effort. But at a push, I’d name Kalvin Philips Man of the Match. He was calm with the ball, put in tackles and managed his yellow card brilliantly against a brilliant German midfield. He and Declan Rice handled that midfield brilliantly. Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Jordan Pickford were all impressive and close contenders, but I feel as though Philips deserves a special mention for that performance against a team of that standard. If he can manage that German midfield, he can handle any in the competition.