At this level, neither England, nor much less Germany, who have gone home, are there to win this European Championship. The worst game of the Eurocup was resolved, almost at the last gasp, by two balls pushed by Sterling and Kane, the only scorers in a team that is getting used to settling for the bare minimum, but the result cannot fool anyone. If Jack Grealish had not taken the field in the last 20 minutes, things could have been very different. But it did and it changed history. Gareth Southgate retaliated for his failure on the 96 penalty and beat the Germans with a team that does not fall in love, does not even fool around, but that four games later still does not concede a single goal.
On the field of play, there was all the respect that was not heard before the game, as the English stands, in a display of gallant chivalry, booed the German anthem unashamedly. The rivalry between England and Germany, despite how unbalanced history is in favor of the Germans, who have not won in official competition for 55 yearsIt goes beyond football, but that does not prevent it from also falling into sport.
Already with the ball at his feet, it was surprising (or not) that Southgate bowed to the popular clamor that asked him to restructure the team and arm himself behind. The Three lions They went to Wembley feeling like a minor team, not realizing that they were covered by more than 40,000 throats and one of the most talented squads in their history. It is unknown if Löw came to thank the English coach enough for giving him the center of the field on a silver platter, where Kroos did and undid as he pleased and where he could take a tie in which they simply did not give for more.
Luckily for the pross, Germany is no longer the one that won the World Cup, and instead of having top predators like the ‘Torpedo’ Müller has kittens like Timo Werner, who scores for talent, but not instinct. The limitations of German engineering, which benefited from British shyness, allowed a technical, football and scoreboard tie that served to lower the pulse of the previous day and remind us of the danger that current football runs of getting lost in soporific tacticisms.
The second half, far from improving, worsened what was seen in the first 45 minutes, and only a whiplash from Havertz stopped Pickford enlivened a match devoid of chances. Grealish had to enter, who was acclaimed as the magician that he is, for the game to recover its pulsations, and, in a filtered play of his, Shaw put a pass that was half a goal for Sterling to score, once again, something vital for England.
Almost immediately afterwards, Müller failed a heads up that reminded Casillas against Robben in the World Cup final, and Pickford’s anger at Sterling for losing that ball in midfield resounded louder than any chant in the stands. Kane, without football, but with stripes, asked his partner for calm. Calm because Grealish had arrived at the game and a lot could happen.
With the Germans finally overturned and with a vocation to win the game, a loss to Gnabry resulted against the Three lions that the Aston Villa player took advantage of to put a measured cross to the head of Kane, which skirted the offside. The Englishman, lying on his back on the Wembley green, finally melted with a tournament that was slipping through his fingers.
Gnabry (67 ‘, Timo Werner), Grealish (68 ‘, Bukayo Saka)
Referee: Danny Makkelie
VAR Referee: Pol van Boekel
Declan rice (7 ‘, Yellow) Ginter (24 ‘, Yellow) Kalvin phillips (44 ‘, Yellow) Robin gosens (71 ‘, Yellow) Harry maguire (76 ‘, Yellow